More and more social workers in the United Kingdom are finding it difficult to pay their bills as pay cuts and wage freezes bite, according to the Social Workers Benevolent Trust, a charity to support social workers set up by the British Association of Social Workers.
Social workers say they are struggling to pay for groceries and petrol and are not able to take holidays.
A third of the professionals who took part in a survey by the British Association of Social Workers say they are in more debt than a year ago.
Four-fifths of those surveyed said their pay had been frozen, while 16% have had a pay cut. Many also reported rising costs; 40% reported that car allowances for work travel had been reduced or removed completely and 18% said parking charges had been introduced where this was previously free.
More than a third of respondents said they were in more debt than a year ago.
Simon Cole, who chairs the Social Workers’ Benevolent Trust, reported this to the recent BASW Annual General Meeting and has written about the situation in The Guardian. He writes the ‘challenges are quickly evident from a review of the basic facts: applications for assistance are up, the size of grants requested is up, and the number of grants given is up. But, until BASW members stepped in and voted unanimously to increase the levy from subscriptions that it pays to the trust, income was down on previous years.’
This situation is seen across Europe and North America where governments are cutting back on social programmes. IFSW President Gary Bailey spoke about the damaging impact of the financial crisis in his recent speech to the world conference on social work and social development. It is profoundly unfair that those who are least able to cope – and the people who help them – are paying the price for the irresponsible behaviour of bankers.
Read more in The Guardian