Our resident voice of the social worker Tiffany Green describes the wave of change that’s sweeping through the profession at the moment and the effect this has on service users.

I’m not sure what to think about social work at the moment.

There’s so much going on that affects the profession, its practitioners and service users – but the decisions are being made without including frontline practitioners or social workers at all. Recent unexpected plot twists include:

  • Closing the College of Social Work
  • The absorption of the British Association for Adoption and Fostering into Coram
  • The formation of the child protection taskforce that doesn’t include a single social worker
  • Assessment and accreditation for social workers
  • BASW taking some functions of the College of Social Work
  • The introduction of Think Ahead – adult social workers equivalent to Frontline in children’s services
  • Children’s social care reform

What’s the issue?

Decisions continue to be made by people, politicians, civil servants and private companies without consultation with social workers themselves. This has an undeniable impact on what we do.

These individuals are profiting from the momentary disorganisation during a time of austerity. It baffles me how social work bursaries are being cut, social care continues to experience cuts and that social workers are once again being asked to do more with less.

Financial pressures have meant that working environments have become unhealthier. However, there is still £2m for KPMG to develop the system of accreditation and Frontline is being further funded by £100m as a route to social work. Yet there is very little transparency surrounding the changes being made – these need to be more responsive to the needs of the workforce. I’m flabbergasted.

Further questions

  • How are they bringing all the routes into social worker to one clear standard?
  • How are social workers being included in the changes being made to their profession?
  • Why do we continue introducing new things without fixing the systems we have?

The systems we have can be fixed. Sure they need attention and nurturing, but they can be improved to a standard that would raise the calibre of social workers entering the workforce.

How are you coping with the changes to the profession? Comment below…

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