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BASW England report – February 2014

Thank you to all members who contributed to the report by the All Parliamentary Group on Social Work 2013, an Inquiry into State of Social Work, following lobbying from BASW. Those thanks extend to all of you who took part in the original 2012 State of Social Work online survey back in March of that year – this is what five minutes of your time helped us to achieve.

The report draws on the experiences of social work professionals from a broad range of backgrounds and stands up for social work as well as exploring ways of improving practice. If you would like a copy of this report please get in touch.

The team would also like to pay tribute and acknowledge the important contribution that former social worker and Labour MP Paul Goggins made to this inquiry. Paul died recently and we would like to extend our condolences to his family and friends; he will be sadly missed and was a true advocate for social work.

The very challenging and damaging issue of cuts remains all too present in our profession, which is why England members and staff continue to be heavily engaged in this issue. We have responded to recent media requests on the subject, written to MPs, contacted the Office of the Children’s Commissioner and highlighted the impact of cuts across the country during meetings with civil servants, the Chief Social Workers, partners and service organisations.

The England team is acutely aware of many authorities across the country that are having to make unprecedented savings and cuts, as well as the impact this is having on the delivery of critical services. Please keep the team informed of the impact of cuts in your area so that we can continue to flag the reality on the ground when we meet with politicians, organisations and partners.
Working with Birmingham social workers
The BASW England Team continues to work in partnership with Birmingham City Council People’s Directorate, following on from our presence at an excellent ‘sharing information’ afternoon set up by the Director prior to the Christmas break.

The team, in partnership with staff from the Directorate, will be establishing BASW seminar forums on a regular basis to help the development of social work staff in Birmingham.  

Meeting with the Chief Social Worker for Adult Services
The focus of this meeting was to establish formal links with Lyn and to secure BASW England membership and staff involvement in national forums and to influence policy and social work reform and development. The meeting was very productive and we look forward to Lyn being a keynote speaker at the England conference and meeting BASW members.     

Our big days – put them in your diary
The BASW England Conference takes place on 30 April 2014 in Bristol, so please look out for further details and do try to come along.

Separately, the Compass Jobs Fair in Birmingham on 19 March is where we will celebrate World Social Work Day 2014, so, again, look out for more on that.

The Care Bill
The Care Bill has reached the House of Commons and in January there was an opportunity for BASW to make further comment on this draft legislation.

A group of members from our various reference networks met to discuss and confirm BASW’s response. Pete Feldon provided the group with a very detailed analysis of the Bill, which was extremely helpful. Parliamentary Officer Cat Smith will now use her influence and knowledge to pass on BASW concerns to MPs.

BASW’s assessment can be found on the England website [] under ‘Responses to Consultations’. We support many of the proposals in the Bill, particularly in relation to consolidation of legislation, but have a number of concerns.

These include: the lack of funding for prevention and early intervention; concerns about the complex muddle regarding human rights that is being created because of the lack of applicability of human rights in private sector provision; and worries that integrated services and integrated assessment could lead to the medical model dominating – resulting in more people being admitted into residential care.

BASW will be offering to get involved at the stage where statutory codes and regulation are developed, so very much hope there will be more opportunities to influence the development of this important piece of legislation.