Adults’ principal social workers have requested to become formal members of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS).
Co-chair of the Adults’ Principal Social Worker Network, Tricia Pereira, told Community Care the network had made the request earlier in 2019 as it seemed a “natural and logical next step”.
“It would establish a closer working relationship with directors and be an important step for us because it would acknowledge the role that social workers bring and their contributions,” added Pereira, one of the authors of recent guidance around implementing strengths-based social work.
Pereira added that the response to the request had been “very positive”, but said a final decision will not be made until the association’s executive meeting, which will take place at the end of April.
The immediate ADASS membership consists of serving directors of adult social care services, who are employed by local authorities, but the wider membership includes deputy and assistant directors. There are also associate members who previously worked as directors.
Pereira said principal social workers already sit on some of the association’s policy networks, which cover different areas of practice such as end-of-life care, dementia and personalisation.
This has helped to ensure that priorities between the two organisations are “quite well aligned” and that “social work is always spoken about and considered in network meetings”, she said.
She added: “We’re hoping this kind of approach or a similar approach could be spread consistently throughout all regions in England – there’s good work happening in some areas but there’s improvements that could be made in others.”
ADASS president Glen Garrod said the association was in the process of making sure it is “in the best shape to meet future challenges”, which includes reviewing its governance arrangements and membership.
“Part of this involves exploring whether it would be mutually beneficial to strengthen ties with principal social workers and, based upon the recent survey of our members, it would seem there is support for this idea,” Garrod said.
But, he added, no formal discussions on the subject would take place until the executive meeting in April, with a final decision to follow.