The SWU Campaign Fund, in partnership with Campaign Collective, has helped over ten groups of social workers campaign on issues that help the profession and those vulnerable groups social workers support.
Following on from the success of the Welsh student bursaries campaign, similar campaigns are now running in Scotland and England.
The Scottish students have seen a petition gain more than 2,000 signatures in favour of more support for students on placement, questions raised in the Scottish Parliament and securing the backing of a powerful committee of MSPs.
In England, students are coming together to re-ignite calls for more support both now and in the manifestos of political parties at the next General Election.
Campaigners working on a media code for reporting of social workers have also been busy meeting the media industry. Following support from the press regulator IMPRESS, SWU wrote to all editors of national newspapers to promote the guidance and has held meetings with the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) and the National Union of Journalists.
With support for the code growing, more work will take place in 2023 to encourage formal adoption of the guidelines and work to embed it into journalists’ training courses. A rapid reporting mechanism for social workers concerned about media coverage has also been established.
Social workers unable to find work because of a lack of part-time roles has also been a focus for the Campaign Fund. Meetings have been secured with employers bodies and a repeat of the research into the proportion of part time posts will be undertaken to check that warm words of support are matched by actual change in recruitment processes.
A webinar to highlight how Union members can take stepping stones to better working conditions was also hosted and can now be watched online.
It continues to be a privilege to provide this platform to SWU members who are passionate activists, especially in the areas of social justice and working conditions. All campaigns supported by the SWU Campaign Fund are conceived of and run by social workers – much like SWU itself, which is the only UK union for, and run by, qualified and registered social workers.
Keep up to date on the latest news from the fund: https://swu-union.org.uk/swu-campaign-fund/