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Social Work Policy Panel: June Meeting

The Social Work Policy Panel held its final meeting before the summer on Tuesday 7 June.

With the National Care Service Bill expected to be introduced to parliament before the end of June, the panel discussed “Professional social work now and in the future.”

Over 30 front-line social workers from all specialisms and social work students attended the online meeting and contributed to the discussion.

The session started with an update from the Deputy Chief Social Work Adviser to the Scottish Government, Joanna MacDonald, on the recent Setting the Bar report and expected timeline for the National Care Service Bill.  

The group then considered the following questions with a view to describing what they believe the future of social work should be.

  • What could policy makers be doing to make the situation better for social workers?
  • What kind of social work profession do we want? What should we be doing to make that happen?
  • What responsibilities do social workers currently carry? Which responsibilities should social workers have?
  • What ingredients give social workers autonomy? How can they best use it?

Views ranged from the need for a better pay structure, clear career progression, protected time for training and development, more resources for earlier intervention and therapeutic work, public campaigns to improve perception and understanding of the profession and more autonomy and responsibility for social work practice.

If you were unable to make the meeting but would like to provide written feedback, you can do so here. All feedback is anonymous and is shared with the Scottish Government. You can read summaries of the meetings in April and May and feedback on these topics too.

The next meeting is scheduled to take place on Tuesday 13 September, 1.00-2.30. If you are interested in attending, please contact