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This Week in Westminster - Friday 24 June 2021

Kerri Prince, Public and Political Affairs Lead for BASW UK, provides members with an update from Westminster

It has been fantastic to see a good response from members to our Universal Credit campaign, where we asked members to write to their Member of Parliament and the UK Government Ministers about the impact that the cut to Universal Credit will have on people.

Some members have been sending in their replies to BASW, so if you’ve received a reply please do forward the response to me at kerri.prince@basw.co.uk.

This week has been busy in Westminster, with both the Health and Care Bill and the Nationality and Borders Bill both having their committee stages. It feels like, over the past six months, the Government has looked at the issues that BASW has the most interest in (health, social care, poverty, immigration and asylum) and decided to flood the political agenda with bills, consultations, and government announcements to keep us more than occupied!

But BASW is stepping up to the challenge. We’ve been engaging with parliamentarians on both Bills, have launched a campaign on Universal Credit, and we will be responding to the inquiry launched by the Joint Committee on Human Rights on human rights in care settings.

On top of this formal work, we are also pushing ahead with our All-Party Parliamentary Group for Social Work inquiries into children’s social work models and the integration of health and social care. We also have plans in the pipeline to keep amplifying BASW’s voice in the areas we care about. In case you missed it, we published ‘a year in public affairs’ which highlights all the work we’ve been doing on members behalf over the past 12 months.

Outside of BASW’s activity, there have been some key changes. There has been a cabinet shuffle, with some new faces responsible for social care. Gillian Keegan is the new Minister for Care and Mental Health, with Maria Caulfield as Minister of State for Patient Safety and Primary Care. In the children’s social work arena, Will Quince has been made the Minister for Children and Families.

Parliament goes into recess this week, with conference season starting. I’ll be attending the Labour Party conference in Brighton, raising the profile of social work and social workers.  Virtual sticks of rock for all!