Disappointment with BASW stance
We were surprised by the implication that the Health Professions Council is consulting on the first professional standards for social workers. (‘Social work entrants face new competence standards’ www.communitycare.co.uk/116118) We have had pan-UK standards of practice and conduct for social workers and other social service workers since 2002. Adherence to the codes are a condition of registration and breaches are treated very seriously. In addition, the framework for social work education in Scotland clearly set the standards of proficiency social work students must achieve to gain the degree in social work.
We are sure the HPC will find they have a sound basis from which to work which will incorporate the values of our sector and protect the mobility of the workforce. The care councils in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland would be happy to offer advice from our extensive experience in this area.
Anna Fowlie, chief executive, Scottish Social Services Council
Rhian Huws Williams, chief executive, Care Council for Wales
Brendan Johnston, chief executive, Northern Ireland Social Care Council
Culture explains more than race
I believe that there is more of a link between sexual exploitation of teenage girls link and culture than there is to race. It is culture that encourages beliefs about whether or not it is acceptable. A minority culture which values its girls and women covering themselves when they go out and in many cases arranges marriages for them is in conflict with the dominant culture which encourages teenage girls and women to wear more revealing clothes and to seek individual satisfaction through relationships of their choice. It follows that any group of predatory males holding such a belief may interpret it as being perfectly acceptable to take advantage of a situation where teenage girls appear to be so available. These girls can easily be viewed as cheap commodities who can fulfil the needs of such predatory men and their friends. This certainly does not excuse the crime of sexual exploitation of children, but I think brings more rational thinking to the issue.
Ruth Counter-Smith, Brighton
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