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Date: Fri 24 Mar 2006

UNISON urges Executive - Implement Social Work report

Social work delegates from across Scotland, will meet in Glasgow today (Friday) to discuss the recommendations in the Report of the 21st Century Social Work Review.

UNISON has already welcomed the broad thrust of the report as reflecting the concerns, frustrations and aspirations of many social work staff. Today delegates from across Scotland will hear Willie Roe, the Chair of the 21 Century Social Work Review group, and discuss its recommendations in greater detail.

It is likely that they will to urge the Executive and employers to recognise the problems of blame culture, and lack of staffing and financial resources highlighted by the report.

The meeting will take place from 11.30am to 3.30pm, in UNISON's Glasgow City Branch Office, 18 Albion Street, Glasgow. If journalists wish to attend, can they contact Mandy McDowall, (numbers below).

Stephen Smellie, Chair of UNISONScotland's Social Work Issues Group said: "We will be considering the recommendations of the Report in full, but we have already welcomed its emphasis on the critical role of a highly skilled workforce and the need to ensure the best use of these skills; the proposals for a range of career options and a national recognition and reward framework reflecting career pathways and competence.

"The review has also accepted many of the points UNISON made regarding the need for politicians, the media and indeed society, to change their attitude to social work staff. It is perhaps a pity that prominent politicians have again resorted to kneejerk reactions so soon after this report. They really must 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 want the Scottish Executive to implement this report and to work with us, 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.

ENDS

For Further Information Please Contact: Stephen Smellie (Chair - Social Work issues group) 07740 096 864(m) Mandy McDowall (Regional officer - Social work) 07903 846 427(m) Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0845 355 0845(w) 0771 558 3729(m)

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