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BASW Launches ‘Respect for Social Work’ Campaign
Research conducted by Community Care back in July found a substantial amount of social workers are working through illness just to keep on top of caseloads. Moreover, the research found that social workers in the UK had worked a total of £600 million in unpaid overtime in the past year.
Many social work practitioners mentioned that high caseloads and lack of support are some of the most prominent issues that they are currently facing on a daily basis. In order to address some of these issues and to improve the working conditions for social workers, BASW will be working alongside the SWU in running the ‘Respect for Social Work’ campaign.
The eight changes that the campaign is calling for are as follows:
1. Treat social workers like professionals who have solutions as well as legitimate concerns.
2. End unmanageable workloads to reduce stress and attrition rates by employing more social workers, ensuring good caseload management and enable flexible working and smarter use of technology.
3.Ensure time for reflective supervision to work through complex cases.
4. Ensure all social workers have access to good continuing professional development.
5. Ensure social workers’ managers have completed relevant training for their job.
6. Provide administrative support to enable social workers to focus on people they serve.
7. Lift the public pay cap for social workers, as for other public professionals.
8. Ensure social workers have independent professional support, through their professional body and other resources.
In order to achieve these eight changes, both BASW and the SWU have said that lobbying MPs is imperative. Also, speaking to MPs at both Labour and Conservative party conferences, holding a demonstration against austerity, documenting the voices of social workers, and raising awareness about the issues on social media will be the type of action they will be taking to support the campaign.
The Labour MP for Rotherham, Sarah Champion, who is endorsing the campaign has said: “I don’t think people realise the incredible work social workers do, day in – day out, to support vulnerable people, hold fragile families together or make sure the country’s children are safe”. She continues: “They are unsung heroes and that’s why I am supporting this campaign.”
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