So it is now official, social work is not a popular choice of
profession, an NOP survey commissioned by this magazine has shown.
Only 24 per cent of adults would consider becoming a social worker.
We suspected it already of course and a glance at vacancy rates in
many London social services departments in particular would provide
But this finding does illustrate the desperate need for an
overhaul of social work’s image with the general public.
A new awareness campaign launched this week by Community
Care and the Local Government Association, with the Department
of Health’s blessing, will help. There is some good news to build
on with nearly four out of five people saying they value the
contribution social workers make to society.
Extra cash has been found for nurses and GPs to help the
recruitment problems blighting those professions, and affordable
housing is now targeted at other “key workers” in the
If our awareness campaign is later to lead to a successful
recruitment drive for social workers, then more money for improved
salaries must be forthcoming from the government.