The Barclay Inquiry was set up by the National Institute for Social Work (NISW) at the behest of Patrick Jenkins, Secretary of State for Health and Social Services in 1981. Its remit was to examine the tasks and roles of social workers in England and Wales. The Conservative government was opposed to increased expenditure on social services and questioned the value of the professionals involved. A tight timetable was set and no original research was undertaken. Information was gathered from academics, local government and voluntary organisations and individuals.
These papers were submitted as evidence to the enquiry and were collected by Pat Brown who served on the Inquiry as a representative of the Association of Metropolitan Authorities. The collection also includes some related publications.