- Wednesday, 08 August 2012
Responding to the outcome of the serious case review into the abuse at Winterbourne View private hospital The College of Social Work acknowledges that the review highlights serious failings in safeguarding.
One of the most important lessons from this review must be the need for local agencies to invest in proper safeguarding procedures in which social workers have a leading role.
Owen Davies, Policy and Public Affairs Adviser for The College of Social Work said:
“The scandalous abuse of residents at Winterbourne View, which might never have come to light if not for the secret filming by the BBC, reinforces the need for a strong role for social workers in enforcing safeguarding policies that protect vulnerable adults.
“We welcome the actions that the Care Quality Commission has taken since the Panorama programme and hope that all involved in the provision, management and regulation of residential care will learn important lessons from this case.
“However, we fear that a toxic mix of public sector cuts and ill-considered changes in the way that services are provided is leading to a de-skilling of the workforce which provides adult social care. Local services provided by well-trained and trusted staff and monitored by social workers are crucial to ensure appropriate standards of care.
“Social workers are highly trained and have the skills and knowledge to ensure the protection of vulnerable people. Their professional code is based on values of respect for the dignity of every individual. Therefore, safeguarding vulnerable adults should be the responsibility of qualified social workers.
“However, as the pressure mounts to drive down costs, we fear the role of social workers, who are essential in safeguarding and preventing abuse, may be undermined.
“We want to see a clearly defined role for social workers in adult social care local services, similar to that in place for child protection, to ensure that scandals like Winterbourne View do not happen again.”