Austerity has hit social services hard.

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.

Social worker’s Chloe, Ruth and Kerie came together to discuss their opposition to accreditation and issues affecting their profession. The video was recorded live in October 2017.

Take action

Sign the petition


Social workers are overworked but the data is hiding it

“Children and family social work has always been a challenging and busy field, however after 20 years I feel I can say that I have never seen things this bad.”

Social workers say no to national assessment scheme

Union’s local government conference hears call to boycott government’s controversial new scheme

Social workers speak out

“We see more and more families coming into our remit because of these environmental factors. You can’t deny the link between austerity and people’s lives getting harder and harder.”

The issue

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
  • Full survey results

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.

Kerie Anne is a social worker and sets out the key issues in this short video:

*NAAS only applies to child and family social workers in England.

Take action

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.

Make him listen. We can win this.

Share the film on Facebook using the hashtag #investdonttest