Skip to main content

Statement from Scotland Committee on BBC Documentary

Following the BBC Documentary "Fife's Child Killings: The Untold Story", The National Standing Committee for the Scottish Association of Social Work (SASW) would like to release the following statement:


"As social workers we will always welcome constructive feedback about our practice; our thoughts are with the families affected by the documentary.

It should be acknowledged that we work within some of the most vulnerable and marginalised communities throughout Scotland and work tirelessly to protect and support people. Social work is a complex profession and can often be seen in one dimension, where there are many facets to the job that need to be better understood by the public. We are not saying the profession does not come without its challenges, and accept that changes need to be made in order to fulfil our roles. Part of being a social worker is building positive relationships with people and bridging gaps in often difficult situations.

We have to understand complex and difficult situations and be given support to do our jobs. Social workers go into the Profession to try and help and protect people, but often some of the systems that we work in can make that difficult. There has been an increase in bureaucracy and a cut in resources which can make doing our job difficult - for this we need support from the Scottish Government and local authorities. Like any Profession we must learn when mistakes are made and we will continue to do this moving forward. Social workers should never feel like they are being scapegoated and our organisation will always offer appropriate support to members.

Social workers who are working in these extremely difficult positions should not be working in isolation and will be working with a number of different professionals that also have responsibility. Furthermore, social workers who work in these scenarios are also people who need to be treated with compassion and care when tragedies happen.

The majority of social workers act in a professional manner and are invested in the service users they support. When tragedies happen social workers involved feel the pain and sorrow like everyone else and will always reflect and question whether they could have done more. These tragedies will often have a lasting impact on the social workers and the teams involved.

Moving forward the Profession needs to be supported by policy makers, local authorities and the media to ensure we have a strong workforce. We have concerns that prospective social workers watching documentaries like this will think twice about moving into the profession and encourage people who want to know more about the complexities of social work to get in touch with SASW.

We will continue to represent and support social workers in the future".


National Standing Committee for Scotland