More needs to be done to improve the pay and status of the social
care workforce, the incoming president of the Association of
Directors of Social Services said in his opening address to
members, writes Katie Leason in
Tony Hunter said that social care staff were still “woefully
underpaid” and that in order to attract and keep the right staff
something needed to be done to address pay and status, particularly
for residential and home care staff.
He added that staff needed to be more vocal about their
“We must make it our business to shout from the rooftops about
good things happening. It never ceases to amaze me how coy social
workers and social care staff are about their big achievements,” he
The future of social work was “rosier” than it was a few years
ago, he added, but “sometimes unfairly pilloried and judged with
He questioned whether social care staff were “too risk adverse”,
pulling people into systems too soon and too often taking people
away from their families and communities. He also asked whether
there was too much reliance on time-consuming assessment systems
which “reduce confidence and create dependence”.
People just wanted information and resources to live their
lives, he said.
Referring to the situation in Liverpool, where social workers
are on strike, he said that the council would “get through” and
emerge “stronger” as a result.