Social workers should get training on trans issues after ‘worrying’ knowledge gap found

Parliament's Women and Equalities Committee were worried about social workers' lack of knowledge on trans issues

MPs have recommended that social workers receive formal training on trans and gender identity issues “as a matter of urgency”.

In a report by the Women and Equalities Committee on transgender equality, MPs heard “worrying evidence about some social workers’ lack of knowledge on gender variance” and recommended this should be addressed through formal training..

MPs collected evidence on transgender issues in the UK and were worried about a lack of training for social care staff on trans issues, particularly for gender variant looked-after children or children in secure accommodation.

Safeguarding concern

Evidence submitted by Mermaids UK, which offers support for teenagers and children with gender identity issues, said: “There have been many cases where, if the families support their child’s gender variance, social services have attempted to remove children from the family home by treating this as a safeguarding concern and investigating the parents accordingly. Social workers have no formal knowledge or training around gender variance and appear to act on their own prejudices rather than researching gender issues.”

Susie Green, Mermaids Chair, also told MPs that many trans looked-after children felt “very unsafe”.

The report identified a “lack of sufficient understanding on trans issues by professionals in the public sector, probably reflecting society’s lack of knowledge – and sometimes prejudice”

The report recommended: “Across the board, government departments are struggling to support trans people effectively, with the 2011 Advancing Transgender Equality action plan remaining largely unimplemented. The government must agree a new strategy which it can deliver with full cross-departmental support.”

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2 Responses to Social workers should get training on trans issues after ‘worrying’ knowledge gap found

  1. Albina January 14, 2016 at 5:21 pm #

    This is absolutely ridiculous to fiddle with issues such as transgender when the country is in such a huge debt, thus enslaving the next generations, who will be left with the debt that that would be impossible to repay.
    Yet, strangely the government finds recourses for this ludicrous activity by borrowing more and more money to implement their programs. It seems to put a priority on promoting LGBT cause even among children.

    • Parkerpenny January 22, 2016 at 7:35 am #

      I have never commented before, but I felt the need to on this occaision. I cannot believe the narrow minded comments of others! Trans or gender variant children have barely any services to support them, Gps cannot throw tablets at them to fix them and are therefore dissinterested, and parents are left trying to support a child that feels like there is something wrong with them permanently, plus trying to de-code the world around them to support then the best that they can. Couple this with the fact that they are looked after children many of whom have experienced maladaptive behaviours, or adverse experiences, AND the fact that they have been removed from their parents or placed in to care by them, it is my oppinion that trans or gender variant children SHOULD get the same level of support as children with LD autism and the like. Regardless of factors like money; any child that needs support in any area is entitled to support and should receive it. They are after all, children. If they do not receive support and guidance they will not fluidly contribute to society therefore not pay off this debt in the next generation you seem to care so much more for. I do hope that you (Albina above ) are not a children’s social worker with Such a poor attitude towards the LGBT community regardless of age