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BASW Cymru blog: A brand new PPEG

Deputy National Director, Allison Hulmes, reflects on the first meeting of Social Work Law in Wales

Today saw the inaugural meeting of our Social Work Law in Wales - Policy Practice and Education Group. The members of the group are drawn from a wide range of social work backgrounds including academia, with expert knowledge in mental health, mental capacity, deprivation of liberty safeguards, autism, adults and children’s safeguarding, continuing healthcare, direct payments and the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act 2014.

Our primary objectives are; to be a resource to members and the wider social work profession in Wales, to promote and support legal knowledge, competence and confidence in practice and to respond to relevant Governmental Consultation and reviews.

The implementation of the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act 2014 is currently being reviewed and we will be ensuring a strong professional social work voice throughout that process.

The group will also act as the central point reference point for ensuring a Welsh voice and perspective in policy, practice and education which relates to both Wales and England legislation. An example of this, is the current consultation on the Mental Capacity Act Codes of Practice, which closes on the 7th March.

We have appointed Co-Chairs – Carys Phillips and Martin Elliot, who will lead on the development of terms of reference and an action plan to steer the programme of activities of the group, in the coming months.

Carys Phillips – “Wales now has primary law- making powers and a consequence, there is a need to I have a strong, coherent Social Work voice to illuminate the challenges for Social Work practitioners and the agencies that employ them. By following the progress of Social Work law across the four Nations the BASW Cymru Policy, Practice and Education group has an opportunity develop and increase legal literacy through its work, including understanding the limits and key issues for Social Workers in Wales”.

Martin Elliot – “My hope is that establishing a PPEG in Wales with a focus on social care law will provide an opportunity to develop resources to support and further develop legal literacy amongst the social work workforce. The group will also provide a catalyst for exploring and highlighting the challenges and tensions for social workers in both practising in ways that comply with legal requirements, but that are also ethical, humane and rights based”.

We be will also be inviting members with experience of using social work services, to join the group, over the coming months.

We really need to hear from members about any gaps in relation to legal knowledge, access to training and how best we can support you by emailing: wales@basw.co.uk