The College of Social Work will formally launch on 3 January next year, without the support of the British Association of Social Workers.
A statement released on Tuesday by the College of Social Work said: “In spite of our wholehearted endeavours to negotiate a merger with the British Association of Social Workers (BASW), it has proved impossible to reach agreement with them within the necessary timescales.
“We will therefore proceed with our plans to formally establish ourselves as a legal entity in the autumn, before opening our doors to paying members on 3 January. Social workers will be offered a highly attractive membership package to join up in the early stages of our recruitment campaign.”
The statement added: “Discussions about the possible merger of BASW into the new college will continue once the new college is established and operational.
“The decision to move directly towards the legal establishment of the new college recognises the urgency of the challenges facing social work. It follows a meeting of the
Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) board at which board members endorsed the recommendation of The College of Social Work Interim Board that it should ‘put its entire efforts behind the establishment of a new college of social work by 3 January 2012 and then seek to merge BASW into it – assuming, of course, that this is the wish of the BASW membership’.”
The College of Social Work interim co-chair, Maurice Bates, said: “The new College of Social Work can and will now be established and open to members with a range of services from January 2012. I am very grateful to the prospective members, the interim board and to staff at SCIE, all of whom have helped to get us to this important
milestone. We can now turn our energies to developing the services that members want and to begin planning a major recruitment drive for the New Year.”
Moira Gibb, chair of The Social Work Reform Board, said: “An official launch of a College of Social Work represents a landmark moment in the strengthening of social work as a profession. A college will help achieve the same respect and authority given to those in related professions like nursing, teaching and medicine.
“All members of the Taskforce supported the need for a College in 2009 and as changes to the regulation of social work come into force its importance is even greater. I look forward to The College and the profession growing in strength together”
The College of Social Work will include representation and employment advice from joint membership with Unison.
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