Policy Exchange wants to hear about problems facing frontline social worker problems

November 9, 2012

Social workers provide a crucial and often unrecognised service. Whether through working in child protection, with those suffering from mental health issues, or any one of the many other roles they may fill, social workers provide an invaluable service to some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

Several reforms of the profession are in the pipeline. Comments from children’s minister Edward Timpson, and the consideration of fast-track education schemes, suggest that moves towards reforming the training and organisation of social workers are likely to be undertaken, though it is unclear exactly what form they will take.

At Policy Exchange we are working on a report which we hope will influence this debate. It will discuss the future of the social work profession, including both adult and children’s social services, the challenges faced within them, as well as suggesting policies to solve these problems.

A key part of this is attempting to identify the status and implementation of various ongoing reforms including the Munro Review.

It is often easy for thinktanks and policymakers to lose touch with the experiences of those on the frontline, and to forget how different the ‘real world’ circumstances of staff, clients, and workplaces are from policies thought up in Westminster.

To overcome this, we strongly believe in the necessity of evidence-based policymaking and for this reason always try to conduct extensive research with experts best placed to inform our work. We are very keen to hear the thoughts of frontline social workers on their experiences, the challenges they face, and what they would change about the profession.

This is important to us not just because social workers are best placed to comment on the situations you face every day, but also because they should have a voice in policy suggestions which, if implemented, would affect them, their colleagues, and those they help.

If you are interested in sharing your insights on this area, please contact me at guy.miscampbell@policyexchange.org.uk.

We are particularly interested in hearing about specific problems or issues you have encountered, and your thoughts on how they could be tackled. All communication will of course, be treated as entirely confidential.

This article originally appeared on Community Care’s website

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