David Crawford, president of the Association of Directors of Social Work Scotland has several advantages for delivering top quality social services. Earlier this year, the Scottish executive reaffirmed its commitment to the profession with the publication of the 21st Century Review of Social Work and the subsequent Changing Lives plan which outlines a vision for the profession’s development.
Changing Lives is being implemented in the context of wider public sector reform. Next year sees local council and Scottish parliament elections which are being run under proportional representation rules. We will have a new parliament and different kinds of coalition may emerge. Perhaps there will be different councils we’ll be working with than the ones we have had historically.
There are many massive positives of working in social work in Scotland. Unlike in England, social work departments remain integrated and we are now starting to see the benefits of recent workforce developments such as the fast-track training scheme.
Community justice authorities have the potential to bring about a far greater level of integration between councils and prison service and other criminal justice bodies. As a country we’re big enough in terms of size and diversity to properly pilot new approaches but also small enough to implement these things nationally. Another advantage to our size is the fact many people in social work know each other and are used to working together.
Scotland is a very beautiful, friendly and funny country. It has a capacity for humour that I haven’t seen in other places I’ve lived in. And in social work you need all the humour you can get.
Source for tables and graphs: Scotland Online Census 2001