As you may know, the Government is in the process of rolling out a new National Assessment and Accreditation System (NAAS) for all children and family social workers who carry out a statutory function. More than 90% of social workers oppose it, and we are holding a meeting at 1 PM on Wednesday 14 June for social workers to meet and discuss it.
UNISON has consulted social workers across England who took part in the piloting of NAAS – and also more widely – to ascertain their views on it. Our survey was completed by 1,213 social workers. The overwhelming response was that they oppose the introduction of the NAAS, which they think will be extremely damaging to social work services.
Given the existing recruitment, retention and morale problems, UNISON believes that it would be a mistake to impose yet another unwelcome change on social workers.
Summary of social workers’ views on the NAAS from our survey:-
• Just 3% support the introduction of the NAAS
• 93% believe that its introduction will put more pressure on councils
• 99% believe that it will put more pressure on individual social workers
• 97% said they do not have enough time available within their role to prepare for and undertake an assessment and accreditation process
• 93% said that considering the staffing levels and resources available at their council, the proposed process of assessment and accreditation will have a detrimental impact on the delivery of social work services and social workers’ working conditions
• 94% believe that the NAAS could unfairly penalise individual social workers
• 90% do not believe that the introduction of the NAAS will be used to support social workers or improve access to learning and development
• Only 1% believe that the NAAS will address the main problems that social work and social services are facing
• Just 2% believe that the NAAS will represent a good use of skilled social workers’ time, both in preparing for and taking the test, and for senior practitioners who will move away from direct practice in order to prepare and mark/assess the tests
• Only 4% believe that the process outlined in the consultation document for the NAAS can accurately and fairly assess the standard of practice of individual social workers
• Just 6% believe that the NAAS will be beneficial to social workers, whilst only 9% believe that it will be beneficial to service users
Unison is holding a meeting for children and family social workers Wednesday 14 June 1 PM-2 PM at 5PS, room 11.13.
Paid time off to attend has been agreed by management. Nonmembers are welcome to attend and can join at the meeting so please encourage your colleagues to come with you.