Readers’ letters to Community Care, 3 February 2011

College union link is inappropriate

Aspect shares the widely expressed concerns that a close relationship with one trade union is not the best option for the College of Social Work and indeed runs the risk of the College being seen as the professional “arm” of one union and losing membership accordingly.

The regrettable but hard fact is that the trade union density of social workers is among the lowest of any public sector professional group, and is the only instance where density has been falling over an extended period.

It is also highly regrettable if, as a result of the College’s decision, there are two colleges of social work in the future.

Given the likely fragmentation of employers in the sector, we think this decision is particularly regrettable as such a link will have little resonance in the voluntary and private sector .

John Chowcat

General secretary, Aspect

Exercise caution when online

We need to embrace new web and mobile technology and make them work for us (Technology Special, 20 January,

But there is a less positive use of the internet, which may well have an impact on relationships with service users.

Anyone searching for help or advice on a particular subject is offered myriad opportunities in the shape of websites, blogs, and YouTube videos.

While many of these are highly professional the ether is also travelled by those happy to exploit the vulnerable through the sale of costly training programmes and books; and by those who hold very different, and damaging, views on parenting and relationships and the place of social care.

Those who believe in a good thrashing as a response to misdemeanour also have web access, as do those keen to promote their anger regarding social workers. Before we recommend a website, or article, we should check it first.

Helen Bonnick

Social worker

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