BASW conference: Employers must improve working conditions

Employers must improve working conditions following the General Social Care Council’s statement on the roles and tasks of social work, Ruth Cartwright, BASW professional officer for England, said.

While BASW welcomed the statement, Cartwright said the document called on employers to provide a “suitable working environment”.

She urged social workers: “Find out what your employers are going to be doing with the statement, how they are going to implement it in conjunction with the Children’s Plan and Putting People First.”

She said employers were expected to provide “good quality supervision” and ensure workloads are “realistic” in the light of the statement, published last month.

Suitable IT systems and access to learning support and continuing development should also be in place.

Burn out
BASW’s call came amid concern that some practitioners were close to “burn-out” due to heavy workloads, particularly in children’s services.

Rob Prattey, a social worker at Birmingham Council told Community Care that more investment was needed to expand the workforce: “Employers should realise the limitations of the workforce and how close some of their staff are to burn-out – particularly in children’s services. We shouldn’t feel afraid of speaking out about heavy caseloads, and also about policy changes. The service users I’ve spoken to don’t want personal budgets, they want better services in day centres.”

Social work statement published after 18-month review

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