The Scottish Executive has promised a “fundamental
look” at social work in the year-long independent review 21st
Century Social Work, writes Maggie
The review follows criticism of social work and surrounding
services in the wake of the Borders abuse case.
The group will examine the modern day role of social workers and
the profession’s leadership and management. It will also look
at quality assurance, how best to deliver services, and whether the
current legislative framework is still suitable.
Peter Peacock, minister for education and young people said that
the review has been established to help “define the future
role for social work and social workers” in Scotland.
He added that the review would take into account the current review
of the Children’s Hearing System, the executive’s child
protection programme, and the impact of new legislation such as the
Mental Health (Care and Treatment) Act and Antisocial Behaviour
The group which will be chaired by William Roe, an experienced
public service consultant who has worked for Shelter and Scottish
Council for Voluntary Organisations, will be made up of individuals
from local authorities, health, the Scottish children’s
Reporter Administration, ADSW, and children’s advocacy group
Who Cares? Scotland. Further appointments are expected to be made
to the group from the police and from education.
Alexis Jay, president of the Association of Directors of Social
Work (ADSW) and also a member of the group said that ADSW welcomed
the review of social work, and believed that the four key areas the
review must focus on are the legal framework and robust inspection
regime, political and professional leadership, and expectations of
In addition to the announcement of the 21st Century Social Work
review, Peacock confirmed that the Executive would create a new
inspection agency for social work next April.