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#WhyICare: Social workers on the importance of engaging with the Review of Children's Social Care in England

The Review has been called a "once in a generation" opportunity to shape the future of children's social care...

Social workers in England shared powerful reasons why they care about the ongoing Review of Children's Social Care, at a special webinar last week hosted by BASW England.

We welcomed speakers Professor Brid Featherstone, Expert by Care Experience and author David L Jackson, and Senior Practitioner, writer, and member of BASW’s Black and Ethnic Professional Symposium Patriche Bentick - as well as over 100 social workers and BASW members.

#WhyICare about the Review

During the event, social workers and our speakers shared why they care about the Review - and why it's vital for children and families social workers across the country to find out more and get involved.

Care Review Watch Alliance tweeted: "The Secretary of State said there are 34,000 social workers working with children and families. They all need to hear about the #carereview and have their voices heard. Too much [is] at stake."

"Change is coming," said social worker and event attendee Helen. " As a profession, we need to engage and help shape it."

“If you’re not at the table, you might find yourself on the menu," said our first speaker, Professor Brid Featherstone - a reminder that this is indeed a once in a generation opportunity for us as social workers to feed into and shape the Review and its recommendations, which are due in the spring.

Our second speaker, David L Jackson, warned that the Review could mean “children will be nothing more than a line on a balance sheet in New York” due to the increasing privatisation of services. He implored social workers to learn more about the Review and make their voices heard: "Standing aside is not an option."

"Reviews are seen as only being for great and the good," said social worker Ian, which is why "social workers need to engage, try to improve the current conversations and help co-produce solutions. We must hear from Social Workers."

Patriche Bentick delivered a powerful presentation about the potential impacts of the Review from a frontline perspective: “Most leaders are not qualified social workers or practitioners, therefore we need to advocate for the communities we work with, highlighting what they need... We can’t stand back and let this review happen TO us. We must actively influence it.”

“Who is heard and who is not defines the status quo," tweeted social worker Ellie. "[It's] so important that we engage with reviews in social work and encourage the people we work with to do the same. This job is political."

Caroline cares about the Review because "I am concerned about the direction of travel across public services towards privatisation and inequality. I saw the privatisation of probation and know just how hard we worked to keep on keeping on but with less. More [privitisation] can’t happen."

Urging other social workers to get involved, Rehanna tweeted: "If I don’t speak up, how can I be an advocate for my peers, colleagues, families & community? Please engage with the #CareReview."

The Review of Children's Social Care in England, announced by the Government in January 2021, has been called "a once in a generation opportunity to transform the children’s social care system".

Yet many social work practitioners are unaware of the Review, feel that it may have a predetermined plan and are powerless to alter its trajectory, or feel they do not have enough time to engage with it.

Review of Children's Social Care: Stay up to date, learn more & get involved

Webinar: Why care about the care review?