Community Care survey reveals public ignorance about social work role

The majority of the public understand little or nothing about
the role of social workers and believe their image to be worse than
that of teachers and nurses, writes Derren

A report by Community Care, launched to mark the start
of Care in the Capital week, highlights how the public
misunderstanding of what social work is continues to undermine the

A photography exhibition showing London social workers doing
their job aims to debunk these misconceptions.

The survey of 1,000 people across England finds 53 per cent
admit they understand little or nothing about the role of social
workers, but nine out of ten believe it to be an important job.

Almost two thirds of those interviewed from London and the south
believe social workers have a worse image than nurses. Fifty-seven
and 41 per cent think it is worse than teachers and police
respectively. However, social workers will be relieved to hear they
are still viewed better than journalists, estate agents and traffic

Community Care managing editor Mark Ivory said the Care
in the Capital week and exhibition would challenge “negative and
outdated” perceptions of the profession.

“At nearly 20 per cent, London has one of the highest social
services vacancy rates in the country and a key obstacle to
recruiting social workers and carers is lack of public

Co-author of the report Charlotte Rastan, a specialist in public
sector marketing campaigns, said the research showed that people
still did not see social work as a desirable career.

Those surveyed felt creating a soap opera based around social
workers could help dispel negative media coverage.

The Changing Face of Social Care from 020 8652 4861/4699.

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