BASW publish drugs guide for front-line Social Workers

A pocket guide providing essential information about alcohol and other drugs to front-line Social Workers is being launched this week by the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) in response to the area being over-looked on the Social Work education and practice agenda.

Editor of the new guide and Chair of the BASW special interest group on alcohol and drugs, Dr Sarah Galvani of the Tilda Goldberg Centre at the University of Bedfordshire, explained the thinking behind the initiative: “Social Workers are helping people with significant alcohol and other drug problems every day.  Social workers should be able to intervene confidently and effectively where they encounter these issues but sometimes they have missed out on training in this area and are struggling to know when it is their job to intervene. The guide will help Social Workers in making assessments and in delivering appropriate, evidence-based interventions to support people with alcohol and other drug-related problems, which is ultimately good news for the people who use services.”

The BASW Special Interest Group in alcohol and other drugs produced the guide, which is intended to be the first in a series of handy pocket guides.  Hilton Dawson, Chief Executive of BASW, welcomed the launch: “This is a practical guide that will support Social Workers in their work with people with substance problems.  We are delighted to have been able to put such a useful resource into the hands of thousands of front-line Social Workers throughout the country.”

BASW is inviting feedback on the pocket guide via the internet.  Guide author, Trevor McCarthy, an independent consultant in the alcohol and drugs field said: “It is vital to evaluate new initiatives like this, so that we can build on what works.  There is no substitute for real-world feedback and we encourage Social Workers to get in touch and share their experiences of using this resource.”

Over 12,000 printed copies of the handy 14-page pocket guide titled ‘Alcohol & Other Drugs: essential information for Social Workers’ have already been distributed to Social Workers throughout the country via Professional Social Work, BASW’s magazine, and it is also available to download free via the BASW or the Tilda Goldberg Centre websites.