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Girl I wanna make you SWET, SWET till you can’t SWET no more


Seriously? Seriously?

The Social Work Evidence Template gets amended, in a press release on a Friday, and tells practitioners that it is to be used from Monday. Yes, this coming Monday.

The new templates should be used in new cases from Monday, 29 February onwards.


Good luck with that.  Haven’t even had time to read it yet to see what I like or don’t like about it.

Again, the press release claims that the President has endorsed it  (Frankly, I like to see the President himself saying that, because I find it rather tricky to imagine that he ever read a statement in the SWET format and said “Hey, this is great!”   – in my mental picture here, he uses the same voice as Casey Kasem from America’s Top Twenty / Shaggy from Scooby Doo)


[And also there is some form for claiming that the President has endorsed some guidance, only later to watch aghast as he distances himself from it in a judgment]




About suesspiciousminds

Law geek, local authority care hack, fascinated by words and quirky information; deeply committed to cheesecake and beer.

14 responses

  1. Rebecca Carr-Hopkins

    Ha ha I thought you’d be pleased…..I’ve printed it off ready for our trainees…..

  2. I think SWET gets a bad press.
    The problem with it is that it requires a high standard of report writing skill and analysis which is something many of my colleagues struggle with significantly.

    The other problem is that people have already messed about with it and are still wedded to having old style care plans to go with it. It then feels clunky and repetitive.

    I had the luxury of having the SWET stuff explained to me by somebody who was involved in putting it together in the first place. From the latest push out of it seems unlikely that anyone’s really thought about explaining it to the social workers who are supposed to use it (or solicitors obviously).

    • It would be helpful if the guidance reflects your luxury & it was explained. I don’t think the evolution has been well managed, which is why we get a bit clunky are repetitive, and cant work out the process. ‘t would be a delight to be able to concentrate on writing a good report with robust analysis, rather than working our way around the numerous revisions of paperwork, both external and internal.

  3. I have read the template:

    and am not entirely happy about Section 3: Analysis of Risk and Protective Factors.
    I was just drafting a letter to ADCS, CAFCASS and Sir James Munby when I read your column. Section 3,1 asks for analysis of risk – and protective factors seem tagged on as an afterthought. The second part on Protective Factors would be better as a separate question 3.2. Omission or skimming over of the good points in parents, families and networks is a frequent complaint from parents in assessment reports. A separate question might encourage social workers to look for and record such aspects more assiduously. .

    I would like to raise another subject. I think it is high time Children’s social work came under the Department of Health instead of Education. Social workers’ ignorance of maternity health issues, including the many proven benefits to mother and child of breast feeding, is little short of astonishing. Since health issues have a much better evidence-base than social work, perhaps social services might at last learn what real evidence of benefit, and lack of harm, actually means..
    Jean Robinson
    Association for Improvements in the Maternity Services
    Reg Charity No 1157845

    • Children’s social care including the predecessor to Cafcass was part of the DoH remit until 2001 when the guardian service moved to LCD and then in about 2003 social services for children moved from Health to Education (Dept of Children, Schools and Families). This is why children’s services, child protection,adoption etc are left as ‘the poor relations’ to schools in English policy. But also, Cafcass moved to MoJ at some subsequent point. Confused -? Well there’s where it all is in Wales as well ….
      I don’t know if children’s social workers would be better supported in education or in health. But it would help if governments could make a decision that endured.

    • “Social workers’ ignorance of maternity health issues, including the many proven benefits to mother and child of breast feeding, is little short of astonishing.” It would be interesting to know what your evidence base for this is.

      • Emma Ashworth

        AIMS’ many years of experience supporting families who have had awful experiences with social services.

      • Social workers have probably had contact with as many women who have had an awful experience of maternity services, just did last week. I wouldn’t say that was evidence.

  4. Although the ADCS says this ‘should’ be used from 29 Feb, as it is mere ‘guidance’ and has no basis in law, a more accurate description is that it ‘may’ be used from tomorrow. I expect the changes will be phased in.

  5. Pingback: Girl I wanna make you SWET, SWET till you can&r...

  6. my ideal social work evidence template:
    1) What are you worried about?
    2) What makes you think these things are worries (i.e. what’s your evidence for each worry)
    3) What have you or other people done to reduce these worries?
    4) What are the strengths / protective factors, the things that make you less worried
    5) How do the risks outweigh the protective factors and is there anything more you could put in place to change this balance?
    5) What is the impact on the child now (including evidence of this not already discussed)
    6) What might the impact on the child be in the future if things continue as they are (including basis for predictions)
    7) What is your plan for the child and why?

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