Peacock calls for reduction in bureaucracy social workers face

The Scottish executive’s minister for education and young
people wants to cut back the amount of bureaucracy social workers
have to deal with, writes Derren

Speaking at the Association of Directors of Social Work’s
annual conference in Crieff this week, Peter Peacock admitted
social workers have to currently do too much non-essential

He said ministers were already looking into the issue and would
be “happy to enter into a dialogue” about what
information and statistics social work departments need to collect
with an aim to “slim that down and make it more

Peacock backed the findings of a recent interim report of the
21st century review of social work which found social workers were
spending so much time on administrative tasks, it was hampering
their ability to practice innovatively and develop proper
relationships with clients.

“I would love to cut down on form filling. It may not
always be essential but at the time [measures were introduced] it
seemed like the right thing to do.

“We have got to have a real purpose about collecting
information and adapt our policies to changing needs – it is
not in our interests to collect information for the sake of
it,” Peacock said.

He admitted there were systems in local and central government
that stifled social workers’ creativity and had removed
professional autonomy. “We must make sure they can develop
therapeutic relationships that research shows makes the most


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