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Changing BASW to support you through the pandemic.

The coronavirus crisis has inevitably meant that BASW has had to change how we prioritise our work, deliver our services and represent the profession.

The membership team, advice and representation (and SWU officers), the communications department, PSW magazine, country teams, policy and research, independents and professional development parts of the organisation – all are working fully to serve members and the wider profession. But finding ways to do our work in Covid-19 lock down has required change.

After three weeks of transformation, we thought a statement of our aims and a summary of what we are doing to achieve them would be helpful. This overview goes with the first of weekly vlogs from BASW CEO, Ruth Allen.

Ruth Allen CEO BASW

Our aims in response to the pandemic are:

  • To provide Covid-19 support and professional advice to members and wider social work
  • To apply our values and ethics throughout the pandemic, through the leadership of Council and committees and through the staff team’s actions.
  • To advocate for people who are most marginalised and badly affected by coronavirus and associated measures such as isolation and economic downturn
  • To protect social workers from poor health and safety and unreasonable working conditions
  • To promote our longer-term vision, goals and commitments as much as possible
  • To maintain the financial stability of the association, through membership and other activities
  • To ensure all staff and all parts of the organisation continue to work effectively, with purpose and relevance throughout this period
  • To look forward and plan for what we will need to do for members, wider social work and society after the crisis


We are achieving this.  We have:

  • Moved all staff and operations to home working.
  • Moved all meetings, member activities, CPD and learning, support forums, branches (etc) online. We have developed use of equipment, website and CRM system
  • Listened hard to the experiences of social workers, students and people using services through conversations and the online survey, to inform all our actions
  • Adapted and tailored our Advice and Representation Service and SWU services to offer more duty support by telephone and online/virtual representation
  • Adapted our communications activities: new sections on the website; more regular updates for members; increased social media; more press and broadcast work; increased PSW online content
  • Issued a range of practice guidance particularly where there are national gaps. To date: Ethics Guide for the pandemic; SWU Health and Safety Guidance; Analysis of the Coronavirus Act; Guidance for Approved Mental Health Professionals in England and Wales; Generic home visiting guidance; Specific home visit guide for children and families social workers; position statement on ethics of  ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ decision making. Hospital social work, interdisciplinary working and other guidance are coming soon.
  • Ramped up our external relations and influencing work with governments, public health officials, employers organisations, regulators, educators and the press, achieving policy changes and recognition of the role of social workers.
  • Taken a clear position on Personal Protective Equipment and asymptomatic risks to protect social workers
  • Linked with international colleagues to learn across borders
  • Started the work needed to ensure support and guidance will be there for social workers and students in the aftermath of the crisis and in the ‘new normal’


Further information