Claims that social workers back down from risk-taking drew an
angry response at the conference.
Cosla health and social care spokesperson Eric Jackson attacked
remarks made by the chair of the 21st Century Review of social work
for presenting an “overly negative” view of the profession.
Jackson said he had been “left surprised” by the way Willy Roe
had interpreted some of the interim findings published in a report
Although Jackson agreed with most of the findings, he said Roe
had implied criticism of management when he said in press
interviews that social workers had become risk-averse in how they
“There is an element of risk and social workers are taking
informed decisions all the time,” Jackson said.
Alan McKeown, Cosla health and social care policy manager team
leader, did not recognise the negative picture of social work in
Scotland painted by Roe. “It doesn’t take into account the social
work degree course, fast-track scheme and new social work
McKeown added that Roe seemed to imply that social work was
stuck and failing to advance.
Jackson and McKeown agreed that the interim findings were based
on research that was too narrow to draw broad conclusions. They
said the review team was still to speak to more key groups in the