Introduction for users and carers to Changing Lives from the User and Carer Panel
About this introduction
This introduction, for the report on the social work review, is written for users of social work services and family carers. It will explain where the review and report came from and why it is important to you. This is not a summary of the report. This introduction concentrates on some of the messages in the report that we think are important for you.
Why was there a 21st Century Social Work Review?
The review of social work happened because people felt services weren't working well enough: Scotland has changed, and what people needed from services has changed as well. Also, there are fewer taxpayers and more people needing services, so there is not enough money to fund these services.
The purpose of the review was to find better ways of working for services and social workers, and to find ways of using resources better.
Where does the report come from?
The report comes from the work done in the review on how social work services and social workers could give better services to people. Lots of people were asked about what they thought of social work services and social workers.
One of the key groups that worked with the review was a panel of people who use social work services and carers called the User and Carer Panel. This introduction has been written by the Panel.
If you use services, or are a carer, this is what you can expect from services in future:
The report says that social work services have to be more responsible for the services they provide.
The person is at the heart of everything. This means that your service should start from where you are. It means services must see "service users" as people, and not just see their labels. Social workers need to think about what difference it makes to the person using services or carer.
You will have more continuity in your service - skilled workers will get the chance to stay on the front line. And there will be committed support for workers to develop existing and new skills. So there is a better chance that you will have a more understanding worker.
You can expect a better match between you and your social worker. To make this happen you will need to have more say in your own assessments. That way, you will be more likely to get the right service earlier.
You can expect services to get better at preventing a crisis, rather than waiting for it to happen. This means services working with other agencies better. There will be a quicker response from services. Also social work will be based more where people are, like community centres for example.
To make all this happen, you can expect that social workers will have more responsibility, and have more power to make their own decisions. Social workers will have less red tape: this means social workers doing more social work, and less paperwork. The result will be a speedier, more efficient service.
People that use services and family carers will have more control over the services they are getting. "Citizen leadership" will become important, this means people having more of a say and taking more of a lead in planning services, like:
- More say in your own assessments
- More flexible services like Local Area Coordination
- More panels like the User and Carer Panel!
Finally, the Panel feels that we've made a difference by being part of the review. We feel that our voice has been heard and our ideas have been included in the report. The Panel welcomes the report. However, there's still a lot to do before these changes will happen - we'd better get started!