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Tell us about your experiences post-Winterbourne


Social workers working with children or adults with learning difficulties, autism and challenging behaviour are being asked to contact BASW about their experiences, both good and bad.

The move aims to assess to what extent services for this group has improved in the wake of the exposure of horrifying and systematic abuse of vulnerable adults at Winterbourne View Hospital by BBC’s Panorama progamme in 2011.

Following the scandal, a national concordat was signed in England to end placement in hospital-type assessment and treatment centres in favour of provision of personalised and localised high quality facilities.

However, a review of progress towards the end of last year revealed mixed implementation, with issues over funding highlighted.

England Professional Officer Joe Godden said “The causes of the failures at Winterbourne View were many, stretching from totally unacceptable failure of individual nursing assistants and managers, through to fundamentally wrong commissioning decisions and processes by health authorities. Social workers must be allowed to have a central role to in transforming services for people with learning disabilities whose behaviour challenges, because of our person centred approach and desire and ability to challenge power and orthodoxies.”

He added: “In order for BASW to represent the views of social workers and support this transformation, we need to know your experience of difficulties and good practice of examples where you have been able to transform the lives of children and adults who without social work intervention would have been placed far away from their home and family in institutional care.”

Contact Joe Godden at