A UNISON survey of 2,858 social workers has revealed that they reject key aspects of the government’s proposals to reform the sector. In August and September UNISON social worker members in England were asked to complete a survey which asked for their views on the government’s reform proposals contained in their Children and Social Work Bill. The findings have now been published.
- Just 1% of social workers believe government proposals will address the main concerns they are facing.
- Just 10% of social workers think local authorities should be able to exempt themselves from children’s social care legislation, which the government believes will allow for social workers to achieve better outcomes for service users.
- 69% of social workers believe that allowing local authorities to exempt themselves from children’s social care legislation will lead to more children being placed at risk. Only 8% of social workers believe that it won’t lead to more children being placed at risk.
- 90% of social workers believe that they should be regulated by an independent body rather than directly by the government.
- 96% of social workers believe that private companies should not be allowed to take over the running of social work functions from local authorities. Only 1% said they trust them not to privatise social work services.
These findings represent an overwhelming rejection of the government’s proposals.
The government has already indicated that it will no longer require social workers (adults, children’s and mental health) to be directly regulated by them but it is still pressing ahead with the other controversial aspects of the Bill.
The Bill is being debated by the House of Lords on Tuesday 8 November but will be debated by the House of Commons in the coming weeks.
Please contact your local MP and ask them to speak out about the dangerous aspects of the Government’s Children and Social Work Bill.
Instead ask them to call upon the government to:
- Abandon the dangerous and controversial elements of the Bill which allow local authorities to exempt themselves from important statutory duties towards children.
- Agree to meet with a range of frontline social workers and their representative bodies to properly discuss how the challenges facing social work can be overcome.
- Listen to the views of looked-after children, their families and supporters to learn about their experience of social services and related support.
- Invest more resources into supporting social work services across England.
- Ensure that social workers continue to be regulated independently.
You can read the full report here.