Laura Sharman 20 March 2020

Social workers call for clarity on carrying out statutory duties

Social workers are concerned they will be unable to safeguard families and carry out their statutory duties in the face of mass isolation.

A survey of social workers by about the impact of coronavirus by BASW has found many warn that family abuse, neglect and domestic violence may increase with school closures.

They are calling for more information on the implications for registration if they are unable to meet duties, timescales or usual legal compliance during this crisis.

Social workers are also calling for greater clarity on protocols and resources to avoid putting themselves and service users at risk. They already report they are struggling to access hand sanitisers and personal protective equipment.

CEO of BASW, Dr Ruth Allen, said ‘Governments across the UK have been focused on healthcare. They now need to show equal commitment to social care and social workers. This is essential if social workers and social care colleagues are to work with health and other colleagues with the intensity needed to meet the challenges of COVID-19.

‘Social workers must be supported to safeguard people at particular risk of harm, isolation and neglect during this period and to protect rights and ethical practice in this emergency and for the long term.’

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