‘Scots Bill will not make staff safe’

The Association of Directors of Social Work has criticised MSPs’
failure to give Scottish social workers the same protection from
violence as other emergency staff.

The Scottish parliament voted unanimously against two amendments to
the Emergency Workers Bill tabled by Scottish National Party MSP
Kenny MacAskill. The amendments would have made it a specific
criminal offence to assault social workers, and offered them the
same protection as police, fire, health and ambulance staff.

MacAskill and the ADSW wanted social workers carrying out children
at risk assessments in the home, all out-of-hours teams, and
front-line community care workers to be covered by the act.
Instead, only child protection and mental health social workers
will have the protection when carrying out emergency work.

Alexis Jay, president of ADSW, said the bill as it stood failed to
recognise the “real nature” of social work and the emergencies
social workers must respond to.

The bill will now be put forward for royal assent.

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