Directors pay tribute to Approved Social Workers - past and present

Association of Directors of Adult Social Services
Date: Friday October 31, 2008
Embargo: 00.01 hrs Monday November 3, 2008

ADASS President John Dixon has paid heartfelt thanks to the thousands upon thousands of Approved Social Workers who, for the past 25 years, have worked on behalf of mentally ill people throughout England and Wales.

In a letter marking the implementation of the Mental Health Act's provision for a new Approved Mental Health Professional role on November 3, he said "I am writing to thank you, on behalf of directors of adult social services, for the vital role which you have played in supporting the health, wellbeing, rights and safety of people with mental health needs, particularly those in crisis. The social care commitment to independence, self determination and recovery is as relevant now in mental health as it has ever been.

"I have already called for local government to re-claim its leadership role around mental health and wellbeing and I want to use this letter to reaffirm that message. Moreover I want to reassure you that ADASS is committed to championing the independence of the new Approved Mental Health Professional role, and to supporting AMHPs whether they are employed by local authorities or work on our behalf.

"I know that many social workers will become Approved Mental Health Professionals, working alongside other colleagues who will undertake this role. I wish you all the best with these new arrangements and I join with you in celebrating the achievements of ASWs over the past 25 years and looking forward to a confident and determined social care presence in mental health in the future."

ENDS

For further information contact:
John Dixon. President, ADASS; 0143 777660
Jenny Goodall, Co-Chair, ADASS Mental Health, Drugs and Alcohol Network; 020 7332 1650
Richard Webb, Co-Chair, ADASS Mental Health, Drugs and Alcohol Network; 01952 381005
Drew Clode, ADASS Policy/Press Adviser; 020 8348 5023/07976 837755

Pictures of all three ADASS spokespeople available on request

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.