So the social worker in the BBC’s Eastenders turned out to
be an over-zealous busybody, appearing out of the blue on Paul’s
doorstep to announce they would be coming to take his baby daughter
off him the next day. No preamble, no discussion, no
assessmentÉ no surprises there then.
“Typical social worker” you can hear the viewers tutting.
OK, it’s only a soap opera, but about 15 million people regularly
watch it and there’s no escaping the fact that it does help shape
What a shame the scriptwriters couldn’t be bothered to stray from
the tired old stereotype. Wouldn’t it be great if, just for once,
we could have a sympathetic social worker on prime time television.
Someone like BBC’s Casualty‘s Duffy or a Charlie, battling
with the complexities of the job but always well-intentioned.
For one thing it would count for much more than any Department of
Health recruitment campaign when it comes to persuading people that
a career in social work is worth considering.
But it might also help convince the public that the Rottweiler
jokes are wide of the mark and, believe it or not, social workers
are just trying to help people.
l See news, page 6