John Dixon wants Adass representation on Social Work Taskforce

Association of Directors of Adult Social Services president John Dixon has called for Adass to be represented on the government’s Social Work Taskforce, which launches this month.

In his monthly president’s blog, Dixon said the taskforce, which will look at raising the quality and status of social work, was “an important opportunity” to reaffirm the “integrity of social work as a profession”, covering children’s and adults’ services.

He said the profession faced challenges “across the piece” and that Adass wanted to address these through the taskforce with the Association of Directors of Children’s Services.

Equal prominence

He added: “One of the better ways of achieving that would be for a director of adult social services to be able to represent Adass views on these topics within the structure of the taskforce itself.”

The government is yet to confirm the full membership and terms of reference for the taskforce, which will be chaired by Camden Council chief executive Moira Gibb, a former president of the Association of Directors of Social Services.

Dixon’s comments came as care services ministers Phil Hope promised to ensure that adult social work received equal prominence with children’s social work in the taskforce, in an interview with Community Care published today.

The taskforce was announced last month as part of the children’s workforce strategy and the government framed it within its response to the Baby P child protection scandal – though confirmed that the idea for a taskforce pre-dated this.

Criticised media

Dixon criticised “sections of the media” for “woundingly and savagely” attacking the profession over Baby P, saying this made it a vital time to “put the case for social work forward as vigorously and forcefully as can be”.

Dixon added: “The public has a right to a social work profession which is adequately paid, widely esteemed and thoroughly and sensibly trained. It deserves, too, a social work profession confident of what it has to do; capable of doing it well, and prepared to take both praise and criticisms of its activities in its stride.”

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