A petition urging the government to tackle assaults on social workers has received more than 10,000 signatures.
BASW and SWU launched the petition which asks the government to submit an amendment to the Police, Crime and Sentencing Bill, to make it an additional offence to assault social workers when on duty.
The petition has passed 10,000 signatures, which means it will receive a government response.
BASW has written to government, asking for an amendment to the Assaults on Emergency Workers Act to include social workers and has contacted Shadow Ministers urging their support on this issue.
The Association is calling for government to lay an amendment at Committee Stage of the Police, Crime and Sentencing Bill to amend the Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Act 2018 by adding social workers to the list of professions that is in additional offence to assault.
The letter to the Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “Social workers as part of their statutory duties regularly work with people in situations of severe stress: for example, child safeguarding, domestic abuse, mental health and vulnerable young people. Occasionally, this stress spills over into violence against social workers themselves.
“As the professional membership organisation for social workers, we regularly hear from our members about difficult and challenging circumstances that they have had to work in as part of their job. There is no shortage of stories from social workers about their experiences of being threatened or assaulted when on duty. This is unacceptable.
“Social workers are entitled to parity of esteem with other public sector professionals such as health workers in the NHS. This is not an attempt to penalise those individuals who use social work services and are genuinely vulnerable, but an important right for social workers knowing that they enjoy the same legal protections as other professionals in similar situations," the letter added.
Currently, professions that it is an additional offence to assault include all frontline emergency workers – except social workers.
The Bill is due to go to Committee Stage in May, which is when MPs will debate and vote on amendments.
A blame culture in social work impacts on risk aversion in the social work profession, some respondents to The Case for Change have warned.
Publishing the Case for Change in June, chair of the independent review of children’s social care Josh MacAlister said: “This Case for Change sets out the urgent need for a new approach [...]
Schools were forced to step in to support vulnerable families during the COVID-19 pandemic for many issues that were previously dealt with by social workers, research has found.
Schools found themselves helping vulnerable families with problems such as mental health problems, domestic abuse and poverty during the pandemic as more families were turning to schools [...]
Children and young people at Oakhill Secure Training Centre are being held in their rooms for 23 hours a day, a joint inspection has found.
Children have spent approximately 19 hours per day on average locked in their rooms on average since mid-July 2021, the centre’s records show and on some days, this has increased [...]