114.It is clear that the Government treats social work as an important priority, but its reforms focus on changing structures potentially to the detriment of the people delivering this key public service. There needs to be more co-operation between the Government and the sector, with children and families social workers given greater input into the future structure, development and regulation of their own profession.
115.The Government needs to take urgent action in partnership with the sector and the social work profession to address issues like poor working conditions and lack of professional development. The most important way to achieve this collaboration is through the establishment, with the Government’s support, of a strong professional body for social work with a clear set of functions. This body, building on the role of the College of the Social Work, but avoiding the pitfalls the College encountered, would play a major role in implementing reforms and the changes we have proposed. With the new body in place, the Government and the profession together would improve children and families social work and deliver better outcomes for children, young people and families across the country.
12 July 2016