Directors of adults and children's services applaud social work report - ADASS/ADCS

Association of Directors of Adult Social Services
Association of Directors of Children's Services
Date: March 28, 2008
Embargo: 10.00am March 28, 2008

Directors of Children's and adult services joined together today to welcome publication of  a report* looking at the roles and tasks of social workers.  Prepared by the General Social Services Council, it has given everyone with a stake in social work the chance to applaud the professions distinctive contribution to the lives of people of all ages, their families and their supporters, according to the presidents of ADASS and ADCS.

The contributors have included people who use, work in and manage social work services, and members of allied professions, as well as Directors of Childrens and Adults Services.  The resulting statement is built on a robust consensus about the things that matter in social work today - the core values and principles of the profession remain constant.  But the context in which social work is practised has changed dramatically, with its roles and tasks becoming increasingly diverse.

As services generally become more specialised, social works emphasis on working with all aspects of the persons life in their family and neighbourhood setting becomes more important, the Association presidents say.

This initiative has provided an opportunity to revisit the basic questions about the purpose and value of social work, the outcomes it enables people to achieve, and how it helps in specific individual and family circumstances.  The statement describes the situations where, because of the levels of risk, complexity or conflict involved, employers must ensure a registered social worker is involved.

According to John Coughlan and John Freeman, co-presidents of the Association of Directors of Childrens Services (ADCS), todays report  stresses the importance we attach to professionals working in partnership with parents and children, and with disabled and older people seeking to stay independent, particularly those using direct payments or individual budgets to arrange their own support.

Social work aims wherever possible to help people access mainstream public and commercial service, rather than being segregated from other people in separate institutions.  It also values the support people can get from their families and communities.

Anne Williams, President of the Association of Directors of Adult Social services (ADASS) emphasised that social workers do not work in isolation. increasingly they are members of teams with other social care and specialist support staff, or working in multi-disciplinary or multi-agency settings like childrens centres and community mental health teams.  Social work brings its own distinctive knowledge, skills and values to the team, and other team members benefit from the understanding and insights social work offers.  We hugely welcome this opportunity to reaffirm the importance and enduring value of the social work profession.

ENDS

For further information contact:
Anne Williams, President, Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, 0161 793 220
John Coughlan, Joint-President, Association of Directors of Childrens Services, 01962 846400
John Freeman, Joint-President, Association of Directors of Childrens Services, 01384 814201
Howard Cooper, Chair of ADCS Workforce Development Policy Committee
Jo Cleary, co-chairs, ADASS Workforce Network, 020 7926 4788
Drew Clode, Policy/Press Adviser, ADASS, 020 8348 5023/079766 837755
Sarah Caton, Assistant Director, ADCS, 0161 275 8812

* Social Work at its Best: a Statement of Social Work Roles and Tasks for the 21st Century, GSCC