Raising the status of social work among the general public is practitioners’ top priority for government and the Social Work Taskforce, today’s World Social Work Day conference in London heard.
In a live poll of an estimated 300 social workers and other conference delegates, 43% cited raising the status of the profession as the most important thing government could do to encourage people of the right calibre to become social workers.
The next highest category was ensuring initial social work training prepared people better for the job, with 19% of the vote.
In answer to a separate question, 27% said raising the status of the profession should be the Social Work Taskforce’s top priority in its recommendations to government. This came out ahead of improving the pay and enhancing the conditions of the social work workforce (25%).
Poll backs campaign aims
The findings, which are designed to feed into the taskforce’s work, support the thrust of Community Care’s Stand Up Now for Social Work campaign, which is calling for:-
- The media to portray social work in an accurate and balanced way, be accountable for the information they provide and agree and adhere to guidelines for reporting on social work.
- The government to do more to support and promote respect and positive images to enhance the professional standing of social work, as it has done for teachers.
- Social services departments to improve their PR and media relations skills to help improve interactions with the press and increase opportunities for positive coverage.
What you can do to support the campaign
- Let us know of negative or inaccurate portrayals of social workers in the media – or share with us a balanced and helpful piece. Log your examples on CareSpace.
- Write to the chairman of the British Press awards judges, who nominated The Sun’s Baby P campaign for a national award, using our model letter.