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Social Worker Policy Panel Meeting Summary

The Social Work Policy Panel held its third meeting on Tuesday between front-line social workers and Scottish Government officials.

The purpose of the panel is for front-line social workers to share their views and experiences with policy-makers to help improve specific areas of social work practice. The meetings take place remotely on the first Tuesday of each month, 1-2:30pm, and all front-line social workers and students are invited to attend.

The theme of Tuesday's meeting was the implementation of self-directed support. The group considered the following questions: 

  • How do you, and the people you support, feel about Self-directed Support as a way of working and thinking about social care support?
  • What do you think about how Self-directed Support could be embraced in the context of the National Care Service?
  • What makes your job in implementing SDS difficult, and what could be done to make it easier?

  • What key changes would help make SDS accessible for everyone in Scotland?

Discussions focused on the need to make SDS a more accessible and simple system to use, with consistency across local authorities and clearer guidance to improve understanding of how it works. The point was also reinforced that social workers need autonomy and space to make decisions rather than budgets determining outcomes. A system that avoids social workers being 'told no' for exercising their professional judgement. A full summary of the meeting will be available shortly. If anyone would like to receive a copy, please email

If you were unable to attend the meeting but would like to share your feedback with the Scottish Government on the questions posed to the group, please complete our short survey.

Please contact Jonny Adamson on to register your interest in being involved in future meetings.