BASW to hold summit on the future of social work following college closure

But confusion remains over possible talks with the college to take on existing functions

The British Association of Social Workers (BASW) intends to hold an Autumn summit on the future of social work in the wake of the closure of the College of Social Work.

Its ruling council has also said it wants to have further discussions with the College of Social Work (TCSW) about taking on some of its functions and resources. However, there is still no confirmation on whether those talks are likely to happen, despite the limited time-frame to reach conclusions.

Special meeting of BASW council

The news emerged following a special meeting of BASW’s council to consider their response to the college’s closure.

The College of Social Work announced last month it was to close at the end of September, less than four years after it launched, because of financial problems. As yet there has been no word on what will happen to any of its existing functions or resources such as the professional capabilities framework.

A statement from BASW said its council had confirmed “we want to have further discussions with TCSW [The College of Social Work] and all interested parties to seek the best way forward”.

Talks need to happen quickly

“We recognise that these talks on key TCSW functions need to happen in the next few weeks to provide assurance to TCSW members and other interested parties.”

Jo Cleary, chair of the college, said they were aware of BASW’s statement but were as yet were “unable to provide more information about process or timescale”.

“We are committed to making sure that all our functions and resources are safely and swiftly transferred, and in the best interests of the social work profession. As you would expect, there are various discussions which need to be had with a number of stakeholders before we are able to share the details publicly.”


BASW’s statement added that while the council recognised there were immediate decisions to be made before the college closed, it had also decided to hold a summit of interested organisations from the social work community as well as service user and carer groups in the Autumn.

The summit would “consider the future of social work and the way we might better strengthen our alliances and partnerships to promote the best interests of the profession and those who need and use our services”.

Indemnity insurance

The statement also said BASW was able to offer college members immediate alternative indemnity insurance, if there were no outstanding claims, after those insured with the college were told policies would no longer be valid after the end of July.

Other organisations also offer social worker indemnity insurance.

Keep up to date with the closure of the college with our dedicated page.

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