Have your say

Community Care’s online discussion forum Have your say
offers the opportunity to air your views on a controversial
subject. This week’s issue is the government’s recruitment
campaign for social workers

Will it work? Is the emphasis on the image of social work the
right one? Or should the campaign be combined with pay rises for
social workers?

Have your say by clicking here

Comments we have received in recent

I write in response to your invitation to join
the debate on the new National Care Standards Commission

The new commission could avoid the brewing storm if it adopts a
caring, human approach to caring, human problems. If it adopts a
rigid, bureaucratic and dictatorial attitude it will find that it
will face a great deal of opposition.

Many service users are being cared for by volunteers in a family
setting. They do not HAVE TO do it. They do not do it primarily for
the money because they are not paid a commercial rate for the
service they provide.

They do it because they care. Moreover more carers are going to
be needed since care in the community is the way forward. If carers
are not handled with understanding then I can stormy times ahead. I
suggest the commission has among its advisers people with
experience in all the areas that it will regulate.

Most of the staff who will work for the commission will be
inspectors from existing local authority social services inspection
departments. Many of these, although experienced in social work and
inspection are not experienced hands-on carers and do not have the
day-to-day-living-with-service-users experience. They would do well
to listed to experienced carers.

Peter J F Conquest


I read with great interest the article in
community care 23-29 August on the campaign aimed at dispelling the
negative image of social work practice.

The proposed efforts are to improve recruitment and retention of
social worker practitioners. John Ransford comments that in his
view it is that the issue is one of image and once public
understanding is improved the issue of recruitment and retention
will resolve its self. As a social work practitioner with several
years’ experience I have seen many competent professional social
work practitioners leave the profession due to the poor pay and
conditions. If the government is serious about this professional
group of people, why has the question of pay and condition been

Why given the early indications given by directors of social
services has it taken this long to even consider the state of
social work practitioners. As a supervisor of students I find that
students become disillusioned whilst still in training. If the
government was serious about the current negative trends in social
work, maybe it would be advisable to consider paying social workers
a salary, which reflects the professional training, they have

Given that image is very often associated with status and status
is usually associated with salaries. Is it not time to review the
whole structure for those committed individuals who continue in the
social care profession? Sadly until then we will continue to lose
the wealth of expertise and professionalism, with people leaving
the social care field.

M. Jamil

Social worker mental health

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