Executive looks to calm fears over prosecutions

Moves to give social workers greater autonomy will not lead to an increase in prosecutions for mistakes, a Scottish executive
official told the conference.

Val Cox, head of social work policy at the Scottish executive, said proposals to give social workers more independence and decision-making powers were not about “hanging them out to dry”.

The idea was a key recommendation of the executive’s 21st Century Review of Social Work and subsequent Changing Lives implementation plan. The review found social workers were too bogged down with paperwork – to do as much front-line practice as they wanted, and felt unable to make decisions without first consulting managers.

Cox said that social workers were worried that they were not going to be supported. “That’s not what we’re talking about. We want professionals who have the skills, knowledge and understanding, and who are supported by line managers to take complex decisions.”


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