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Scottish Association of Social Work responds to draft coronavirus bill

For immediate release Friday 20th March 2020

Scottish Association of Social Work responds to draft coronavirus bill

Responding to the draft coronavirus bill laid before the UK parliament, SASW National Director Alistair Brown said:

“Social workers provide an essential front-line service supporting the most vulnerable people in society. This bill covers both reserved and devolved matters and will enable the Scottish Government to bring more social workers into the workforce.

The powers allow for final year students, retired practitioners and those on a career break to be temporarily registered. These groups, particularly students, must be supported and supervised and be properly remunerated should they be temporarily registered in the case of an emergency.

Social workers must be recognised by the Scottish Government as ‘key workers’ and be provided with assurances that their children will be looked after while they do their job. This cannot be left as an area by area consideration.

Many social workers are worried about how to carry out statutory duties in the face of mass isolation. Ongoing risks involving domestic abuse and neglect may increase with social changes of school closures and home working. Vulnerable adults may be more at risk in increasing isolation with unprecedented pressures on health and social care services. Social workers need to know the implications for registration if they are unable to meet duties, timescales or usual legal compliance during this crisis.

Social workers must have access to hand sanitizer and personal protective equipment. We understand there is pressure on these supplies nationally but social workers supporting people with underlying conditions must be considered a priority group for these supplies alongside NHS staff.

We will continue to work with partners and stakeholders across the sector to ensure the concerns of our members are heard.”

ENDS 

Notes to editors

The Scottish Association of Social Work, part of BASW UK, is the largest professional association for social workers in the UK. We champion social work and help members achieve the highest professional standards.

For more information, please contact emily.galloway@basw.co.uk or scotland@basw.co.uk or call 07592641642

National Director, Alistair Brown and Professional Staff Karin Heber and Sarah McMillan – all registered social workers - are available for further comment.

Further information