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Children & Social Work Bill success - Thank you from BASW CEO

Many of you will now have seen media reports that the government has had a change of heart over key clauses in the Children and Social Work Bill that would have let local councils set aside children's rights to test new ways of working.

I would like to thank members for all their fantastic support to ensure that children’s rights and a national framework of entitlements for children and families were upheld and the profession listened to. This is a wonderful example of how strong the profession can be when we unite as one voice and work closely with partners.

BASW opposed the exemption clauses from day one. It was clear from the start that these divisive and potentially dangerous clauses were not needed for innovation in children’s services.  Our online survey and a postcard campaign found members were against these clauses and almost 1000 BASW members lobbied their MPs through the postcards.

The next step for this government has to be about engaging with the profession to secure real improvements that would enhance rather than dilute children's rights and promote good social work practice across all services.

The work now goes on to scrutinise the other parts of the Bill and your input remains at the heart of all of the work we do.

Tuesday 7th March sees the Commons Report Stage of the Children and Social Work Bill. BASW will be urging MPs to use this opportunity to: 

  • Oppose Clause 48, which puts social work improvement standards under the direct control of the Secretary of State, a move that is being made without prior consultation with the profession and risks undermining the independence of social workers.
  • Support Emma Lewell-Buck MP's amendments to new clause 17 to ensure that Higher Education Institutions remain responsible for social work education.
  • Ensure that all new provisions for children in care and care leavers will apply to unaccompanied asylum seeking children on an equal footing with citizen children. 

For more information on how you can get involved as an active member, please contact

For more information on our work on the Children and Social Work Bill, click HERE


Dr Ruth Allen

BASW Chief Executive