LGA: Baby P media coverage has damaged social work

Media coverage of the baby Peter case has hit social worker morale and worsened the public image of the profession, according to councillors in charge of children’s services.

A Local Government Association survey published today found 93% of lead councillors for children’s services felt the reporting of the case had had a negative impact on the way people saw social workers.

Staff morale has worsened

Almost as many felt there had been a negative impact on staff morale as a result of media coverage of the Haringey case.

The LGA also released figures showing 60% of councils in England were finding it more difficult to recruit children’s social workers since October 2008, the month before the end of the trial of those responsible for baby Peter’s death.

An LGA survey published last December found that councils found it more difficult to recruit and retain children’s social workers than any other job role.

Respect and Protect campaign

The findings are being released at the LGA’s annual conference as part of its Respect and Protect campaign to boost the image of the profession in order to improve protection for children.

The LGA is also unveiling a number of posters at the conference designed to boost social work’s image.

LGA chair Margaret Eaton said: “Councils all over the country know how vital the role of social workers is, and displaying these images in local areas will hopefully help develop a better understanding of what a difference they make to thousands of youngsters.”

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