Social workers lobby Parliament on Children and Social Work Bill
BASW has organised a Social Work Lobby to enable social workers to raise their concerns with their MP about the Children & Social Work Bill. Social workers will also have an opportunity to meet with key ministers and shadow ministers.
Up to 100 BASW members will be there and 25 MPs have promised to attend the lobby on Wednesday 16th November, including former social worker Emma Lewell-Buck MP, Shadow Minister for Children and Families and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Social Work.
BASW is lobbying on three key areas of the Bill:
- The Government’s proposed new arm’s length regulatory body ‘Social Work England’ is a promising development but further assurances are required before social workers are ready to accept that it will be operating independently of political influence and in consultation with the profession. Keeping the regulation of social work out of Government hands will safeguard the independence of the profession and ensure parity with other professionals such as doctors and nurses.
- New ways of working can be piloted without legislative changes. Proposals in the Bill allow local authorities to opt-out of statutory duties towards children, putting them at risk and creating a postcode lottery. Peers have voted to remove clause 29 from the Bill, however the Children and Social Work Bill will now move to the House of Commons for further debate by ministers where the deleted clauses could be reintroduced by government.
- The system for serious case reviews needs improvement but accountability, consistency and learning must remain at local as well as national level. This Bill only emphasises the latter.
BASW England Manager Maris Stratulis said: “The Children and Social Work Bill has serious implications for the future delivery of social work in England as well as for the future regulation of social workers. This lobby provides an opportunity for MPs to hear directly from their constituents; student social workers, social workers, social work managers and those in the field of social work education.”