Most social workers fear practice decline as cuts bite

Fears that declining morale and a reduction in the quality of social work will result from funding cutbacks have emerged in a poll conducted by the College of Social Work. The findings prompted Moira Gibb (pictured), chair of the Social Work Reform Board, to state: "We are masters of our own psychological state and we've a responsibility, as practitioners and managers, to do our best not to add to doom and gloom."

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Fears that declining morale and a reduction in the quality of social work will result from funding cutbacks have emerged in a poll conducted by the College of Social Work.

Nearly four-fifths of social workers indicated they would be less effective in their job as a result of spending cuts over the years 2011-2015 in an audience poll of about 140 social workers at a college event.

When asked about how staffing levels would change at the organisation they worked with over the same period, nearly half of attendees expected a cut of over 10%.

The findings prompted Moira Gibb, chair of the Social Work Reform Board, to state: “We are masters of our own psychological state and we’ve a responsibility, as practitioners and managers, to do our best not to add to doom and gloom.”

“It’s a difficult moment but the social work profession has to stand up and be counted right now.”

The interim co-chair of the College of Social Work Corinne May-Chahal told attendees that they should “seize the moment” to build upon the reform board’s recommendations.

“This is a crucial time in terms of the economic climate and in terms of how other professions are developing,” she said.

The College of Social Work event was held in Chelsea, London, to celebrate World Social Work Day.

Results of poll of audience members at The College of Social Work event:

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