Poor image still blights social work

A “crisis of confidence” caused partly by poor image
is blighting social work in Scotland, an MSP told the Association
of Directors of Social Work annual conference, writes
Sally Gillen.

Scott Barrie, a Labour MSP for Dunfermline West, said the
government needed to do more to improve public perception of the

Barrie said the ADSW had done “good work”, but
urged directors to abandon a scattergun approach to
improving social work’s image. 

Instead, he said efforts should be concentrated on targeting
those who were sympathetic to social work.

Meanwhile, Scottish councils need to “put pressure on the
Scottish executive for more money” so they can fulfil key new
duties under the country’s new mental health act, according
to a senior official at the Mental Welfare Commission.

Social work commissioner Juliet Cheetham said the new act, which
was passed in April amid controversy that it had been rushed
through, would “transform mental health services for large
numbers of people”.

But she added that councils would need to think about how they
would interpret the new duties to arrange services to promote
well-being and social development of the service user, and to help
them as far as possible to minimise the effect of mental

The work of mental health officers, who are mentioned more than
400 times in the act, will be at the heart of the changes, she

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