A children’s social worker has launched a petition to stop controversial laws proposed by David Cameron, which could see social workers jailed for up to five years.
‘Support social workers not imprison them’ states: “Placing the fear of imprisonment into the heart of this specialist area of social work will prevent the work being completed as professionals will be motivated by ensuring their own safety rather than that of the child or young person.”
Zowie Overy, a social worker with experience in tackling child sexual exploitation, started the petition in response to this week’s controversial announcement from the prime minister.
David Cameron warned the government is proposing to extend the crime of wilful neglect, which carries a maximum five-year jail term, to children’s social workers. The news has already provoked a furious response from the sector.
The move was labelled ‘crass political opportunism’ by one social worker, while others accused the prime minister of undermining the safety and welfare of children.
Stand up for Social Work
Overy is using her petition, which so far has 4,470 signatures, to call for young people to be educated to understand the risks of child sexual exploitation, and social work professionals to be supported rather than blamed or threatened.
Community Care’s campaign, which launched yesterday, calls on all social workers to Stand up for Social Work by taking pride in their great work, being honest about the challenges they face and urging the government to support them to do their jobs.
Signing the petition is just one of the ways the profession can Stand up for Social Work.
This article is part of Community Care’s campaign to Stand up for Social Work. We’re standing up for social work by being honest, offering support and providing inspiration.
You can stand up for social work by:
- Taking one action and telling us what it is
- Sharing this article
- Sharing what you’ve done to make a difference today
- Writing a letter to your MP
- Changing your profile picture