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Scottish social work directors are launching a campaign against Scottish Office plans to undermine their legal stat...
Scottish social work directors are launching a campaign against Scottish Office plans to undermine their legal status.

The move is in response to government proposals to scrap the requirement for Scottish councils to have separate social work committees and qualified social work directors.

Scottish Local Government Minister Allan Stewart said the aim was to give new unitary authorities more flexibility when deciding their structure and management (LGC, 24 September).

Sandy Cameron, Borders RC director of social work and secretary of the Scotland based Association of Directors of Social Work, said the committees were an essential focus for public accountability of social services.

'The social work director is an integral part of that', Mr Cameron told LGC. He feared the changes indicated social work now had a lower priority in the Scottish Office.

'The director's post requires a professional background because they are regularly involved in discussions which directly involve individuals in terms of assessing risks', said Mr Cameron.

The social services scandals in the Orkney Islands and Fife RC brought Scottish social work under intense public scrutiny.

'There is a clear perception that social work directors should be personally accountable. Having someone who is professionally qualified is essential to underpin this', said Mr Cameron.

The association is teaming up with the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland who also face losing their statutory posts and committees.

A key part of the campaign will be lobbying MPs to block the change in the Commons.

Unlike England and Wales, Scottish social work directors are responsible for the probation service. Scottish councils must also have a committee solely responsible for social work.

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