Four in ten have worse view of child social workers after Baby P

Four in ten people have a lower opinion of children’s social workers as a result of the Baby P case, a Local Government Association survey published today has found.

However, the survey of 1,000 adults conducted this week also found strong support for the profession and for increased resources for services.

Key results included:-

  • 54% agreed that children’s social services were effective in protecting children, while 21% disagreed.
  • 82% agreed children’s social workers knew more about children’s needs than politicians did. Nine per cent disagreed.
  • 78% supported more resources for local council children’s services, while 8% did not.
  • 52% would recommend a career in social work to a friend or family member, while 43% would not.

The last result compares to a similar survey in December, conducted one month after the Baby P trial concluded, which found just 39% of people would recommend a career in social work to a child.

Since December, there has also been a decline, from 68% to 58%, in the proportion of people who thought social workers were responsible “to a great extent” for protecting children. Meanwhile, there was an increase from 80% to 85% in the proportion who thought families were responsible for child protection to a great extent.

Respondents appeared to believe that problems in children’s social work were concentrated in certain authorities with 78% agreeing that some local children’s social services were much worse than others.

Related articles

Scepticism over LGA/DCSF plans to lure back retired practitioners

LGA and Ed Balls bid to lure back ex-children’s social workers

Expert guide to the Laming child protection review

Expert guide to the Baby P case


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