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SASW Report – May 2013

The month before the school summer holidays always seems a busy time as we try and clear our desks to take that much needed recreation time before the Autumn settles in, which as gardening books will tell you starts in August in Scotland.

Over this time the recruitment of the new SASW Manager will take place and, after the MHO Study Day in October, I hope to be starting a two-month sabbatical working with the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) and, in particular, developing the work of the Human Rights Commission globally. If you, or someone you are working with, might be well suited to taking a leading role in speaking with and for social workers across Scotland, please look at or encourage others to look at the job advert – it is a rare opportunity to consider a very exciting job.

SASW’s direction: The Annual Members meeting in May confirmed the direction of travel for SASW – more local activity, reaching out to members near or in their workplaces, providing PRTL events nationally and locally; being proactive in policy and practice developments in Scotland in influencing the changing structures of service delivery; and being the voice of practice with policymakers, the media and with people and their families who use our services, which are increasingly becoming universal.

Within SASW/BASW interest is growing in our ongoing review of how we do our business, with members seemingly more invigorated to become involved as our political environment evolves. SASW will be offering specific opportunities in the coming year to work out the sort of structure and services that would work best for members in Scotland.

Events … events: By the time that you read this column the Scottish Social Services Council’s Care Accolades will have been announced in Perth on 31 May. It is important that we recognise excellence in all the social work services that will be celebrated.

On 18 June the Morag Faulds Lecture at the University of Western Scotland in Paisley will feature Bob Holman talking about the Champions for Children, Five Child Care Pioneers and Their Modern Relevance. The Association of Directors of Social Work conference will start the next day in Crieff and Peter MacLeod, Director in Renfrewshire, will hand over the presidency to Sandy Riddell, Director in Moray. We look forward to using these events to strengthen the voice of the profession in these changing times. The month ends with the BASW UK AGM in Derby on 27 June.

Newly qualified social workers: As we head into the summer we should be thinking about how we are going to welcome social work graduates into their new working environment. If you have someone joining your team it may be helpful to reflect on your first year of employment, what worked and what you found difficult about moving into that first post-qualifying job.

Often the first two years are critical in helping people make a lifelong commitment to staying in social work or deciding that it is not the place for them. What we do know is that there are increasing numbers of people who need our services. Beginnings are critical in developing a competent, confident workforce and we each have a contribution to make in welcoming people into the profession – work which is challenging, interesting and never without a dull moment.