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2023 WSWday (image)

20 Mar 2023

Social service workforce

We’re celebrating World Social Work Day

World Social Work Day is an annual international celebration highlighting the role of social workers and their contribution to society. We look at how the SSSC supports social action to mark this year’s theme.

This year’s World Social Work Day on 21 March 2023 has the theme of is ‘Respecting diversity through joint social action’, which stems from the People’s Charter for a New Eco Social World.

It reminds us all that we have the opportunity to recognise how people can come together to improve their lives and take action about matters that are important to their communities.

Social action involves people giving their time for a common purpose and can include volunteering, community action, giving money to a charity or simply helping a neighbour cut their lawn.

‘World Social Work Day is our chance to reflect on the importance of social work in our communities and how their work to improve lives contributes to social action.

‘In our role as regulator and workforce development and planning lead for the social work, social care and children and young people workforce we know the value of the work people do every day.

‘We’ll continue our efforts to raise the profile and value of the workforce by sharing your stories of the inspiring work you do.’

Maree Allison, Acting Chief Executive, SSSC

How do we contribute to social action?

Here at the SSSC we encourage and support our staff to undertake acts of service that benefit the community through activities such as becoming a panel member with Children’s Hearings Scotland or mentoring care experienced young people.

Two members of staff tell us how the SSSC supports them to be volunteer panel members for children’s hearings.

‘The support the SSSC has given me over the years means I’ve been able to Chair and sit on the panel of Children’s Hearings in my community for several years. They have supported me with paid time off to take part in hearings, which demonstrates a commitment to ensuring that decisions about vulnerable young people and their families in Tayside are being made by a broad and diverse range of panel members.’

‘I’d thought about becoming a panel member for a number of years, the SSSC, in particular my team managers, were very supportive in giving me the time to carry out the training and allow me time to do hearings. The SSSC allows 18 days a year for children’s panel work, removing any concerns about taking time away from your duties and allowing you to focus on the panel member role.

‘The training and experience as a panel member enhanced my range of transferable skills. During hearings you have to deal with complex issues, good communication, empathy, understanding the law and its procedures are vital when making important decisions for the children or young people. It was very important that the SSSC was able to support me.’

Our work with you

We also draw on the collective goodwill of those in the social work and wider social care and children and young people workforce to deliver joint social action in our role as national workforce development and planning lead.

Examples are our Career and Dementia Ambassador networks, made up of people working across all types of services who volunteer to be ambassadors.

Dementia Ambassadors support dementia learning in their services and help colleagues to work positively with people living with dementia and their families and carers.

Career Ambassadors work with us to promote careers in social work, social care and children and young people services right across the country, taking part in careers fairs, visits and other promotional activity.

How can I get involved in Social Work Week?

Anne Tavendale, Learning and Development Manager (Professional Learning), will be taking part in a Social Work Week event Social work regulation and practice education at 11.30am on Thursday 23 March. She’ll be speaking alongside representatives from Social Work England, Social Care Wales and the Northern Ireland Social Care Council.

The event is organised by Social Work England as part of their Social Work Week programme. Book your free place now Social work regulation and practice education event page.

SSSC’s Policy Manager, Neil MacLeod and Learning and Development Adviser (Professional Learning), Brian Smith, will contribute to an anti-racism roundtable event organised by the Scottish Association of Social Workers at 2.30pm on Thursday 23 March. Find out more and how to book on the SASW event page Working Together to End Racism in Social Work: Online Roundtable.

Contact information

Lorraine Wakefield
Communications Manager
Scottish Social Services Council