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Chair's blog: What has BASW Council ever done for us?

BASW Chair, Gerry Nosowska, discusses the latest Council meetings

I love BASW Council.

I love the chance to hear about the good stuff happening in our professional association (hello newest Branch, Coventry and Warwickshire, ratified in our meeting on 22 May).

I love thinking about the complex stuff (what should our priorities be for the next year, what money do we have, what risks do we face, what opportunities?).

I love working with great people.

I love making a difference.

And I also hear from members that what we do on Council is far from clear….So…What is Council? And what goes on in the basement of BASW Head Quarters when we meet?

Council is the board of directors for the association. We are all members and social workers. We are responsible for the management, oversight and strategic planning. Directors are involved in other committees https://www.basw.co.uk/about-basw/governance/committees or elected.

We represent members and are accountable to you. More information about who we are is here https://www.basw.co.uk/about-basw/governance/basw-council (And our photos will be on the website soon!)  

Every meeting we look at the budget, business plan and risk register (everything is good right now!). We plan for the year ahead and, at the moment, we are working on a consultation for the 2025 Vision (more information coming at the AGM/ Conference).

We get reports from national, international and policy committees https://www.basw.co.uk/about-basw/governance/committees.

We get an update on our lobbying and Campaigns and input to plans for these https://www.basw.co.uk/what-we-do/campaigns.

We look at how to support members better with core services like advice and professional development https://www.basw.co.uk/membership/why-become-member.

And we make decisions about strategic developments –  at the moment, development work includes implementing the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategy, increasing our work with people with lived experience of social work, support for independents https://www.basw.co.uk/membership/independent-members, and reducing our environmental impact.

Plus we are planning the Jubilee for 50 years of BASW, which will start next June.

We want to be more transparent - which is why I am writing this! We publish minutes, we are looking at publishing agendas and considering livestreaming; if you want to come to Council, get in touch…

We also want to be more inclusive so Council fully represents the membership. We recognise different groups face barriers and that many members could not give up the time to join Council (or other committees). We are reducing the face-to-face and travel time, looking at mentoring and ways of bringing people into elected positions, and encouraging employers to support people to get involved.

I am grateful for all the Councils that got BASW where it is today. And for the chance to contribute now. I hope more of you will look at what we do and consider being part of Council in the future. See you at the AGM/ Conference https://www.basw.co.uk/events/book-here-basw-uk-conference-and-agm-2019-including-tour-and-fringe, in the Headquarters’ basement, or in one of our other country offices when we go on tour.