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BASW comments on final Social Work England standards

More guidance details required to implement measures

The British Association of Social Workers (BASW) and Social Workers Union (SWU) are pleased that Social Work England’s (SWE) professional standards have incorporated some of our member recommendations as laid out in our joint consultation response.  

It is positive that Social Work England acknowledges that “social workers want their employers to support them in upholding our standards, accessing supervision and completing CPD”.

More guidance details will be required though, to ensure this can be implemented in practice.

It is encouraging that most of the standards implement BASW’s request that the regulator promotes a strength-based approach to the standards, rather than the use of negative ‘I will not statements’, although we note some remain.

We continue to believe a positive approach throughout is more constructive to good practice and compliance.

In addition, we will be following up on our other member-informed expectations including:

  1. Specific reference to the Professional Capabilities Framework
  2. Greater focus on career progression and promotion of professional development by employers
  3. Clear guidelines about how registrants will be protected from or be able to appropriately challenge malicious/false allegations, how they will be able to redress matters with the regulator if they are found not guilty of a criminal offence and how their public reputation will be protected unless found guilty
  4. Guidance on suitable working conditions/environments which are conducive to promoting best practice
  5. A commitment to promoting self-care and an acknowledgement of the ‘emotional labour’ social workers are exposed to

We look forward to continuing to work with SWE and welcomed the opportunity last week to speak directly to their executive board on social work representation in the work of the new regulator.

Further information