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Care Review: BASW speaks to media

BASW proactively engaged a range of media outlets, to ensure our profession is represented in national discussions about the future of children’s social care in England

The Independent Review of Children’s Social Care in England yesterday released its final report.

BASW proactively engaged a range of media outlets, to ensure our profession is represented in national discussions about the future of children’s social care in England.

Speaking to Sky News following the release of the report, BASW UK CEO Ruth Allen said: “The recommendations are ambitious. There’s a lot in there we can welcome (but) the timeframe and funding put against that scale of change don’t match.

Asked if social workers are failing children in care, Ruth said: “I think the system is failing children in care. Social workers are working under huge duress with far too high workloads.

“And that’s objectively true - they often don’t have the time to work with children and young people close, and the rest of the public services are under great strain.

“Ensuring the great motivation, ambition and the wish to do the best that social workers have is matched by attention to their career structures, opportunities to keep learning and developing their practice - so we don’t lose the very best workers from the system.”

Our chief executive also appeared on ITV Central News yesterday to discuss the Care Review’s recommendations: “The report is an ambitious attempt to review children's social care, which is in need of change. It’s also in need of investment and work to stop the huge rise in referrals into children's social care, which we see particularly coming from rises in poverty and due to the cuts people have experienced for over a decade now.”

BASW members were also interviewed by media outlets yesterday. Andy, a frontline social worker in Liverpool, spoke about how colleagues can “often feel helpless”. Commenting on public perceptions of social work, he said: “The challenge of the general the public is that we are responsible in some way for evil people who commit these crimes on children. That can be quite difficult.”

Patriche, a senior social worker and BASW member, told ITV News that over a decade of cuts to services have made social workers’ roles increasingly difficult.

“With the cuts that have occurred over the last ten years, there are less support systems out there for our families. We are becoming burnt out, stressed - and we take our work home with us.”

BASW UK chair Gerry Nosowska spoke to BBC News: “We welcome the attention to the need for change in the system. Social workers feel it every day, if they’re not able to provide families, children and young people the absolute best support.

“What we don’t want to see (investment) being used in a piecemeal way. Ultimately the test for social work is, can experienced social workers spend more time with families and access the help that those families need.”

Gerry also spoke to LBC Radio, stressing that we don’t talk about child protection enough - and that social workers need more time with children and families.