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Zahra Pabani
Zahra Pabani
Partner - Family Law
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Social workers call for amendments to Health and Social Care Bill
Date:3 MAR 2011

Children's hospitalThe British Association of Social Workers' chief executive Hilton Dawson has written to Professor Eileen Munro urging her to support his organisation's amendments to the Health and Social Care Bill.

In a letter sent this week, Mr Hilton reaffirms BASW's support for Munro's findings, published in an interim report in January, but warns without structural reforms her eagerly-anticipated proposals for change will be limited.

BASW has submitted amendments that would see the Health Professions Council - which will take over responsibility for regulating social work from April 2012 - renamed the Social Work and Health Professions Council, the creation of a chief social worker who would report to parliament, and the development of an independent College of Social Work.

Munro, who was appointed by the government in June 2010 to carry out a review of the child protection system, concluded in her report at the beginning of the year that social workers need to be freed up from paperwork and targets to concentrate on direct work with children and families.

Her final report, due next month, will set out recommendations for change but Mr Dawson says without structural reform, the effectiveness of Munro's recommendations, will be diminished.

"I believe that there are some fundamental principles which need to be recognised in order to transform our profession from its current parlous state," he writes.

"Amendments to the Bill could not only ‘join up' social work but they could also help to ‘join up' government. However, if this opportunity is missed the effective implementation of ‘Munro' will be impeded," he adds.

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