“My partner shakes his head and asks me why I continue to do the job I do. The truth is, it’s because I love it.”
A frontline social worker wrote this during a testing week in which she’d had threats made to her life and was struggling to manage a spiralling caseload. At points she was frustrated with her job, so why did she still tell her partner she loves it?
Well for one, the same week she’d met a “truly inspirational teenager” – a boy who had experienced horrific physical abuse but was now meeting his potential in school and making the most of his time in foster care.
This inspiring side of social care, the moments that remind social workers why they do what they do – however challenging it is, is too often hidden from the public. We want to change that and make sure that the hard work and dedication of the sector, and the incredible achievements of people who have received social care support, don’t go unnoticed.
That’s why we’re running our positive images of social work and social care competition. We want to show the social care sector in a different light. Building on the success of our “Stand up for Social Work” campaign, we want to celebrate all that is great about the profession.
So whether you’ve taken a photo at an inspiring event, seen some great service user art or an amazing drawing, why not submit it for a chance to be included in our charity calendar? Here’s the full lowdown (and the technical ‘terms and conditions’ bit) on the competition…
The deadline for entries is Friday 10 May.
What we’re after
Put simply – images that inspire you to work in social work or social care. The judging criteria is simple: “does this image make me feel proud to be a social worker?”
You can be as arty and original as you want – just add a line on what the picture shows and why you entered it. The pictures can be of social workers and social care professionals, images/objects that symbolise social work – dogs, cups of teas, files, children’s toys, anything you want.
As long as you have permissions, you can also enter pictures of services users – think your day centre lunch, your care home party, your after-school club, or service user art. We’ll also accept drawings, collages and other images. These can be produced by young people, other service users or professionals themselves. Basically, this is your chance to get creative and showcase your profession in a positive light.
We are also asking entrants to nominate a social care charity of their choice, whose logo will be displayed alongside any winning picture. The calendar will be distributed to thousands of professionals, so this is a great way of raising awareness of the great work done by so many in the sector.
Who can enter?
Anyone who works in social work or social care, or uses their services. You can work in any part of the sector for any organisation – council, charity, private, independent or any other type of social care body.
What about anonymity?
Community Care takes the anonymity of professionals and service users very seriously. Please make sure that if you are identifying a person in a picture that you have their permission do to so. If the person is under 18, or a vulnerable adult, then a parent, carer, guardian or responsible professional must also give permission.
If anonymity is an issue, then be creative and see if there is a way to convey your message without identifying the person. Community Care is happy to offer advice on how best to do this as it’s a challenge we often have to overcome when taking pictures ourselves.
How will the photos be used?
Pictures will be uploaded onto Community Care. Shortlisted entries will be exhibited at Community Care Live at a photo exhibition on 21 and 22 May 2013. Winning entries will be used in a 2014 calendar, which will be distributed to social care professionals.
All winners will be able to select a charity of their choice, whose logo will be displayed alongside the winning pictures. The person who submits the overall best photo – as voted by the judges – will also get to nominate a social care charity of their choice to receive a £500 donation.
Who are the judges?
Community Care is selecting judges from within social work and social care. Everyone is handpicked by us and chosen for their commitment to the sector.
By entering this photo competition, you are granting Community Care all rights to the picture or images. We will only use the pictures in the way described above.