Have your say

Welcome to Community Care‘s online discussion forum
Have your say which offers the
opportunity to air your views on a controversial subject.

This week’s subject is the proposal from the
government’s workforce action team for more unqualified staff to be
involved in mental health work.

What do you think of this idea? Is there a place for more
unqualified staff performing basic care tasks? Or is this more
erosion of a skilled sector?

To Have your say just click here


Last week’s issue was the government’s new recruitment
campaign for social workers. Here are the responses we

I feel a campaign that tries to raise its
image needs to look at pay. I also feel that it is time the
renumeration of practice teachers is looked at. Surely such action
may lead to a higher level of qualified

Lorna Riley

I read your article (Community Care
issue 23 to 29 August) regarding the above, with interest.

I am personally sick to death of the poor attitude towards and
payment of social workers. When I began my social work career in
the late 70’s I knew the future would not be paved with gold, and I
did not expect to make a fortune. However enough is enough. I now
advise anyone who asks me about becoming a social worker (there are
so few people of late) not to do so for the reasons outlined in the

I still enjoy my work in child protection but does that mean
that I have to be so poorly paid as a result?? I support national
full industrial action and strike action if necessary for however
long it takes to attempt to obtain a fair wage.

As for the poor image of the profession, who does John Ransford
think are the worst offenders in this regard??? His own (and
previous) colleagues and government ministers.

Why not ask the readership for their comments on a national
strike for fair pay???

Paul Marron,

London E7

I think that any publicity that encourages
people to not only use the social work service, but also provides
information for potential social workers can only be a positive
step. The issue that most of this publicity will be in the south
only adds to the mythical north/south divide. Living in the north
of the country there are also the same problems of not only
recruitment but also the negative image of the profession.

Pay rises will obviously encourage more people to stay more time
in the profession as money is the biggest motivator isn’t it?

The downside to this is that this may produce a situation like
we are seeing in the teaching profession where recruitment is not
the real problem, but retention of good staff. Money may well be
better spent in supporting the existing staff with training,
support and possibly incentives to continue in their chosen

Simon Hunter

Student Social Worker

Buxton, Derbyshire

According to John Ransford: “The most
important thing is to increase the respect of workers and the
public understanding of what people working in social care do. If
there is a more positive image of the profession, then more people
will come forward.”

In the Health Advisory Service Report Review 1995, ‘together we
stand’, a 4-tier service provision is featured. Tier 4, provides
for some of the most vulnerable individuals in our society yet pays
its personnel some of the lowest wages in the profession. Surely,
if social work and social care are to be viewed with any
professional credibility, we must invest in the complex skills
required in this sector – both in training and pay structures.

This 3-year campaign is an opportunity in the

Christine Thomas

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