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Social work neurodiversity task force meets to draft employers’ pledge

Leaders say the draft pledge will give employers of social workers an opportunity to “promote acceptance and understanding of neurodiversity among all members of staff.”

17/10/23

Social work neurodiversity task force meets to draft employers’ pledge

A group of neurodivergent social workers have started work on a new employers' pledge to celebrate neurodiversity in the profession.

The group is drafting a pledge to encourage employers to recognise the contribution neurodivergent social workers bring to their roles and commit to act towards a neuro-inclusive workplace.

Following an appeal for social workers to step forward and help draft the pledge, neurodivergent professionals met over the summer to draft the pledge.

Deb Solomon, a social worker from Derbyshire and Chair of the British Association of Social Workers’ (BASW) neurodiversity Special Interest Group, is among the leaders of the campaign.

“We’ve made a lot of good progress and our draft pledge will give employers of social workers an opportunity to promote acceptance and understanding of neurodiversity among all members of staff.

“We will also expect signatories of the pledge to create a neuro-inclusive culture of appreciation, celebration and belonging in their organisations.

“Another area we are keen to explore is how employers are able to take direct action to create psychologically safe work environments that empower the neurodivergent members of our profession to thrive.

“We’re looking forward to working with the Social Workers Union to develop the next steps of our campaign and hope it is possible to launch the pledge in late 2023.”

The campaign has gained the backing of the Social Workers Union (SWU). John McGowan, General Secretary, commented: “This campaign aims to challenge the stigma around neurodiversity by supporting organisations to become neuro-inclusive, creating a psychologically safe space for neurodivergent social workers to be themselves and celebrate the numerous skills they bring.

“By asking employers to sign up to a pledge and evidence their inclusive culture, we will be able to share examples of good practice across the social work profession.”

Organisations who are interested in finding out more about signing the pledge can contact Deb by emailing campaigns@swu-union.org.uk.

The topic of neurodiversity in social work will also be discussed at the Social Work Innovations conference, part of the COMPASS Jobs Fair, London on 20 November. Register for your free ticket at https://www.compassjobsfair.com/Events/London/Book-Tickets

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