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Call for Evidence APPG for Social Work: to help shape the new Mental Health Act

The BASW directed All-Party Parliamentary Group on Social Work has launched a new inquiry

BASW is calling on social workers – members and non-members – to help shape the new Mental Health Act.

The call for written evidence comes from the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Social Work who have launched a new inquiry: Social Workers & A New Mental Health Act

The aim of the inquiry is to promote the role of the social worker within mental health services and to improve social worker working conditions under a new Mental Health Act.

BASW’s public and political affairs officer, Madeleine Jennings, said: “Social workers play a pivotal part in both children and adult’s mental health services, but this isn’t always recognised in policy or in legislation.

“With the ongoing review of mental health legislation, there has never been a better opportunity to explain the value of social work to policy-makers.”

In recognition of this, the APPG has put together a cross-party inquiry team to investigate the different roles social workers hold within the mental health system, and how a new mental health act should develop and promote those roles. 

Together the team will make a submission to the Department of Health and Social Care that will inform the work on new legislation, focusing as closely as possible on the role of the social worker day-to-day, the mechanics of their work and the challenges they face.

In addition to targeted oral evidence sessions, members of the inquiry team are asking for written evidence. If you would like to play are crucial part in this inquiry, please email your written evidence to

Submissions can be made by individuals or by organisations/ teams/ departments, we also welcome submissions from services users and their families/ carers. They must not exceed 2,000 words and should aim to address the following questions:

  • What do mental health social workers do?
  • What makes the work they do distinct/ different from other mental health workers?
  • What are the main challenges faced by mental health social workers?
  • What are the working conditions for mental health social workers like?
  • What are the main pressures on the workforce?
  • Do they have any concerns relating to their roles under the current Mental Health Act?
  • How could a new legislation improve on this?

The deadline for written submissions is 11th June 2019