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BASW Cymru response to £500 payment for social care

Decision is welcomed, yet social work is still misunderstood

BASW Cymru welcomes the First Minister’s announcement that social care workers in Wales will receive a £500 payment in recognition of the essential work undertaken by this “under-valued and overlooked” workforce.

BASW Cymru has always supported the uplifting of terms, conditions and career opportunities for the social care workforce and acknowledges the efforts made by Welsh Government prior to the pandemic, to achieve this.

The social care sector, including social work, has been undervalued and overlooked way before the pandemic started.

We hope that, moving forward social care and social work is considered a positive and worthwhile career choice where its true value is recognised and rewarded.

No part of the health and social care system works in a vacuum and is reliant on each part receiving equal attention.

Social workers in Wales are essential workers who have continued to provide vital care, support and safeguarding on the frontline, to the most vulnerable children, adults and older people in our communities throughout this pandemic.

They have maintained direct contact in family homes, in schools, in hospitals, in prisons and in residential settings throughout Wales, putting themselves directly at risk of infection.

Social workers in Wales, who are over overwhelmingly women, are also juggling their own caring responsibilities, fears and worries.

Social workers are telling the Association that they do not feel valued and that they have been forgotten about. There has been a consistent lack of understanding of the distinct roles and contributions of social workers during this crisis, including their role in infection control.

Social workers also feel like an under-valued and overlooked workforce. It is high time that the essential contributions of social workers both during and post the pandemic, when they will be needed more than ever, is recognised and publicly acknowledged at the highest levels of government in Wales and beyond.

 

Allison Hulmes

National Director, BASW Cymru

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