Ministers and official bodies should be legally required to respond to advice offered by BASW – the College of Social Work, the organisation has said.
This was one of a number of reforms that Fran Fuller and Hilton Dawson, chair and chief executive respectively of BASW – the College of Social Work, have proposed including in the Health and Social Care Bill.
Fuller and Hilton said the draft legislation, which was published last month, needed “significant amendment” if it were to lead to better social work services.
They said the bill should give the BASW college, which launched on 24 January, statutory rights of consultation. This would require central and local government, the regulator and a newly-created chief social worker to respond when the college offered sector-specific advice.
But this would only take effect if the BASW college could show “majority social worker membership”, Fuller and Hilton said.
BASW – the College of Social Work has 13,000 members in the UK, which equates to about 9% of the workforce in England. But in January it revealed plans to secure 51% of social workers across the UK in its membership by 2015.
Fuller and Hilton said the Health Professions Council should be renamed the Social Work and Health Professions Council, not the Health and Care Professions Council as set out in the original draft of the bill. The regulator will take over responsibility for social work in England from the General Social Care Council in 2012.
Fuller said: “The bill talks a lot about our profession but fails to even mention our name in the title of our new regulator, fails to define social work and confuses us with social care.”
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