Community Care launched a major
campaign this week aimed at highlighting the deepening recruitment
crisis in London.
in the Capital Week is focusing public attention on how vulnerable
people are being left without consistent and reliable support
because the shortage of social workers has now reached crisis
campaign sees the launch of a report called Is Anybody Out
There? commissioned by Community Care, which suggests
that a poor image and lack of understanding of social work,
combined with overstretched services and poor pay and conditions,
are among the main reasons for the shortage.
Speaking at the campaign launch
in central London on behalf of health minister Jacqui Smith, Lionel
Took, a member of the Department of Health’s recruitment and
retention task force, pledged to “do more to make sure that you are
supported in this very important job”.
said that the government was unable to intervene directly in the
recruitment crisis because that was a matter for the 4,000
individual employers of social care workers. But he added that
government could offer help by increasing resources.
Funding for training, for
example, had been increased by £10m, bringing the budget to
£57m for 2003. And calls to a helpline set up to deal with
calls generated by the DoH recruitment campaign had topped
“Social workers do a great job,”
said Took, adding: “I am delighted to thank you for being a force
for good in this country.”
Community Care editor Polly Neate said she hoped
the campaign would “inspire and change people’s perceptions about a
vital profession in society”.
in the Capital is backed by key organisations including the
Association of Directors of Social Services, the Local Government
Association, the Greater London Authority and the Association of
in the Capital Week is supported by Celsian.