Election 2017: What would the main parties do for social work?

A simple breakdown of the five main political parties' manifesto pledges for social care and social work

Photo: vchalup/Fotolia

Three years earlier than anticipated, Britain is going through another general election.

While many expected this to be dominated by Brexit, the long-term sustainability of social care in England has also been at the top of topped the agenda, drawing big pledges from the five major parties who published their manifestos over the past month.

You can read more about each party’s pledges, and u-turns, in our stories, but for brevity here is a simple breakdown of what each party is proposing to do for social care and social work if they are elected.

The general election is being held on 8 June.

Election manifesto stories:

Conservatives pledge overhaul of social care funding

Conservatives make U-turn over cap on social care costs

Labour pledges £8bn to solve social care ‘crisis’

Liberal Democrats commit to fast-track social work training in manifesto

More from Community Care

9 Responses to Election 2017: What would the main parties do for social work?

  1. Cristina June 4, 2017 at 4:27 pm #

    Interesting about refocus social care to look more at early intervention. That is after many cuts of early intervention services despite clear evidence that they were making a difference

  2. Hannah June 5, 2017 at 1:26 pm #

    Trying to read this on my mobile and half of the information is cut off! Whilst it’s highly unlikely I’d be voting Conservative, please could you fix this so I can see both sides?

  3. Huw June 5, 2017 at 5:02 pm #

    It’s a shame that you haven’t included Plaid Cymru in this as they are clearly a bigger party than the Greens (1 MP v 3 MPs). And then there’s the SNP…

    If you are going to write an article, be inclusive and holistic please.

  4. julian spurr June 5, 2017 at 9:43 pm #

    As a social worker I am disallusioned with the profession itself. It is all about process and introspection of our own practice. Many social workers are not even remotely political and appear unable to link political policy to outcomes for their service users.
    How anyone calling themselves a social worker could either not vote or vote for a party that has targeted the most vulnerable is beyond me.
    There are too many medicocre intellectually uncurious people in the profession and too many managers that accept this. How can people who claim to be social workers not be angry and up in arms about the cuts to local authority budgets ?

    • Lesley Hanson June 7, 2017 at 10:00 am #

      I think this has more to do with the content of social work training these days. I’ve noticed that many newly qualified workers – though dedicated and keen to do their best for their customers – are not as aware of the impact of political ideology and policy as they need to be.

      When I began studying for my social work degree 23 years ago, our course content focused very strongly on discrimination and inequality and the social forces and policies that contributed to this.

      At that time, we had Mrs Thatcher as Prime Minister, and the Community Care Act was fairly new, so we had ample material for political debate. Her government consistently used terms such as ‘the feckless/undeserving poor’, ‘welfare scroungers’ and ‘the Underclass’, and they relentlessly demonised various societal ‘groups’, such as ‘single mothers’. All of which left us in no doubt as to their ideology, values and prejudices. Lots and lots of quotes for essays!

      By the end of our course, I don’t think a single student in our class would have been voting Tory!

      In my current role as Team Leader, I have supervised many newly qualified workers over the years. There seems to be little awareness of the Radical Social Work practice that I was taught… i.e…..understanding how wider social and political issues can play a part in the formation and continuation of people’s problems

      ‘……. understanding oppression in the context of social and economic structures rather than affixing the problems to the individuals who are oppressed (Brake and Bailey,1975).

      I recommend this short article, which clearly explains all of the above.
      (Shelley Ferguson, University of West Scotland, 2015,http://www.socialworkfuture.org/articles-resources/uk-articles/77-radical-social-work-practice-adults ).

  5. julian spurr June 5, 2017 at 9:48 pm #

    Sadly the fact that all our posts now require moderation means that we cannot be trusted to make reasonable points / unresaonable according to your point of view which I feel is quite depressing.

  6. Dennis June 6, 2017 at 6:27 am #

    Where’s the information about the SNP and Plaid Cymru?

  7. Michelle June 6, 2017 at 10:21 am #

    I hear about Nurses in the 2017 Election but what about the main carers in Britain The homecare workers.
    I myself am a Care Coordinator/home carer and love my job but why is it acceptable for us to work on ZERO hour contracts, havening to work every single day of the week from 7pm – 10pm to earn enough money to support yourself and family and also the mileage allowance is as low as 13p a mile. I earn £8ph which I don’t even get paid by the hour, you get paid per call.
    Home care workers work not only work but are constantly completing training, achieve NVQ’s basically the only difference between us and nurses is we haven’t attended Nursing school.
    What I’m saying why can we not be put in a Band like Nurses are and get rid of

  8. Northern poorhouse June 7, 2017 at 7:39 pm #

    The Tories libdems and UKIP will deliver nothing for social workers and social care apart more pain cuts and misery. I am voting labour for hope, not just for myself but for my clients and I respectfully suggest that all social workers should do the same