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The year that was 2020

Reflections and season's greetings from our chief executive Colum Conway

The year that was 2020

12/22/2020 11:30:00 AM

By any measure, 2020 has been an extraordinary year. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally impacted on how we interact as individuals, how we connect as a society, and how we stay safe. Throughout the year, we’ve seen people face hardships and obstacles that we never thought we’d have to face, and social workers have played one of the most important roles in the nation’s response.

Black Lives Matter exposed the racism and injustice that Black people face every day, as society continues to seek meaningful equality. Social workers, with their values and principles of anti-racist and anti-oppressive practice, are uniquely positioned to lead the way on behalf of the people they support and advocate for daily.

Throughout 2020, we saw social workers and other key workers adapt to new ways of working in challenging and changing environments, as they strived to adapt and support millions of people to improve their lives. We heard inspiring stories of the lengths that were taken to protect people and we thank everyone who has shared their stories with us.

For us, 2020 was always going to be a significant year - our first year as the specialist regulator for social work in England. We’d been eagerly preparing for it so that we could further embed professional standards, deliver our first annual renewal cycle, begin a conversation on continuing professional development (CPD), continue to work on fitness to practise cases and new concerns, as well as assessing and reapproving social work courses and keeping our commitment to co-production. We continued to listen, learn and act on the feedback we received and worked closely with our National Advisory Forum and key stakeholders to consider constructive challenge along the way.

All that we’ve achieved this year wouldn’t have been possible without you – those with an interest in social work and a passion for social justice. Your tireless work to ensure our communities are safe and that people are the very best that they can be is remarkable and inspiring. I want to also take time to extend my thanks specifically to our dedicated staff and partners who continue to inspire me daily to ensure that we meet our primary objective of protecting the public.

Success is not just about what you accomplish, it’s about what you motivate others to do.  Everyone who has joined us on our journey so far, including social workers, people with lived experience, social work students, course providers and organisations, have made an impact on our thinking – on behalf of the Social Work England team we extend our thanks and gratitude.

As we head towards a new year, I hope you find some time to pause and reflect on what you’ve achieved, take time to reconnect with your families and to rest and recharge as we head into 2021 together.

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