Social workers are being urged to tackle the profession’s negative public image by speaking up about their role in public and media debates.
The College of Social Work has issued guidance for social workers about engaging with the media, to be launched today at Community Care Live in association with Community Care.
The guide highlights the role practitioners can play in improving understanding of “what social work is really like”, promoting success stories and dispelling stereotypes often found in the media.
It includes practical tips on dealing with journalists, such as avoiding jargon – “describe things as you would explain them to someone in the pub” – and getting to know reporters who cover social care issues. Another section includes advice on how local authorities should respond to a crisis.
The guide is being published as part of the College’s Speak Up for Social Work campaign, which aims to enable social workers to find their individual and collective public voice.
“Our campaign aims to help social workers to speak up about what they do,” said the College’s strategic media manager, Mark Ivory.
“Social workers want to make the media and public aware of the challenges and complexities of the job, as well as the many successes that they have. This guide is just the start of the support that we will giving to social workers and employers to help them tackle social work’s negative public image.”
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