BASW Survey Finds 90% of Social Workers Want Regulator To Be Independent
Nine out of ten social workers believe regulation of the profession should remain independent of the government, according to a new survey by the British Association of Social Workers (BASW).
BASW's survey took responses from 1,100 of its members to measure opinions about proposals included in the controversial Children and Social Work Bill, which could be passed into law later this year,
Specifically, the survey wanted to gauge feelings around the dedicated 'Social Work England' regulatory body being proposed in the bill.
Though 74 percent of social workers surveyed agreed that creating a dedicated regulator would be a good idea, the overwhelming majority were against government intervention in any prospective body.
Comparatively, only 24 percent wanted to stay with the current, Health and Care Professions Council system.
When asked about whether the government's 'power to innovate' proposals - which would allow local authorities to opt out of certain statutory duties to children to test new ways of practice - should be implemented, 76 percent of respondents disagreed.
In answer to what social workers thought was required to improve social work practice, the respondents replied that more time, the ability to work with families and being allocated additional resources would help.
By contrast, concerns raised by responding social workers included the sector's long-term affordability, lack of consultation in the Children and Social Work Bill's drafting, and issues surrounding governance.
"The survey shows very starkly that the majority of social workers see key proposals in the bill as unwelcome impositions," said Ruth Allen, BASW chief executive,
"They want professional respect. A regulator independent of undue government interference is essential."
"The profession cannot and will not accept a lip service approach to engagement that keeps the majority of the profession marginalised and silenced - this cannot be productive.
"Imposing reform on the profession without proactive discussion and due legislative process cannot lead to successful, progressive and sustainable change.
"BASW will continue to push for positive, inclusive developments and we will say ahead in this political environment so our members are not disenfranchised."
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