The National Care Service Bill proposes the biggest change to social work services in over 50 years. It transfers statutory responsibility for social services from councils to national government. By reducing councils to contractors, it creates the potential for up to 75,000 council-employed social work and care staff to be transferred to alternative employers.
UNISON asked its social work members across Scotland what they think about the proposals in the National Care Service Bill. This report gives the verdict from nearly 1,100 social work staff who took part.
Headlines from the report include:
- Only 13% of social work staff believe the government’s plans are the best way to improve the quality and consistency of social work services. A majority of staff do not agree with the plans.
- 71% think ending direct public provision by councils will have a negative impact on the people who receive a social work service.
- Staff say what is really needed is investment in social work staffing and resources (94%), better pay, terms and conditions (85%) and enough time to build relationships with the people they support (72%).
- Insecurity about jobs, pensions and changes to terms and conditions are major concerns for staff. 77% say the changes will mean insecurity for staff and 64% are concerned about their pension.
- Almost two thirds of staff working in children & families services (64%) and justice social work (65%) do not support these services being removed from councils.
- More than half of social work staff (54%) think removing social work and social care from councils will make their jobs more difficult.