Download trade union letters and model motions for SWAN Conf 2013

These documents asks branches / organisations for three things: 1. to promote the conference to members 2. to sponsor delegates from the branch / organisation who would like to attend and 3. make a donation to help subsidise students and service users’ attendance.

Please find these attached below and promote them within your union branches and organisations. We hope the SWAN National Conference 2013 will be the largest and most productive radical social work conference ever held!

Save Haringey Travelling People’s Team: Sign Online Petition Now

The 2012 report by the ministerial working group on tackling inequalities experienced by Gypsies and Travelers states that ‘Gypsies and Travelers experience, and are being held back by, some of the worst outcomes of any group, across a wide range of social indicators.’ The HTPT play a critical role ensuring Haringey address the unacceptably poor social outcomes experienced by community members in the borough, as highlighted by the ministerial working group.

***SWAN encourages supporters to sign the online petition here.***

Social Worker of the Year Awards 2012 and possible sponsorship by G4S

– Reports that confirm that G4S runs and is involved in many security facilities that includes their handling of Palestinian children.
– The group of BASW members report that also witnessed the horrific sight of Palestinian children being led into a military courtroom in handcuffs and leg-irons, and saw a diminutive 14-year-old being sentenced to three and a half months in prison, together with a large fine, for allegedly throwing stones at Israeli soldiers.
– That G4S runs The Cedars one of the UK’s new family detention centre jointly with Barnardo’s which is officially described as ‘pre-departure accommodation’ but is legitimising what is in effect the government’s continued use of detention for children.

G4SThis steering committee expresses its concern that G4S sponsorship of the Social Worker of the Year Awards – a company whose breach of Human Rights – is incompatible with social work’s international values and the social justice principles of SWAN.

This steering committee agrees the following action:
– To issue a statement condemning G4S and calling on the organisers of the Social Worker of the Year Award to cancel its sponsorship from G4S.
– To write to the Social Worker of the Year Awards expressing our concern and calling on the organisation to refuse involvement with G4S if their sponsorship is offerred in 2012.

Should the 2012 Social Worker of the Year Awards take up sponsorship by G4S:
– To call upon the awards judges to withdraw from the award until G4S sponsorship is withdrawn.
– To call upon all organisations and nominees to boycott the Social Work of the Year Award until G4S is withdrawn.

You can read the letter sent on 21st July 2012 by our National Convenor, Michael Lavalette, to Beverley Williams, founder and organiser of the Social Worker of Year Awards, by downloading the attachment below. A media release was also prepared, again attached below.

On Thursday 26th July 2012 we received a response from the Social Worker of the Year Awards, which suggests that while no sponsors for this year’s conference have been established, they have not ruled out the possiblity of sponsorship by G4S if it be offered. Furthermore, the Social Worker of the Year Awards did not explicitly respond to two of our three questions about whether they have a policy on corporate sponsorship or whether they think G4S are an appropriate organisation to sponsor such an event given their treatment of vulnerable people. You can read the reply letter from the Social Worker of the Year Awards below.

SWAN is surprised and alarmed that an unequivocal rejection of sponsorship by G4S was not forthcoming by the Social Worker of the Year Awards. SWAN will monitor the situation and should G4S sponsorship be announced, we will organise a campaign and boycott of the event.

SWAN Conference 2013

In 2012, while society becomes increasingly unequal and social protection is being severely eroded, the neoliberal consensus around austerity is starting to falter and fracture. Social workers and care employees work with parents who are forced to choose between feeding their children and paying the rent, young people who are out of work or forced to onto ‘workfare’ programmes and disabled people who are vilified as unproductive scroungers while having support for their independence and employment snatched away. Meanwhile, the immoral spectacle of Newscorp’s collusion with the UK government, rate-fixing by Barclays bank and reduction of the top rate of tax on the rich all highlight social injustice and feed the anger of people already enslaved to paying for an economic crisis caused by the global financial system. Social workers and care workers have also witnessed and participated in the fight back to defend the welfare state and the rise of social movements developing alternative visions of social care and welfare based on collective interest and mutual benefit. Join social work and care practitioners, service users, carers, educators and students in 2013 to defend, debate and create.

We will regularly update the SWAN website with information about speakers and methods for booking places as this becomes available.

In the meantime, please email swanconf2013 (at) for further information on the conference.