NIASW calls for social work services to be protected

The chancellor’s announcement of a 6.9% cut in funding for Northern Ireland, announced in the Comprehensive Spending Review last week, has been criticised by the Northern Ireland Association of Social Workers (NIASW), which has called on the Northern Ireland government to do everything it can to protect services for vulnerable adults and children.

Commenting on the reduced Westminster settlement, NIASW chair Lesley McDowell said: “Confirmation of 6.9% cuts in funding is bad news but despite this and despite the hard times we face, we need our government to do better than Westminster and show that they really are prepared to support key services to protect vulnerable people.

“Rather than simply tell us that they want public servants to ‘do their jobs properly by protecting families and the vulnerable’ we need our own government to ensure that funds for social work are ringfenced, prioritised and transparent,” Ms McDowell added.

The NIASW chair insisted that social work is the most crucial undervalued public service and social workers are some of the very best public servants in Northern Ireland.

“NIASW is working with politicians from all parties in our country to ensure that they recognise and acknowledge the importance and significance of our profession and we will step up our efforts as the CSR bites and next May’s election approaches,” she said.