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BASW in Westminster

A look back through 2021... to the theme of Twelve Days of Christmas

BASW UK public affairs has had a strong year, informing politicians on the key issues impacting social workers and representing our member's voices. 

Using creative license, here is a round-up of our activity in 2021 to the theme of the Twelve Days of Christmas… try singing it out loud! 

12+ PARLIAMENTARY BRIEFINGS

BASW UK produced more than 12 (24 in total!) parliamentary briefings for MPs and Lords in 2021, informing them about a range of issues from age assessments of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children to the Health and Care Bill

11+ MENTIONS IN PARLIAMENT

With all the competing issues in Parliament, and the number of organisations trying to influence politicians, it was fantastic that BASW was mentioned by name more than 11 times (18 in total!) in 2021 in both the House of Commons and House of Lords. 

10+ LETTERS TO POLITICIANS

Our letters to politicians this year covered a broad range of subjects, from diaspora social workers to the EU Settlement Scheme, from Homes not Hospitals to Overseas Aid. We sent more than 10 letters (21 in total!). 

9 RESPONSES FROM ENGLAND MAYORAL CANDIDATES

In May, there were several Mayoral contests happening around England, and we wrote to all of the candidates from the 4 main parties (Labour, Green, Conservative, Lib Dem) with a series of questions about some of the key issues facing social work. 

9 candidates responded to our questions which we shared with our members, and 2 of them went onto win their elections! 

8 WRITTEN EVIDENCE SUBMISSIONS

Submitting written evidence to select committees and bill committees is an important mechanism for organisations and individuals to have their voice heard. 

We submitted 8 pieces of evidence on issues such as human rights in care settings, the Health and Care Bill, the Nationality and Borders Bill, and the Independent Human Rights Act review. 

7 APPG EVIDENCE SESSIONS

We held 7 evidence sessions for the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Social Work that BASW provides the Secretariat for, bringing in voices from across the sector as well as those with lived experience. 

7 evidence sessions and more than 35 witnesses, we have worked hard to get members voices heard. 

6 PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS 

When we need to find out concrete information that isn’t readily available in the public domain, we have worked with MPs to submit written parliamentary questions which will guarantee a response from the relevant Minister. 

We have done this 6 times this year and we have built a strong base to continue to seek more information through MPs. 

5 MP MEETINGS

Securing meetings with individual MPs is no easy achievement when they are being contacted by lots of organisations, but this year we secured 5 meetings with MPs. 

4 PIECES OF MAJOR LEGISLATION

This year has been very legislation-heavy, with the Nationality and Borders Bill, the Health and Care Bill, the Police Crime and Sentencing Bill, and the Health and Social Care Levy Bill.

Not many organisations have interests in health, social justice, and immigration as core functions of their work – but at BASW we work hard to engage MPs and policymakers on these issues, and more!

3 ALL-PARTY PARLIAMENTARY GROUP (APPG) INQUIRIES 

We've supported 3 APPG inquiries this year: Children’s Social Work Models, Integration of Health and Social Care, and The Experiences of Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children.

These are not small inquiries, and they all relate to live issues in politics right now, including the Review of Children's Social Care in England and the Nationality and Borders Bill. 

2 SELECT COMMITTEE APPEARANCES 

Being invited to give oral evidence in front of a UK parliamentary select committee is not an easy achievement, yet in the second half of the year BASW had been invited twice to give oral evidence to Parliament.

Our views on the Health and Social Care Bill, and the Nationality and Borders Bill were actively sought by politicians - we will work harder next year to make BASW a household name in the Houses of Parliament.

...AND A DEBATE ON WORLD SOCIAL WORK DAY!

Social work is not debated in Parliament as much as it should be - but this year we were successful in working with MPs to secure a Westminster Hall debate on World Social Work Day, to champion the contributions of social workers right across the UK and discuss how policymakers can better support the profession.

A big thanks to all members who have supported our public affairs activities this year - going into 2022, we'll continue to push the social work voice at every opportunity in Westminster.