Public opinion of social workers has improved, finds survey

The majority of people think social workers do a good and challenging job, but there are still gaps in their understanding of the role.

Social work is portrayed negatively by the media (Ray Tang/Rex Features)

Four out of five members of the public believe social workers do a good job in their community, according to research carried out to mark the changes in England’s regulation system.

A similar proportion said they recognised how difficult a job social work is and two-thirds said social workers were portrayed negatively by the media.

The online survey of 1,683 people was carried out by market research company Opinion Matters and released to coincide with the transfer of responsibility for the social care register in to the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) yesterday.

According to the survey, almost a quarter of the public did not know social workers have to be registered in order to practise.

Marc Seale, chief executive of the HCPC, said: “Anyone using the services of a social worker can check with us to see if their social worker is registered.

“If then they are not happy with the service they receive, whether that’s the level of professional skills, or the individual’s behaviour, they can take it up with us and we will investigate further.”

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