Social Work Expertise in Scotland

SASW has your area of work covered

SASW members have a wealth of skill, knowledge and expertise to share with colleagues and others. Through our programme of events, our responses to consultations, study days and seminars we bring people together to contribute to the development of good policies that can be put into practice – here is a selection of some of the work undertaken by members and staff to contribute to the promotion of social well-being in Scotland.

Developing Professional Competence and Confidence (including PRTL)

  • Putting the Practice Governance Framework into practice will increase professional competence and confidence. SASW offers support locally and nationally to develop the implementation in your workplace.
  • CPD Seminars supporting good quality professional practice can be arranged in your area suggested topics include:
    • Dealing with traumatic death (including suicide)
    • Social Work & Community Payback Orders
    • Service Users – Clients or fellow citizens
    • Can social work offices be nurturing places?
    • Dilemmas for social workers in integrated services
    • Ethical Dilemmas
    • How to measure qualitative outcomes

Children and Young people

  • Prevention is better than cure – supporting social workers in developing early effective intervention.
  • Issues relating to Children’s Hearings – particularly in the journey through the implementation of the Children’s Hearing (Scotland) Act 2011.
  • Responding to Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government consultations and policy developments in work with children and young people.
  • Supporting members in SCRs and other related inquiries.

Mental Health and the MHO Forum

  • New legislation is being drafted, the Tribunals are changing and SDS presents challenges for MHOs and the people they work with. The MHO Forum brings together all MHOs from across Scotland to address these and other operational issues – like out of hours services.
  • The MHO’s hold an annual study day each year supported by Scottish Government.
  • But Mental Health Social Work is wider than the work of the MHO and other events and seminars are designed to support social workers in the wider environment particularly at the cross over points with criminal justice and work with children and their families.

More About The MHO Forum

Rural Social Work

  • Scotland’s geography which contrasts the central belt urbanisation with the highlands, lowlands and islands requires a breadth of different methods of service delivery. Genericism and coping with isolation are often factors that are underestimated as core skills in working in rural communities.
  • A small group of practitioners are establishing a network of support and to share the particular skills, knowledge and expertise that has been developing in Scotland with international links in Canada and northern Europe.

Creative Middle Managers

  • Middle Managers are the key to any strategy which aims to re-able social workers to practice professionally and with a minimum of bureaucracy. However they themselves are in one of the most pressured positions.
  • Often isolated from colleagues in the same post, they are at the centre of the competing and conflicting demands and needs.
  • Their teams of social workers require professional supervision, effective caseload management and supervision, and support for personal development – yet the organisations and senior management simultaneously look for increased volume of work and management information returns.
  • SASW has established a group of middle managers and team managers who are interested in finding creative ways to deconstruct this paradigm and move towards a situation where they can provide what social workers should be able to expect, and have their own manager’s support in balancing the tasks. SASW is organising a national event in partnership with ADSW and the Scottish Government at the end of this year to develop this campaign.

Students and NQSW

  • The transition through University and then on to a first qualified Social Worker Post is an increasingly challenging journey.
    • Placement availability and quality
    • Practice teacher links
    • The changing nature of the workplace
    • Job & role diversification
  • Some of these issues can be tackled on a systemic or national basis by SASW, but individual difficulties can also be addressed through advice, advocacy or representation.
  • We are also able to identify a local mentor to link up with a newly qualified social worker who is looking for ways to improve their chances of securing their first qualified post.

Working with older People

  • The Health and Social Care Integration Agenda is currently the major policy development in Social Work coming from the Scottish Government.
  • Ad hoc working groups to respond to various consultations are organised through Scotland Committee.
  • Seminars looking at the potential improvement to services and unintended consequences can be organised in your locality.
  • Study days, information to the media and keeping the social work contribution prominent in the developments are all part of SASW current work.
  • You can be involved and your views taken into account in this major development in Scotland.

Sensory Impairment

  • SASW has worked over many years with other organisations to promote improvements in accessible social work services for those with a hearing impairment.
  • Some improvement has been achieved in establishing specialist mental health service for people with hearing impairment – a growing problem for our elderly population – but there is a long way to go …… join us in campaigning for improvements in this Cinderella service.

Learning disability

  • Campaigning in this area of work continues to be about appropriate education and supported housing so that people can live independently and combatting stigmatism.
  • Work within SIGN on Autism not only with young people but with adults continues as part fo our joint work with health services.
  • Concern about the number of people in prison with learning disabilities.
  • These current issues can be progressed through SASW as we look for members who have an interest to take these matters forward.

Physical disability

  • Getting around with a physical disability has been much improved over the years in Scotland but travel to places like Florida reveals how much more could be done.
  • However accessibility is but one of the issues social workers are working with as we have an increasingly older population re-housing, smart accommodation and supported accommodation will be developed if people are to have qualitative lives. Funding these changes and helping individuals and their families adapt to change is where social work can contribute by good holistic assessments.
  • If you work in this area and want to contribute to policy developments contact us and get involved.

Substance abuse

  • Substance misuse and abuse predominates Scottish society as the major issue that affects individuals and their families and involves the use of court and tribunal orders that affect people’s liberty.
  • The issue involves social workers in many different specialisms from children and families, criminal justice and mental health which requires good coordination of professionals to protect vulnerable people.

Protection of vulnerable people

  • In recent years new legislation has come into place to ensure better protection of vulnerable children and adults.
  • There is a special PRTL requirement in Scotland that 5 of the 15 days PRTL for re-registration as a social worker must be in this area of work.
  • Seminars, study days, books and journal articles will all help build up this portfolio and all are available from SASW.

Criminal Justice Forum

  • With the prospect of a radical review and reorganisation of criminal Justice work in Scotland it is vital that social workers in this field have a voice to influence and protect professional standards an practice in this field.
  • SASW is establishing a network of Criminal Justice Social Workers, and a Criminal Justice Forum. A National event is planned in the spring of 2013.

More About the Criminal Justice Forum

Independent Social Workers

  • SASW has a contact network of Independent Social Workers, who support and advise each other predominantly by group e-mail. They also highlight and provide evidence on issues SASW can take up on their behalf, and meet on an Ad Hoc basis at the Edinburgh Office.
  • The issues for independent registration and CPD in Scotland as well as cross border working, can be quite technical, depending on the field of work, and many members have found this resource very valuable.
  • We have also been able to take up issues on their behalf with employers , where an individual may have found themselves identifiable and vulnerable.

More About BASW Independents

To become part of any of these networks, be consulted, express you opinion and be kept informed of events and developments please Email Us