Newly qualified social workers and those drafted in from abroad are
being abandoned at the frontline with no information about the
services they can offer their clients, writes Lauren
Community Care Live delegates discussing how to fill gaps in
statutory service provision said that new social workers were
unable to do their job properly because they were not informed
about the resources available.
Social worker Karina Hewitson, who joined Barking and Dagenham
council from New Zealand three months ago, told Community Care:
“Coming in as a new person, you are learning on every level. It’s
impossible and it’s overwhelming. It’s too much to do by yourself
if you aren’t being helped.
“They recruit people from overseas and then just dump them,” she
said, adding that there was no time set aside for learning.
Former social worker Tuzel Torgout added that it was not just a
lack of information about specialist services that was the problem.
She said newcomers were equally uninformed about how new government
initiatives, such as Sure Start, Home Start, Connexions and the
Children’s Fund, could help the children and families they worked
“There are huge issues about how we filter information to
frontline workers,” Torgout said. “We need to control it and make
Torgout also criticised the lack of emphasis social work courses
placed on organisation skills, despite the job requiring you to be
“If you haven’t got organisation skills in your head when you
sit down at your social work desk, forget it,” she said.