The British Association of Social Workers has revealed new plans to join with its rival to establish a single college of social work, consigning the BASW name to history.
The association controversially decided to rebrand as BASW – the College of Social Work on 24 January, in direct competition with the college already being developed by an interim board under the social work reform programme in England.
The two organisations met on 11 February to discuss whether a merger was possible.
BASW’s UK chair Fran Fuller said in a statement this week: “BASW – the College of Social Work is keen to seek agreement with the interim board to come together in one college.”
“We recognise that the interim board does not want to join BASW,” she added.
“As we own the company registration for ‘College of Social Work’ we are prepared to cease using the name ‘BASW’ and carry out all our functions under the name ‘College of Social Work’.”
She later told Community Care: “It’s a big move for the organisation and for a lot of members it will be a big ask, but we think it’s a way forward. We want this to be an olive branch.”
Fuller also said she would like the interim board “to use BASW’s organisational structure to invest their public money in recruitment to the college”.
The proposal to cease using the BASW name will be put forward as one of three special resolutions to be voted on by members at the association’s annual general meeting in May.
A motion will also be tabled proposing to set up a trade union called the Social Workers Union, as a separate legal entity.
The reform board-supported college said it would not be making any public statements regarding the progress of discussions with BASW until further meetings had taken place. These are expected to be within the next few weeks.
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