The government’s Social Work Task Force today warned that the profession was under constant attack from the media and urged practitioners to challenge negative coverage.
In its interim findings, submitted to children’s secretary Ed Balls today, the Task Force reported that social workers were “demoralised” by media vilification, causing them to leave their jobs.
Need for strong voice
Many practitioners were frustrated over the lack of a “strong national voice” representing the profession at the time of the media interest in the Baby P case, highlighting an overall lack of leadership, the report said.
It revealed concerns that the profession was “not setting standards for itself” and was “vulnerable” to pressure from government and others seeking reform. Public distrust of social workers was also making it difficult for them to do their jobs.
Engage with media
The Task Force said it was “critical” for social workers to engage directly with the media to “break through the negative cycle of poor media representation and negative public perceptions.”
It said it would challenge public and media debate over the coming months.
The Task Force’s interim findings were published alongside the government’s response to Lord Laming’s review of child protection.