Community Care has published the names of the members of the Interim College of Social Work Board and I have to say, when I glanced at the list I was prepared to be sorely disappeared and pessimistic but when I looked further, I actually couldn’t continue with my cynicism.
It’s quite unusual for me to be actively hopeful about a current development in social work in the UK, but you know, this time, I really am.
The list includes the usual managers and directors/assistant directors/academics but it also has made a distinct effort to include front line practitioners who are currently working through a wide range of different services (adults, childrens, mental health, hospice, independent and voluntary sector) it also includes a newly qualified social worker who qualified this year.
I went to one of the College of Social Work consultation events. I found it useful and invigorating. What I found productive was that it united social workers and some social work students across different branches of the profession and with differing amounts of experience and tried to find the commonality that exists through the profession.
There was an element of cynicism (of course, what do you seriously expect from a room full of social workers!) but there was so much skill, experience and enthusiasm for change in the room – it felt in a way that some people were just waiting for some kind of leadership to create a body to develop the profession.
Of course until the College has been established, it is easy to be hopeful. The budget will remain absolutely crucial and it’s hard to see the government sparing much for the establishment of the College of Social Work so the money will likely have to come from members – but I know it’s something I’d be prepared to pay for (within limits of course!).
So in a week of misery, it’s good to have something hopeful to look forward to and feel more positive about.