Welsh health minister admits that government’s engagement with social workers is poor

The Welsh assembly government has failed to properly engage with front-line social workers, health minister Dr Brian Gibbons admitted this week.

He told delegates at the Association of Directors of Social Services Cymru conference on Wednesday that the assembly government’s interaction with front line workers, unions and representative bodies was “relatively insignificant” compared with its dealings with other professionals like doctors, teachers and the police.

Gibbons, whose wife is a duty team social worker, said: “If they have an issue they are really concerned about they make sure we know what it is. I find it difficult to understand why in many instances we have failed to make that connection.

“Social work is about empowering people and giving them a voice but we need to hear more from people delivering services from the front line. With all due respect to the Association of Directors of Social Services, we need to see more than one face of social work in Wales.”

Gibbons also urged grass-roots social workers to give their views on the assembly’s draft 10-year strategy for the sector, Fulfilled Lives, Supportive Communities, which is out to consultation until 15 November.

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