Social workers should not make excuses for clients’ behaviour, says minister

The White Paper on anti-social behaviour is a clear signal for
social workers that they must recognise the impact of their
clients’ behaviour on the wider community, Home Office
minister John Denham said this week, writes Clare

Speaking exclusively to Community Care, the minister
for crime reduction, policing community safety and young people
said he thought social workers would see the white paper as a very
exciting agenda for working positively with families.

“But at the same time professional social workers clearly also
need to recognise that they do need to have an eye – a strong eye
– on the impact of their clients on the wider community,”
Denham said.

“And they should never excuse that behaviour on the grounds that
they are working with their clients in other ways,” he added.

The minister said he believed most social workers will welcome
the support the government gives in a white paper for families such
as the opportunities for intensive fostering, residential support
and family group conferencing.

Denham confirmed that tackling anti-social behaviour was one of
the government’s “key priorities at the present time” as the
public are saying it is their number one priority and the thing
that makes them feel least secure in their houses or

But despite a number of measures in the paper targeting young
people – such as the extension of fines for disorderly offences for
16 and 17 year olds – he maintained that young people are not the
main offenders in terms anti-social behaviour.

“We must avoid any suggestion that we are labeling this as a
young person’s problem or that all young people are
offenders,” he said.

In fact if anti-social behaviour is tackled effectively it would
be welcomed by the great majority of young people, he

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