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SASW Celebrates World Social Work Day

On World Social Work Day, the Scottish Association of Social Work (SASW) is paying tribute to the invaluable contributions of social workers across Scotland but also urging MSPs to "grasp the opportunity to reform and shape a new future for social work."

Social workers do exceptional work in our communities everyday, making a positive difference to people's lives, protecting human rights, defending social justice and working to shape a better world for everyone. World Social Work Day is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of social workers and reflect on our shared global values.

However, it is also a chance to recognise the challenges and pressures faced by the profession, many of which have been exasperated by the pandemic. A recent survey carried out by BASW found that 58% of Scottish social workers consider demands of administrative tasks as the biggest challenge to them. In addition, more than half of respondents from across the UK said their mental health had suffered from working during the pandemic and 72% explained they cannot complete their work within contracted hours.

With proposals for a National Care Service being introduced to the Scottish Parliament very shortly, MSPs from all parties have a unique opportunity to better protect, reform and strengthen the future of Scottish social work.

Currently, 31 MSPs have signed a motion in parliament committing to engaging with social workers to address the issues experienced by the profession and to make improvements. You can read the motion here.

As we mark World Social Work Day 2022, we want decision makers to not only consider the importance of our profession, but to actively work to create a better future for social work.

SASW National Director, Alison Bavidge, commented: 

“World Social Work Day is an opportunity for social workers across the globe to connect, reflect on our shared values and celebrate our achievements.

“However, we cannot overlook the pressing need to strengthen the profession. Many social workers are telling us that they’re feeling overwhelmed and are struggling to cope, with several long-standing problems around caseloads and working conditions now exasperated by the pandemic.

“We need a system that is based on early intervention and prevention that supports people when they need it and allows social workers time and space to build relationships and trust with individuals, families and communities. There has never been a more critical time for this change to happen.”

SASW is running online events next week as part of our World Social Work Day celebrations. The events are free to attend and open to both social workers and anyone who wants to learn more about the profession. Find our more here.