Oscar-nominated actor and former looked-after child Samantha Morton today launched a government recruitment campaign to tackle the chronic shortages of social workers across England.
Morton is one of a number of celebrities who have got involved in the Help Give Them A Voice campaign, which is aiming to lure more people into the profession by highlighting the impact of social workers on the lives of children and vulnerable adults.
Actors Emilia Fox, Sadie Frost, Nicholas Hoult, Joanna Page and Michelle Ryan, and drum and bass musician Goldie, who was also in care, each play the role of a child or adult in need of support in a series of video advertisements that have already been shown on the internet. The six films will today be run as a 40-second television advert.
Stories show impact of social workers
The stories are based on real-life case studies, and the campaign website shows how social workers helped in each case, before inviting people to register their interest in entering or returning to the profession.
Morton said: “My early life from infancy to leaving home at 16 was spent in care. I had some wonderful social workers who supported me and helped me achieve my goals in life.
“That’s why it’s important to recruit more social workers. There are many people out there, whether they be children, families, vulnerable adults, even the aged who need a social worker. I want to enable them to have the support they need.”
Children’s secretary Ed Balls, who is leading on the campaign for the government, said: “It’s a job that can save and transform lives.
Social workers’ stories’ ‘rarely heard’
“Yet the success stories of the nation’s social workers are rarely heard and research shows that many people don’t even know what social workers really do. This hard-hitting campaign will mean a big step towards raising the profile of their work and showing what social workers deal with every day.”