I am very pleased to see that most of the functions of the now defunct College of Social Work are to be transferred to BASW.
It is the best outcome. It is the best ending to the sorry tale of the college's demise.
Inevitably BASW will have to change in response to its new responsibilities. It will have to work out ways of incorporating its new work into its existing structures and culture.
And I hope that the membership of BASW will increase substantially in response to these changes. Social workers need a strong, independent and proactive association developing the profession on their behalves.
The key word in the preceding paragraph is ‘independent’. BASW is a membership organisation, with a strong tradition of operating independently. It must continue to do so. It must never become a backdoor through which the éminence grise of the establishment - the collective backroom machinations of politicians and civil servants and senior managers - seeks to control and manipulate. In two or three or four years time I do NOT want to be reading any more stories like that of Amy Norris whose College of Social Work blog was apparently censored at the behest of a government adviser.
On the contrary I want to be reading stories about how a reinvigorated BASW is providing a measured, independent and constructive voice that contributes daily to the creation of more professional and higher quality social work services.
I have every hope that this will happen. But those who tried to pull the strings of the College of Social Work now need to learn their lessons and keep their distance.