Stressed staff-care demanded

Conference demanded that BASW work with other social work
organisations to urge employers to provide adequate care for
over-stressed staff.

Four motions on staff stress and illness were carried
unanimously, deploring the failure of local authorities to develop
comprehensive staff care schemes, and calling for a campaign for
specific advice for social workers to be integrated in complaints

David McKendrick from the west of Scotland branch, told
delegates of the pressure placed on social workers involved in the
recent Ayrshire judgement, where children were ordered to be
returned to their families five years after abuse allegations.

He said all participants, except the social workers, in the
court hearing, where the sherrif overturned the original ruling,
were represented by a QC and a solicitor advocate,.

‘The social work staff were subject to vilification and to the
attention of the tabloid press in Scotland, to the extent that
there is a swelling tide of demand that these social work staff
should face criminal charges,’ he said. The case, in the formal
sense, continued from December 1993 to January 1995. Despite the
fact that the employer had provided staff support, it was not

‘BASW has to be extremely alert in this area of litigation, that
we adequately defend our staff in the face of very sharp lawyers
who see monetary benefit in taking social work staff to court,’ he

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