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Date: 7 Feb 2006

Social Work report welcomed by UNISON

UNISON - the union that represents social work staff - today welcomed the Report of the 21st Century Social Work Review. UNISON said that the concerns, frustrations and aspirations of many social work staff have been listened to and reflected in the report.

The union went on to urge the Executive and employers to recognise the problems of blame culture, and lack of staffing and financial resources highlighted by the report.

Stephen Smellie, Chair of UNISONScotland's Social Work Issues Group said: "The recommendations of the Report will need to be considered in full but we particularly welcome the emphasis on the critical role of a highly skilled workforce and the need to ensure the best use of these skills.

"Our members working as Social Workers will welcome the proposals for a range of career options and a national recognition and reward framework, reflecting career pathways and competence.

"We are pleased that the review has accepted many of the points UNISON has made regarding the need for politicians, the media and indeed society, to change their attitude to social work staff, and accept that there is no magic wand that can solve every problem 100% of the time. Particularly when staff face huge workloads and increased demand with low resources.

"We will continue to work with the Scottish Executive, local authorities, the independent sector employers, users and carers to take forward Scotland's Social Work services. We will continue to call for the resources necessary to make sure that services continue to improve.

"Changing Lives” is a significant step to achieving Social Work Services that meet the needs of the people of Scotland. It will be required reading for all social work staff.”

ENDS

For Further Information Please Contact: Stephen Smellie (Chair - Social Work issues group) 07740 096 864(m) Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0845 355 0845(w) 0771 558 3729(m)

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