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SASW joins "urgent" call to First Minister for National Disability Summit

Dear First Minister

RE: National Summit to address the impact of Covid-19 upon disabled people

On the 21st of May 2021, you received a letter from a collective of organisations calling for a National Summit to address the impact of Covid-19 upon disabled people, including people with learning disabilities. The organisations, including Camphill Scotland, Scottish Care, The Alliance, The Scottish Youth Parliament and Sense Scotland, requested that this summit be hosted by the Scottish Government as “a matter of urgency”. The Scottish Association of Social Work (SASW) writes to you today wishing to join this call.

As the previous letter outlined, the proposed summit will seek to address how the welfare, wellbeing and rights of disabled people will be prioritised and protected by the new Scottish Government, as we continue to navigate our way through, and out of, the pandemic. It is widely reported that the impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on disabled people has been significant. Alongside the other organisations, SASW would be happy to work with the Scottish Government to help plan for, and to organise, this summit, should it go ahead.

The Scottish Association of Social Work (SASW) is part of the British Association of Social Workers, the largest professional body for social workers in the UK. There are 10,943 registered social workers in Scotland around 1,500 of whom are SASW members. This comprises staff working in local government and the independent sector, across health and social care, education, children and families, justice services, as well as a growing number of independent practitioners. Many of our members have witnessed first-hand the disproportionate impact the pandemic has had on the disabled adults and children they support and protect.

We look forward to hearing from you,

Yours faithfully,

Alison Bavidge, National Director, Scottish Association of Social Work

Jude Currie, Chair, Scottish Association of Social Work