BASW England statement on Frontline programme
BASW welcomes the opportunity that the Frontline initiative provides to explore the potential for diversity in the delivery of social work education.
BASW has some concerns about the current shape of the proposed curriculum. These centre around two areas; first the programme is condensed in scope and time and this results in risks for participants in completing the course as competent practitioners with sufficient knowledge to provide a holistic social work service and sufficient time to prevent undue stress. Such risks would, in the absence of suitable controls, be likely to be passed on to the service delivery setting with consequences for the welfare of people who should benefit from social work interventions.
Secondly, it is still not clear that the Frontline programme will promote excellence in social work because entrance requirements are not fully cognisant of the particular values and experience that contribute so much to effective social work. The earlier emphasis on high academic achievement has been reduced but is not yet sufficiently in balance with other important entrance criteria.
Nevertheless, BASW is committed to continue to work with Frontline to resolve such concerns and also welcomes the proposal from JUCSWEC/APSW that consideration should be given to converting the purpose of Frontline into a post qualifying programme for child protection specialisation.
The higher education institution (HEI) sector for social work training is a strong one that is adapting to the social work reform agenda. Frontline sits outside that sector and as such offers a challenge to the sector to respond with increased flexibilityto promote a social work profession that is both alloyed to core principles and innovatory in meeting the increasingly complex demands of the population of the UK. BASW wishes to continue to work in partnership with the HEIs and with Frontline to achieve this goal.
BASW England's Learning and Development Committee