Directors’ groups dismiss second social work college bid

The two professional associations for social services directors have dismissed the creation of a rival to the College of Social Work.

The British Association of Social Workers (BASW) this week launched an alternative to the government-backed college being created following the report of Camden LBC chief executive Moria Gibb’s Social Work Task Force.

But the move – staged on the day that the College of Social Work launched a recruitment drive for members – has been criticised by both the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) and the Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS).

A joint statement from both groups questioned the logic of the rival bid and reaffirmed support for the government-backed college.

“We do not think it is in the interests of the social work profession for BASW to set up an alternative college,” it said.

“And we do not support BASW in their attempt to do so.”

Alan Bowman, chair of the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE), which was charged with creating the college by the government, accused BASW of consistently attempting to undermine the college’s development.

BASW chief executive Hilton Dawson said that only a college run by the profession and independent of government could save social work.

“Failure to tackle the many deep-seated challenges facing social work, amidst huge cuts to social work services that are already stripped to the bone, doesn’t bear thinking about,” he said.