Today (15 March) is an opportunity to celebrate the impact of social work on lives across the world, with this year’s event focussing on the dignity and worth of people. Social work enables millions of people every day to retain their independence, live meaningful lives and come together to form safe, inclusive communities.

When it comes to the more vulnerable adult members of our society, ADASS works tirelessly to promote the redesign and tailoring of services to better suit users, to share best practice, and to lobby for legislation and policies that put people first.

One piece of work that we’ve been involved with recently is contributing to the development of a pilot of a named social worker role for people with learning disabilities. This piece of work forms part of the Government’s response to “No Voice Unheard, No Right Ignored”, and aims to ensure that people using services, their families and carers will have a single, named point of contact who will provide continuity and be accountable for their care and support. 

This emphasises the importance of social workers in making sure that older, disabled and mentally ill people get the care that they need, and the support to live the lives that they want to. 

Social workers not only work with those people who are most at risk, or who are facing the most complex or controversial of circumstances, but they have the knowledge to help those people envisage and realise better lives – from legal knowledge to available interventions. They also lead multi-disciplinary teams, work to safeguard people in all situations and help people to balance risks with rights. It’s by no means an easy job – but it’s one that’s vital in our society, and one that should be celebrated.

A good social worker can make the world of difference to people using services, and the work that they do every minute of every day to help millions of people, cannot be underestimated.

Cathie Williams, ADASS Chief Officer & Hilary Paxton, Assistant Director Transforming Care