The College of Social Work has launched several documents outlining the moral and financial case for investing in adult social work.
With the current population of ten million older people in the UK set to rise to 16.4 million by 2033, TCSW’s discussion document Future Directions for Investment in Social Work With Older People evidences the crucial role of social work in responding to the growing needs of a rapidly ageing population, supporting people to live with dignity as they grow older.
The report argues that investing in specialist social work with older people delivers good value for money, by reducing the use of expensive acute health and care services.
Chief Executive of The College of Social Work Annie Hudson said:
“Older people account for nearly 60 per cent of local authority social care spending. Now is the time to invest in social work expertise and better address the many complex issues that are facing older people and their families.
“These College of Social Work publications set the economic, social and moral argument for specialist social work with older people. This is vital if we are to respond to the dual challenge of an ageing population and public sector austerity.
“The College is drawing public attention to the moral and business case for the role of social work with some of the frailest members of society, many of whom live with longstanding illness or disability. Social workers bring unique specialist knowledge and understanding of the needs of older people, carers and families, along with skills helping to ensure that older people receive quality services and support .”
The report was produced with TCSW by the ‘G8’ group of gerontological social work academics. It outlines the role and positive impact that specialist social work can have in a wide range of settings, including managing personal budgets, supporting independent living, re-ablement, preventing hospital re-admissions, support for ageing carers, prevention of elder abuse and end of life care.
It is accompanied by the G8’s longer, more comprehensive report Social Work with Older People: A Vision for the Future.