Social workers at Haringey felt abandoned and isolated during the media outcry over the Baby P case.
Two social workers from Haringey’s first response team, Katherine and Linda, said the impact of the media frenzy resulted in personal attacks on colleagues on home visits, which ranged from accusations of incompetence to child murder.
“There was no escaping it in the office, visiting clients or in our personal lives,” they said.
“The most difficult part was the appalling nature of the personal attacks suffered by our colleagues. We felt that we did not have a voice in this process and nobody was advocating on our behalf. We felt that the reporting was biased and did not accurately describe the challenges of practising social work in one of the most deprived areas of the country.”
“During this period we were also under constant scrutiny and because of this our morale was very low. But we became a strong, caring staff group, able to give each other support and help through what was an incredibly stressful and traumatic experience.”
Linda and Karen said over the past six months there had been more stability in the staffing group, from frontline social workers up to senior management.
“We’re now more confident and feel more supported in carrying out our work,” they said. “Workloads have also decreased considerably. This is largely because we now have more administration support available to us.”