A major consultation on the future of the national college of social work was launched at Community Care LIVE last week. We asked practitioners and students what they would like the college to achieve for them, and how much they would pay to join.
Sam Gadd, 40, second year BSc student, Open University
“Public understanding is important because social work has taken a big bashing in the media. When I say I’m a student social worker to people who aren’t in the field, they say, ‘do you know what you’re in for?’. I get looks of horror from my friends. It would be good to be proud to be a social worker.
“I would pay to join a college, but no more than £50 a year. That’s affordable and enough to give a sense that it means something. But if it flies up to £100 or more, people might start gasping at the cost.”
Francis Adu Gyan, 35, final year MA student, Middlesex University
“I’d love to receive information from the college about issues in social work. But its main priorities should be educating the public about the role of social workers in the community – we need to shed more light on what social workers are doing within their teams. Defining the roles of social workers would be helpful.”
George Joseph, 36, social worker from India, living in Hastings
“I think a college is a really good idea. I have just moved over to England from India, so I would like a college to help me get more practical experience. And I find here that people aren’t aware of social workers – they ask what it is that we do.”
Kartik Shah, 23, qualified social worker from India, currently employed as a support worker with Camden Council in London
“I would want the college to make the role of social workers clearer. But it’s also about giving social workers a chance. There is too much paperwork, and there needs to be more emphasis on working with people. I would pay £50-100 to join it, depending on what it does.”