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England report - December 2014/January 2015

UK report – England December 2014/January 2015

New to the team: The BASW England Committee, team and members are delighted to welcome Jenny Molloy as our first BASW England Patron and Karen Goodman as a Professional Officer (PO).

Jenny has always been a strong advocate for the social work profession and BASW. We wish Jenny every success in this role and know she will be a fantastic Patron for BASW England.

Karen has been a very active member and she will have a lead role in developing membership networks, supporting members in London and the South East and promoting and influencing national and regional social work policy and practice issues.

Membership: BASW England membership continues to grow and we have welcomed another 1,334 new members since October 2013. Our membership has increased by 40 per cent in the last four years – we would like to thank all our hard-working members, branches, England Committee, the England team and other staff across the Association for making this happen. We are proud to be an independent professional social work membership organisation able to truly represent the views of our members.

Branches: The Black Country and Derby Branch have been busy planning and delivering events and seminars and we would like to thank all the committee members for their ongoing support and active engagement with members and non-members.

Student Conference: “It is your future, let us hear your voice” was the title of the student and NQSW conference held in Birmingham on 12 November 12t and it lived up to the aspiration, with excellent key note speakers and workshop facilitators, plenty of discussion and forthright views expressed. Students and NQSWs presented workshops and planned and led the day. Some of the comments on the day included:

“Feeling hopeful and inspired at BASW conference”

“Social workers have to be able to work with all groups”

“What great day at the conference, really interesting people and had great conversations. Going home feeling really inspired about the future”

“Finally home after a 5 hour drive back from @BASW_UK conference! Definitely worth it and very inspirational”!

More comment and information about the conference can be seen on the website.

Compass job’s fair: BASW England were involved at the Compass Jobs Fair in London on 24 November. BASW member Pete Feldon led a really insightful session on the Care Act and Maris Stratulis a very well-received session on an International Perspective on social work and the changing landscape of social work in England.

We will be involved at the Compass events in Manchester on 11 May and Birmingham on 18 March. If you are interested in volunteering contact Sarah Richards in the England office.

Mentoring for NQSWs: Some of the BASW volunteer mentors, who support NQSWs and others struggling to get a job, met in Birmingham on 21 November and shared experiences of supporting other members. There have been some really good success stories thanks to the hard work of the volunteer mentors.

The group agreed to extend the mentoring to those who are not newly qualified, but qualified abroad. Another example of the great commitment of members to help and support each other.

NSPCC debate; BASW England participated in the NSPCC debate “Children or sex objects – where has it gone wrong?” at the London School of Economics. Speakers included Nazir Afzal, Chief Prosecutor for the North West of England who sanctioned the Rochdale grooming trial; Dionne Taylor, a lecturer in criminology who has studied the impact of celebrities’ behaviour on young girls; Reg Bailey, Chief Executive of the Mothers’ Union who wrote a report into the commercialisation of children in 2011 and Jon Brown, NSPCC lead on tackling sexual abuse.

We gave an overview of how social workers on the ground are trying to deal with the problem and the difficulties they face, including threshold priorities, the impact of budget cuts and the reality of increasing access to services being based on a postcode lottery.

We know for many of you it has been a tough but rewarding year. Please do take the time to relax and have a happy festive season.