Media “could be a friend to social workers”

The media could be more of a friend than foe to social work
professionals, delegates at Community Care Live Scotland
were told this week, writes Clare

Jo Roe, who produced a six-part series about the work of
Edinburgh Council social work department for BBC Scotland, said she
had wanted to “shatter the myths” that social workers
either snatch children away or were “do-gooders” who
don’t do enough.

“There are complex relationships between social workers
and their clients which is largely invisible on television,”
she said.

But she warned that social work professionals were very wary of
the media, which was “not surprising” given the reports
in some of the tabloid press.

“A lot of people didn’t trust us [when we were
making the documentary] and weren’t prepared to take a risk.
I don’t blame them for feeling like that,” she said.
“But that blanket mistrust is not helpful.”

Roe explained that when she was working on a documentary about
medics, they were “less wary of being stitched up”.

However, she said she had sensed a shift towards participation
from social workers. “Love it or loathe it, the media does
play a vital role.”


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