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With Parliament dissolved and the countdown to the General Election now in full swing, The College of Social Work (TCSW) has delivered the next government – in whatever guise it may appear – a clear five-point plan on what it wants to see for the future of the profession.
Under the new campaign Real Social Work, the plan is designed to see “Real Social Work” thrive.

It was launched at the TCSW annual conference on March 12 with the view that with a 90,000-strong workforce in England, the profession sat uniquely placed to make a difference by bringing expertise and skill to bear in a range of complex situations and improving the life chances of individuals, carers and families.

“This is what real social work looks like”

The message for an incoming government after the May 7 election is “this is what real social work looks like.”

Under the Real Social Work Campaign the TCSW is calling on the next government to take up the following five key actions:

  • Increase investment for social work;
  • Put social work at the heart of integrated care for adults;
  • Revisit the current inspection regime for children’s services;
  • Ensure that all services are properly regulated and accountable;
  • Commit to post-qualifying CPD

Helping social work thrive

Michelle Smith, TCSW Head of Member Services & External Affairs, explained the aims of Real Social Work are two-fold: 

 “Firstly it’s about giving a voice to our members so that they can talk about what they do, and shine a light on what ‘real social work’ is,” she said. “We know that there are a lot of preconceptions and myths about the profession, and we wanted to give some space to our membership to talk about the opportunities and challenges they face day to day. We are running a range of blog pieces from our members in the run up to the election, and asking them to share views on social media. 

“The second is letting the next government know what they need to do to ensure that ‘real social work’ thrives and we’ve produced the 5-point plan which sets out our views on this. 

“We are asking our members to share with their candidates however they can – we have responses coming in already. We want to ensure the 2015 Westminster intake understand what real social work is, and how to support it.”

Maintaining momentum

TCSW believe it is “imperative that the momentum of the social work reform agenda is taken forward involving the whole profession as one – including TCSW – in its design and implementation”.

Within that is a pledge to work with government, the Chief Social Workers, members and stakeholders to maintain real pace and focus on improving social work’s status, standards and morale for the broader benefit of service users and the public.

TCSW priorities for 2015 and beyond include improved working conditions; seeing social work with a strong public voice; and ensuring best practice is collated and shared.

Michelle added: “Overall, we want to see a coherent vision for social work as a whole profession. It’s also vital that social work is at the heart of plans for integrated health and social care, as we know that this has the power to change lives and save public money.”

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