Association chair to ‘restore’ profession

Reviving social work in local government will be top of the
agenda in Gordon Jones’s year as chair of the British Association
of Social Workers.

Jones, head of older and disabled people’s services at Bridgend
Council, said the community care reforms of the early 1990s
resulted in social work being marginalised by care management.

He said: “We’ve lost what social work was about because of
assessment and care management. The values of social work need to
be restored.”

Jones claimed that the adult care green paper’s call for social
workers to become navigators rather than gatekeepers of services
could herald a revival of the profession.

In an echo of many ministerial speeches, he said: “At the moment
we fit people into services and it’s about challenging that.”

However, he said the government would have to invest in social
work. “If we are to meet these agendas there will have to be new
money,” he warned.

Jones added that he wanted to raise the association’s membership
which, at about 10,000, represents a minority of British social

He said: “We need to get the message across about what BASW’s
place is and its strengths for members.”


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