Whither Social Work?


Working in a multi-disciplinary team presents different challenges for social workers and social work in general. We have monthly ‘professional’ meetings where I work which, I think, is to ensure some kind of group supervision (as my line manager is a CPN).

These meetings had tended to be almost comedic in that we discussed:

a) Exactly the same things that were discussed in the general team meetings (the manager of the department is a social worker and therefore tended to repeat what he said to everyone, just to us!)

b) Generalised griping about pay scales (we are seconded by the local authority and everyone else is on NHS pay scales and conditions)

c) Tea money.

But last year, our manager (of the department) decided he wanted to do something different with these meetings (and not for want of having been asked a few times, to be fair). He wanted to have meetings that actually relate to ‘social work’!

So, each of us take it in turn to present a meeting – we either discuss a paper of interest or bring a case study to our colleagues and talk about how we use ‘social work’ as opposed to generic ‘helping’ skills.

Last time we met, we discussed the changing place of social work in multi-disciplinary teams – what we can share with the team and how the roles might need to change.

So it is timely that I noticed that SCIE have published a discussion document relating to the future role/s of social work following a government call for a re-examination of the roles and tasks that involve social workers. This is of course, taking place in conjunction with the GSCC who have published a number of consultations.

It’s definitely ‘to be followed’ with interest although I’m pondering scripting a few thoughts on the issue while it’s in my head – maybe at the weekend. I have no doubt though that it’s something I’ll come back to.