Debate on registration for social work

We asked: Do you think registration will help improve
the public perception of social work?

Here are some of the comments we recieved:

Social care values feel in decline and under attack. My own
local authority, who I have worked for as a Social Worker for 15
years, has transferred all staff working with older people to
health in the form of primary care trusts.

A year ago in adult services new contracts were issued to all
staff to change our title to care manager – whether we were
qualified as a social worker or not.

At least registration will make it immediately apparent whether
a care Manager is qualified to do social Work – it may be the last
hope for social work here with older people.

Paul Green

No. The public neither know no care. Registration is a rather
pathetic attempt to gain some of the status of doctors and lawyers
by aping one of their practices.

The difference is that you could make a lot of money by
pretending to be a doctor or lawyer, whereas … the whole business
is a 19th century solution to a 21st century problem.

Nurses and radiographers are facing soaring costs for
registration and so will social workers. And for what?

Criminal Records Bureau should give employers information about
our crimes and universities should give information about our

Andrew Bolger

It will take more than just registration to improve the public
perception of social work. Registration is a step in the right
direction, as is the raising of social Work training to degree

However, I think that unless social Workers and the media
present social Work in a positive light, registration could be used
by the public as a tool to attack us with. Rather than it being
used as bench mark of quality that should give the public
confidence in us.

Social workers need to sing the praises of the good outcomes
achieved through hard work,commitment, and innovative ways of
working and give up telling tales of woe.

Social workers have tough jobs and of course I know how hard we
work … and the responsibility we carry.

Of course front-line social workers should be better paid and
better supported but we will never win the support of the public
for our claims by being negative.

Registration is good and right. But on its own it will not solve
the problem of the poor public image of social work.
Collette Batho
Director of Fostering

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