BASW wants to see an end to austerity policies to ensure the human rights and wellbeing of people with care and support needs are protected. Vital investment in the public, social, health and housing services is needed for a healthy society.

Boot out austerity

BASW and the Social Workers Union (SWU)’s Boot Out Austerity campaign saw 140 social workers and service users take part in a 100-mile walk from our head office in Birmingham to the 2017 AGM venue in Liverpool, marching against austerity measures. 

The walk had significant impact and generated national and regional media interest, engaging with key government ministers and MPs. 

A Campaign Action Pack was launched to encourage anti-austerity activity locally, regionally and nationally across the UK. The step-by-step guide outlines everything from how to organise public meetings, rallies and awareness-raising film nights to setting up petitions, lobbying and contacting the press. 

This campaign continues within the BASW Austerity Action Group (AAG): a joint initiative between BASW and SWU. 

Anti-Poverty Practice

The other strand of the AAG’s work is to foster and develop anti-poverty social work practice. The group is currently developing a Practice Guide, to be launched in 2018. This is being developed with the active participation of BASW members.

For more information; to be added to the campaign’s mailing list; to provide feedback on the Campaign Action Pack, or if you are interested in contributing to the Practice Guide’s development, please contact us at

International campaigning

BASW most recent involvement in anti-poverty campaigning took place on an international stage.  

At its meeting in October 2015, held in Brussels, Belgium, the European Anti-Poverty Network’s (EAPN) EU Inclusion Strategies Group decided to mandate a Task Force, upon a proposal from EAPN Denmark, to work on a comprehensive handbook looking at poverty as a violation of Human Rights, from an anti-poverty perspective.

The Task Force included BASW member Fran McDonnell, and this handbook is now available to view here.