The Social Work Action Network was formed in 2004 to challenge the growing marketisation of social work and social care, and to defend a social work practice based on social justice. We have consistently opposed austerity policies since their introduction after 2008.  

Although as a broad network of social workers, service users, students and academics we are not affiliated to any political party, SWAN welcomes the energised and refreshing debate emerging from Jeremy Corbyn MP’s Labour leadership campaign.

The creation of a media dialogue that at last addresses the importance of the public sector, of public ownership and pride in Britain’s welfare state is an exceptional achievement and one that must be supported and continued.

SWAN, like Corbyn, rejects the ideology of austerity. Recent developments in social work education and qualifications in England, such as Frontline and Think Ahead,   have shown that market-based ideology is also being used to fundamentally reshape value-based social work and hand the service over to the private sector. Recent experience in the Care Sector shows that the private sector cannot and will not create conditions that allow for respectful, safe and high quality care. SWAN welcomes the debate now taking place about the potential of alternative economic and social policy models.

Whatever your political views, the TUC-supported demonstration outside the Conservative Party Conference on October 4th will provide a great opportunity for all those opposed to austerity to make their feelings known!


Swan Steering Committee 11.8.15

  • Mental Health Charter: submission on inpatient adult psychiatric care

SWAN supporters will already be familiar with the SWAN endorsed Mental Health Charter which was launched in 2014. The Charter critiques the crisis in mental health services in the context of austerity and calls for an end to the cuts while proposing radical alternatives. Recently the Mental Health Charter responded to the Royal College of Psychiatrists' Independent Commission into the state of Inpatient Adult Psychiatric Care as part of its call for evidence.

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