Community Care and the Local Government Association has launched
a joint campaign to raise awareness about the effective work
performed by social care staff.
Health minister John Hutton backed the campaign entitled ‘You can
make a difference’, speaking at the launch to voice his support for
the new drive.
The campaign began as an NOP survey revealed that most people would
not consider a career in social work. The poll of a thousand people
found that 72 per cent of rejected social work as a career choice,
with only 24 per cent saying they would consider it.
A series of eight posters, leaflets and a new website www.community-care.co.uk/careers
(see home page and click on the red logo in the bottom right hand
corner titled ‘A Career in Social Work?’) will all feature in the
national campaign designed to remind people that social workers are
undervalued and deserve more recognition.
Each local authority has been asked to nominate a ‘champion’
amongst its staff to ensure all the advertising material is well
A helpline has been set up by training organisation CCETSW which
can handle enquiries from people interested in a career in social
It is hoped the campaign will attract more recruits to the
profession, particularly in areas where there are high vacancy
Hutton said two thirds of social services departments experience
problems filling vacant social work posts.
The public perception of social workers was not helped, he said,
by words used to describe social workers in the media such as
“incompetent”, “negligent” and “bullying”.
“There is a great deal to do, but I think this is a very
positive beginning,” he said. “It will take an on-going commitment
over the next few years to turn things around.”
The minister also announced that the department of health would
launch its own campaign later this year to raise the profile of
social care and social work.
Terry Philpot, Community Care’s editor in chief, said
the campaign, which was the first of its kind, was “a first step”,
and he hoped it would lead to the recruitment of more social