A Vision For Social Work: Adults and A Vision for Social Work: Children and Families.
Exploration of what the 'new normal' will look like for social work...
In the summer of 2020, as the pandemic took hold, BASW Chair Gerry Nosowska asked the question, what would a ‘new normal’ look like for social work? Would it be very much like ‘the old normal’, except considerably worse as the pandemic exposed and worsened existing inequalities? Or could social work set out a positive vision for social work, social workers and those who had lived experience of social work services?
The two documents A Vision For Social Work: Adults and A Vision for Social Work: Children and Families are the response to these discussions. Both documents have been subject to wide ranging consultation, including with people with lived experience of social work services, before final approval.
The importance of social work is not always understood so both documents are in plain English and aimed as much at audiences outside social work as to social workers themselves. The documents are also addressed to an audience across the four nations of the UK. The way social work is organised and delivered varies considerably between the four countries of the UK and the two documents emphasise ‘high level goals’ of what social work and social workers across the UK might aspire to - rather than descriptions of how government, legislation, policy and practice differ.
While there is little that has not been said before in the two documents, where the documents are different is that they bring a variety of material together in an accessible way.
The four nations of the UK are on very different journeys, on different timescales and this will impact on the future of social work in those nations. For example, in regard to social work services for Adults England continues to wait for long overdue proposals around Adult Care whilst other nations are forging ahead. And in terms of social work services to Children and Families, Scotland’s ‘Independent Care Review’ had very different priorities to England’s ‘Independent Review of Children’s Social Care’.
Going forward, whatever the very different national circumstances and priorities the aim is that the two documents: A Vision For Social Work: Adults and A Vision for Social Work: Children and Families will continue to be a resource for social work and social workers.