ELEVEN THINGS THAT PEOPLE TOLD ME ABOUT MY REPORT (BEFORE THEY’D SEEN IT)

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ELEVEN THINGS THAT PEOPLE TOLD ME ABOUT MY REPORT (BEFORE THEY’D SEEN IT)

  1. 1. ELEVEN THINGS THAT PEOPLE TOLD ME ABOUT MY REPORT (BEFORE THEY’D SEEN IT) AND WHICH WEREN’T TRUE 1. That I’d recommend separate professions of children’s Social Work and Adult Social Work. I don’t. I say, very firmly, that Social Work should remain a single profession but that students should be able to specialise in academic work and in practice placements. 2. That I’d say (to paraphrase one academic who was concerned enough to write to me) that“newly qualified Social Workers are all hopeless. I make very plain in my introduction and in the body of the report that we currently produce many very fine social workers. 3. That I’d provide the ammunition to prompt the closing down of good University Social Work departments. I make plain there are many very good Social Work departments. 4. That I’d give an unequivocal endorsement of Frontline. I conclude -and I believe - that it’s a most worthwhile initiative. But I’m hardly glowing about it. 5. That I’d criticise The College of Social Work so significantly as to put its future in peril. I’ve made recommendations that would put the College at the centre of the profession in the same way, for example, that The Royal College of Paediatrics is at the centre of Paediatrics and Child Health. 6. That I’d suggest there was too much theory in SW degree courses. This one continues to be repeated. I say there needs to be more, not less theory, and indicate some of the areas where deficits exist. 7. That I’d argue that Social Workers don’t need to be of graduate calibre and certainly not of Masters calibre. I say no such thing and I welcome the growing proportion of Social Workers graduating through the Masters route and suggest such courses be protected from cuts in bursary support. 8. That I’d defend the rushed transfer of GSCC responsibilities to HCPC.In fact, I suggest that HCPC, which regulates 19 professions all united by their lack of similarity to Social Work, should neither approve University Courses nor regulate the Social Work profession 9. That I’d ignore the crisis in practice placement quality. I am very clear that good quality and relevant practice placements are vital and urge that their quality be audited as part of TCSW endorsement process. 10. That I’d minimise or dismiss the impact of poverty and disadvantage. In fact, I say: “Many families in which parenting is inadequate struggle with disadvantage, poverty and social isolation. Those at the bottom of an unequal society face day to day challenges, including coping with cramped living conditions, limited income and often grinding debt, which can significantly undermine their ability to cope and to provide children with the safety and security on which they thrive.”
  2. 2. 11. That the report would be entirely anecdotal. This is still being said. According to the Oxford English Dictionary an anecdote is “a short amusing or interesting story about a real incident or person.” I don’t think there are too many of those, although it’s true that the report is comprised, in part, by my reporting things said to me privately and where the source has been protected. But, the report also draws on research, conclusions of earlier studies and publicly expressed views from a wide range of sources including the GMC, The Education Select Committee, The College of Social Work, The QAA, The HCPC, The GSCC, Eileen Munro, Lord Laming, Hackney Child, BASW, The Social Work Task Force and The Reform Board, The APSW, The NSPCC, The National Student Survey, The Destination of Leavers from Higher Education Survey, Policy Exchange, De Montfort University, Kings College, The ADCS, The Joint University Councils’ Social Work Committee and University UK. But yes, apart from that, it’s anecdotal…

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