The white paper on antisocial behaviour is a clear signal to social
workers that they must recognise the impact of their clients’
behaviour on the wider community, John Denham, the outgoing home
office minister, said this week.
In an exclusive interview with Community Care – his last
before resigning over the Iraq crisis – Denham said he thought
social workers would view the white paper as an “exciting agenda
for working positively with families”.
“But at the same time social workers clearly also need to recognise
that they do need to have a strong eye on the impact of their
clients on the wider community,” Denham said.
He confirmed that tackling anti-social behaviour was one of the
government’s “key priorities at the present time”. This was in
response to the message from the public that it was the issue that
made them feel least secure in their houses or communities.
Denham said he thought most social workers would view the white
paper as the government giving families support, such as the
opportunities for intensive fostering, residential support and
family group conferencing.
Despite new measures targeted at young people – such as the
extension of fines for 16 and 17 year olds guilty of disorderly
behaviour – Denham denied the white paper was singling them out as
the main culprits of antisocial behaviour.
“We must avoid any suggestion that we are labelling this as a young
person’s problem or that all young people are offenders,” he said.