The Scottish Association of Social Work (SASW) have commented on the proposed guidance to the Children and Young People Act 2014.
SASW is committed to speaking out on these matters so social workers can play the part they want to and are trained to do, in making a difference. We are not simply working with “cases”, the children and families we support and must protect are real people, and they live within our communities. Getting it right for every child must start there, and we need to resource these services so “in need” does not become “at risk”.
We welcome what we believe to be good legislation which aims to put the child or young person central to any form of support or intervention. We remain concerned however that the well-intended approach does not recognise the importance of supporting families, within what are untold troubled times for many living in poverty, suffering from the impact of austerity measures and/or unable to access relevant support which may prevent escalation of issues.
We appear to develop “systems” such as the Named Person, which has the potential to raise the bar to reporting on “concerns about wellbeing” as opposed to “at risk of significant harm”. We are not investing in a public health model that would facilitate a culture change. Resources for families, the approaches that would allow people to develop a relationship with workers in order to make lasting improvements are not able to progress as the savage cuts to public spending bite.
We are concerned that young people may not access services if they are not convinced they are going to be listened to. We are also worried that “preventative” services will not have the backing needed to really allow parents, carers and families to feel they are being worked with, as opposed to monitored.
See SASW’s full consultation response below: