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BASW Cymru report - April 2013

Well we’re finally into Spring. By the time you read this, there will be a new officer group on the committee. Please look at the website for details regarding changes of officers.

The whole range of issues in Wales are being further increased by our influence on the Social Services and Well Being (Wales) Bill through the Advisory Group, set up to advise Assembly Member’s (AM’s) on its passage through to becoming legislation. There are lots of good intentions but like most things, the devil is in the detail – in this case, the guidance that will be there to support the legislation. There are 17 organisations across Wales that form the Advisory Group. These include children’s and adults organisations in the voluntary and independent sector.

Committee Activity

Awards – As we mentioned last month, the nomination forms have now been finalised in both Welsh and English versions. Please advertise these within your teams/workplace. This is a positive way to promote social work and especially practice in your area. Anyone wanting to make a nomination can download the required forms from the website and should send a completed form to wales@basw.co.uk. Please remember that these awards are open to all social workers – irrespective of whether they are BASW members or not.

Conference – Arrangements for our National Conference on Safeguarding on 12 June 2013 at the Catrin Finch Centre, Glyndwr University, Wrexham, are now in place. The details can be found on the BASW Cymru/Wales web page under “Events” as well as in PSW. Bookings are already coming in, so book early to avoid disappointment.

Membership – Our membership continues to rise and is currently at 965. We will be expecting to top 1,000 very soon. The 1,000th member will get a special mention and one year’s free membership in celebration. Please tell your colleagues of the wide range of benefits to be gained from joining the only professional association for social work in Wales. Also, remember you can opt in to the Social Workers Union (SWU) at no extra cost as a member. This affords the added protection of being covered by a trade union which knows and understands the specific issues relating to social work, so don’t miss out on this free benefit. If you’re already a member but haven’t opted in yet, you can do this online or by emailing: wales@basw.co.uk.

Supervision – The supervision survey is now available to complete. This will have been sent to Welsh members via an e-bulletin. If you haven’t received this or forgot to notify our membership department of your changed or existing email address, please email us. It is really important that we have a large number of respondents to the survey as this will provide clear evidence of good (and not so good!) management practice. The results will be shared, anonymously, with key stakeholders across Wales ­– including Care Council for Wales, Care & Social Services Inspectorate for Wales, Association of Directors of Social Services in Wales – in an effort to improve the support that social workers receive. We also know that the BBC is very interested in this area.

There will be five prizes on offer to those of you who are willing to leave us your details at the end of the survey. These are:

First prize – one year’s free membership of BASW

Second prize – one year’s free subscription to the British Journal of Social Work (worth about £43)

Third, fourth and fifth prizes – a free ticket to our Safeguarding Conference in Wrexham on 12 June.

Social Services and Well Being (Wales) BillWork on the Bill by the Advisory Group continues with almost weekly meetings. As well as advising AM’s on issues during the Bill’s progression through the committee stages, we will be seeking clarity on a number of issues that affect social work.

In addition to the Advisory Group, BASW Cymru has been called to give oral evidence before the Health and Social Care Committee on 2 May. If you have any comments or concerns, please let me know on my email address below.

And finally

Last month we asked social workers to contact BASW Cymru if they have any concerns about how they were expected to meet the requirements of the Code of Practice for Social Care Workers. Well, we have been contacted about a range of individual issues which are being supported through the Social Workers Union. In addition to these, we have been informed of some very worrying trends for Independent Reviewing Officers (IRO’s) which not only put some of these staff members in extremely difficult positions, they also appear to put children, young people and their families in vulnerable situations. If you are an IRO and want to comment (confidentially) on good or bad management practice affecting your role – please don’t hesitate to let us know.

For a Welsh language version of this report click here