(LifeSiteNews) – “If it involves social workers the situation will worsen,” Dr. Jordan Peterson wrote on X last March. “Woke central=social work. Rivalled only by the grievance study departments and Faculties of Education.” That may be a sweeping generalization, but it isn’t unfair, either. Few programs have been so utterly ideologically captured as social work, and frequently those who enter the discipline emerge speaking what seems like an entirely different language. Transgender ideology, of course, is baked in.
In fact, the U.K. women’s rights group Sex Matters has recently publicly accused the social work profession of teaching transgender ideology to vulnerable children as fact, with children as young as 13-years-old being asked about their sexuality, “gender identity,” and asked questions such as: “Your parents have told me that you are a girl/boy, is that what you think, too?”
According to a recent report in The Telegraph, the U.K.’s Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service (CAFCASS), which functions as an independent body under the Ministry of Justice, created the guidance that has led to transgender ideology being implemented into virtually all interactions with vulnerable children, inserting ideas and advice that Sex Matters states is “dangerous and unscientific.”
In fact, CAFCASS has gone so far as to create a form – first published in 2021 – in which social workers are told that if they do not ask a child over the age of 13 about “their gender identity or sexuality,” they must “record a defensible decision” as to why they made that choice. In short, basic initial conversations with children involve transgender premises, and social workers can only opt out by providing a “defensible” reason – which would presumably not include “I don’t believe gender is fluid.”
There are many implications to this discipline-wide policy, but one is that it eliminates the ability of social workers to do their jobs without adhering, explicitly, to transgender ideology. Accepting the idea of “gender fluidity” is, in many places, now a mandatory belief to work with vulnerable children.
As Ken McLaughlin, a lecturer in social work, noted at Spiked, this problem is not new. Back in 2017, CAFCASS was “encouraging practitioners to use the term ‘gender assigned at birth’” and at “the end of many of these documents, you will find a list of external resources for social workers to consult, which includes trans-activist organisations like Stonewall and Mermaids.”
The British Association of Social Workers, which bills itself as “the largest professional association of registered social workers and qualified care managers in the United Kingdom,” frequently signals its loyalty to the transgender movement by posting articles with titles such as “Dog whistles in context—transphobia” and “How social workers can support the struggle for trans rights,” which advocates political lobbying for particularly radical aspects of the transgender agenda. BASW released a statement several years ago on their adherence to the transgender agenda, and this commitment has only increased.
Inevitably, this commitment is leading to a de facto purge of the profession. As Ken McLaughlin observed:
In 2021, social worker Rachel Meade was sanctioned by Social Work England (SWE) for her gender-critical beliefs. Meade was given a one-year warning after SWE found that her ‘fitness to practice was impaired by way of misconduct’, all because she had posted sceptical comments about the trans issue on a private Facebook group. Thankfully, Meade later appealed the decision and SWE discontinued the case.
Lizzy Pitt, a social-work manager, faced a similar ordeal this year. She describes herself as a ‘lesbian who knows that sex is real’. When she made these views known in a workplace LGBT group, her colleagues made a complaint and she was subjected to disciplinary action. She is now suing her employer, Cambridgeshire County Council, for harassment and discrimination.
As a lecturer in social work, I have myself been the target of an attempted cancellation. In response to an article I wrote for spiked in 2019, a complaint was made to my employer. Funnily enough, the article warned that ‘trans activists’ intolerance knows no bounds’. Thankfully, the complaint was dismissed. But often the process itself serves as a punishment, as well as a signal to others to keep their views to themselves.
As McLaughlin notes, this is dangerous not only for those working within the profession, but for those they seek to care for. Children struggling with gender dysphoria should not have that dysphoria simply affirmed. And additionally, assuming that men who identify as women are women also creates dangerous scenarios. As McLaughlin observes, the “primary goal of social work is child protection and adult safeguarding. To do this effectively, it must be acknowledged that there is, at times, a conflict between trans rights and women’s or children’s rights.”
As we have seen with female-only bathrooms, changerooms, and sports teams, the vulnerabilities of women and children take second place to the transgender agenda. Social workers cannot be trusted to use their discretion in individual cases. In social work, as in so much of society, transgender ideology is now mandatory – no matter what.