Justice Social Work Routemap


The Scottish Government released the COVID-19 Routemap at the end of May 2020.  The Routemap sets out four phases between lockdown and the resumption of life without restrictions linked to the pandemic.   

The Routemap refers to the justice system in terms of the resumption of court business and “greater contact for social work and support services with at-risk groups and families with physical distancing and hygiene measures” in Phase 1.  Social Work Scotland has identified a need to flesh out the implications of the Routemap for Justice Social Work (JSW) in Scotland.  HM Prison and Probation Service have published their Probation Roadmap to Recovery 2 which offers high-level principles and guidance to their staff. 

This paper: 

  • defines the elements of JSW in Scotland impacted by the pandemic 
  • indicates how the capacity to deliver these services is reduced by physical distancing and other pandemic related health requirements  
  • shares practice that may help to increase capacity 
  • explores more generally the issues around trying to improve capacity injustice social work services both locally and nationally 
  • recognises that different local authority areas will experience the Phases differently due to characteristics such as size, rurality, etc. 
  • may be revised and re-published as we move through the Phases and gain knowledge and experience. 

Download a copy of this document (Word)