Social Care Task Force Should Concentrate on All Social Workers

Association of Directors of Adult Social Services
Date: Wednesday December 10, 2008
Embargo: Immediate

The public has a right to a social work profession which is adequately paid, widely esteemed and respected, thoroughly and sensibly trained, and beyond the sort of senseless demonisation that has come from some quarters of the media in recent weeks, according to ADASS President John Dixon.

They deserve too, he added, a social work profession which is confident of what it has to do; capable of doing it well, and prepared to take both praise and criticism in its stride.

Above all, children and older people alike deserve an integrated, single  profession which, no matter where it works, can bring to its tasks that unique and vital social work skill of seeing individuals, young people, their families and their communities in their entirety: not just as objects to be protected, or educated, or supported, or medically treated or psychologically analysed.

Responding to the announcement that Moira Gibb, chief executive of the London Borough of Camden and former ADSS president has been asked to chair a taskforce looking at the training, status, frontline focus and remuneration of social workers he said: Nobody could be better placed than Moira to take on such an important task. She has been a vigorous campaigner and supporter of social work from her early days in Basw during the 1980s through to her chairship of the ADSSs Children and Families Committee during the 90s.

As President she was deeply involved in the development of the FrontLine First initiative. And she did, of course, as director of social services, manage one of the most successful departments in the country.

John went on to pledge ADASSs full support for the taskforce and its deliberations. Directors of adult social services together employ many thousands of social work staff, and we commission many voluntary and private sector organisations who
employ even more.

We would like to see this taskforce equally consider the similar range of issues affecting social workers in the adult arena and we are pleased that Alan Johnson, Secretary of State for Health, has jointly signed the letter with his counterpart at the DCSF, with Ed Balls. The two Secretaries of States commitment to this review mirrors the unity we share with colleagues in the Association of Directors of Childrens Services in seeking to reinforce social work.

We are glad that this decision is one that has been developing for some while and is in no way a kneejerk reaction to the `Baby P events. The issues the taskforce must consider go wider and deeper than just one case, however tragic, in one service, in one authority, he said.


For further information contact:
John Dixon, President, ADASS. 01243 777660
Drew Clode, ADASS Policy/Press Adviser. 020 8348 5023/07976 837755

Pictures of John Dixon available on request

Read John Dixons Blog on social work training in the light of Baby P at:

The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) represents directors of adult social services in local authorities in England and Northern Ireland. DASSs have statutory responsibilities for the social care of older people and adults with disabilities, while over 50 per cent also run social housing departments. ADASS members might also share a number of responsibilities for the provision and/or commissioning of leisure, library, culture and arts services within their councils.