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We are changing too

Welcome
to a Community Care that will be familiar in the ways you value
most, and different in ways that will help it support social work
and social care in the future.

From
this week, Community Care will offer you more: more news,
more analysis, more features, a wider range of views and topics,
and more jobs. We will give space to the voice of service users
every week (see the cover story, and page 24). We will present new
research and new learning from all parts of the social care field.
We will speak out on the subjects that matter most to our
readers.

As our
readers move into new roles, even new agencies, we want to keep in
touch with their concerns. That means more pages, and broader
coverage in the magazine, as you can see. That’s why the look of
the magazine has changed too, and we hope it will be easier to
navigate and find your own topics of interest.

This
week the terrible pressures on social services, which have been
debated and discussed in Community Care for months, have
broken out once more into the general media. Once again the future
of social work is under discussion, as the Victoria Climbie inquiry
hits the headlines. This week, as often happens, Community
Care
has been asked by other media to take a stand on behalf
of its readers, and is proud to do so, because – as our cover story
this week shows – our readers’ achievements are extraordinary. The
changes to Community Care this week signal that we are
moving up a gear both as champions of social care’s future and as a
forum within which the shape of that future can be debated.

In the
next few years, social care will continue to break through
traditional agency boundaries. Social workers will have the
opportunity to spread their wings as never before. And with the
help of new institutions like the Social Care Institute for
Excellence and the General Social Care Council, there will be new
opportunities to develop the profession and its public image.

If we
work together, the values of social work and social care will not
only survive but gain in influence. It will require a concerted
fight but the prize is worth it. The skills, values and knowledge
developed in social services departments and voluntary agencies
could become a force to be reckoned with in the NHS, housing
agencies, the private sector, and a wide range of multidisciplinary
teams and multi-agency initiatives.

Social
workers and other social care professionals will play a key role in
both traditional and new services. They will need to be more
confident than ever before of their professional identity and
unique contribution. And they will need a wider variety of
information and analysis from Community Care, as they tend
their roots while growing into the opportunities the new world has
to offer. While continuing our unrivalled coverage of the
traditional social care agencies, we also need to explore the new
working environments in which our readers increasingly find
themselves.

Community Care passionately believes in the future of
social work and social care. In order to continue to champion our
readers, we will evolve as their services evolve, reflecting the
realities of social care today and exploring the possibilities of
social care tomorrow.

A time
of change is ahead. But if anyone can deal with change, it’s social
care professionals. After all, you have years of experience of
change and so do we. Community Care is a leader in a time
of change. To be that, we have to change too.

But like
our readers, we’re not changing our values one bit.

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