BASW North East branch committee would like to make it clear that the following disclaimer/caveat applies to all BASW North East branch statements, past, present and future.
Any statement made by, or on behalf of, the North East branch of BASW is made following consultation with committee members and is published with the majority assent of committee. Where statements are made following consultation with the wider North East membership, this is made clear in the statement, along with details as to how that consultation was carried out, as is the case with the previous BASW North East branch position statement on the Care Review.
We would like to make it clear that it should not be assumed that any BASW North East branch statement past, present or future has been endorsed by BASW Council, BASW England National Standing Committee or any other committee, branch or group within the wider BASW governance structure, unless explicitly stated otherwise.
At the same time, while statements made by the BASW Council, BASW England National Standing Committee or any other committee, branch or group within the wider BASW governance structure are constitutionally required to be made after consultation with, and with the assent of, elected members of the relevant committees/council, it should not be assumed that any such statement has been endorsed by the North East, or any other, branch, nor indeed by the BASW membership as a whole. It would be ludicrous to expect such levels of agreement could exist among such a diverse and variously interested group of values-driven professionals.
Dissent and challenge, especially that aimed at questioning the implications of the actions of those in positions of power and influence, are essential to good social work practice — indeed, they are codified in the professional and ethical frameworks to which all social workers in the UK subscribe. Anti-oppressive and anti-discriminatory practice would, quite simply, be impossible without constructive dissent, debate and challenge. A key skill of social work in ever more complex and challenging contexts is to harness the energy of difference and diversity for progressive ends, in the hope of better tomorrows for the people we hope and aim to support.
This will continue to be a core ethos of the North East branch of the British Association of Social Workers as it continues to work to ensure the voices of local members and the people they work hard to support are heard.
At BASW North East, we are keen to ensure we represent diverse views and voices of social workers and people affected by social work, such as care experienced people, parents, families, individuals and carers who have lived/living experience of social work and social care, and professionals and workers from other areas and disciplines. We seek to be inclusive of people with protected characteristics, including, but not limited to, race and ethnicity, disability and gender. In addition, the North East has a proud history of working class activism and so we are keen to promote working class voices within the profession.
If you would like to get involved in, add your voice to and/or contribute to the North East branch and its activities, please check BASW’s events page or get in touch at BASWNorthEast@gmail.com. (We are finalising plans for our next branch event, on Social Work and the Media, scheduled for May 18th 2022. Details to follow soon.)