Social work urgently needs investment. But instead of putting the services children and families need in place, the government’s response has been to recommend unnecessary tests for social workers in England.
Social workers are both highly-skilled and over-worked. They have voiced their overwhelming opposition to accreditation tests, which will take precious time away from children and families.
We have an important opportunity to stop the National Assessment and Accreditation System (NAAS). But we need to take action now.
Kerie Anne is a social worker and sets out the key issues:
NAAS will pile even more pressure on social workers, which will result in time taken away from their frontline work with children and families. Work that helps families live better, safer lives.
It is an unnecessary test, since there are already robust systems in place to ensure standards of practice. Social workers need a professional social work qualification, they have to be registered and undergo fit for practice assessments. They have to complete ongoing continuing professional development training. They have regular supervision sessions and an annual personal development review. If there is an issue relating to an individuals practice, employers can utilise performance management tools.
UNISON consulted 1,213 social workers about the NAAS:
99% said it will result in more pressure on social workers
93% think it will have a detrimental impact on the delivery of social work services.
99% do not think it addresses the main concerns that social services are facing.
93% said it will create more pressure on local councils
So why would the government ignore the experts advice?
The real issue that hampers social work is a lack of investment. Social workers are struggling to cope under the pressure of austerity. NAAS is a diversion. A tactic to shift the burden of blame on social workers, rather than a crumbling system. It is an unnecessary shake-up that will destabilise the workforce, sap morale and take time away from case work.
Social work needs funding, not more tests.
*NAAS only applies to child and family social workers in England.
Our campaign has had a significant impact. We just need one last push.
Within a day of our petition going live – calling for the Minister to scrap NAAS – the Minister announced plans to significantly scale back the test. It’s a step in the right direction but not enough.
Please send a clear message to the Minister to drop accreditation tests. Sign the petition.