Watch: Clips from Jo Brand’s social work comedy

The clips show Brand's social worker in an awkward team meeting and on a home visit

A promotional shot for Jo Brand's Damned sitcom

‘Damned’, Jo Brand’s highly-anticipated social work comedy, airs at 10pm on Tuesday 27 September on Channel 4.

Set in a children’s services team, Brand co-stars with Alan Davies in a series she hopes will help counter a negative portrayal of social workers.

Ahead of airing, Community Care has been given clips of the show. The two settings featured should be familiar to social workers. The first is a rather awkward team meeting, where biscuits are inevitably mentioned. The second is a home visit.

Channel 4

Social workers have often criticised TV portrayals of the profession for misleading about what the job actually involves, with episodes of Silent Witness and EastEnders provoking particularly negative reactions in recent years.

Read: The best and worst social workers on TV.

Brand, whose mum was a social worker, has previously said she believes the public “love to hate” social workers because they cannot shake the image of “middle-class”, “do-gooders” telling people how to live their lives.

Channel 4

How do you think Jo Brand’s social work comedy will compare to previous TV portrayals?

More from Community Care

17 Responses to Watch: Clips from Jo Brand’s social work comedy

  1. Cathie Withington September 22, 2016 at 8:26 pm #

    Chillingly realistic.

    • Kate September 24, 2016 at 9:31 am #

      I absolutely cannot wait for this to start. It’s about time our profession is represented fully in the media- the hard work and caring side as well as the funny aspects and the things we deal with on a daily basis! Well done Jo Brand for giving us this. Over the moon!

  2. Kirsty September 22, 2016 at 11:13 pm #

    Brilliant! I can’t wait to tune in. Social workers have an extremely demanding job, I very much welcome some light hearted fun aimed towards our profession

  3. David Gaylard September 23, 2016 at 10:15 am #

    This looks a promising and sensitively written series devised by someone who has insight and a sound track record of occupational comedy. Anyone who has seen Jo Brand’s unmissable “Getting on” BBC 4 BAFTA – award winning series which accurately depicted the state of nursing within the NHS knows what I mean. I just hope it lives up to expectations.

  4. Andrea September 23, 2016 at 1:16 pm #

    “if I plug this into the system its’ out of my hands, the kids could be taken into care”, “..a mate of mine runs them…” is this really what commenters so far think is ‘accurate’? Sounds like the publics idea of do-gooding i.e. system has nothing to do with me, I’m on your side against it.
    Team meeting was amusing.

    • julia abadi September 23, 2016 at 8:28 pm #

      I think it is called professional relationship building and professional judgement. Rather than going all heavy handed and judgemental she was working on a human level. I don’t think it would be unreasonable to think that people in social care will have ‘mates’ who run charitable ventures; seasoned social workers will have their contacts. I agree though, no social worker will say at that stage that the children may be taken into care in such an off hand way, or at least I wouldn’t.

      • Andrea September 24, 2016 at 9:21 pm #

        its called conflict of interest

    • Sam September 24, 2016 at 3:08 am #

      But how do you suppose social workers actually get clients on their side so they’re able to help them? Need to establish trust, and people in these situations tend to have no faith in the system that they have to work through to achieve the results they’re reaching for.. But if they trust you, at least you’re able to provide some sort of assistance/ help them towards the right direction.

      Feels pretty realistic to me.

      • Andrea September 24, 2016 at 9:24 pm #

        we’re not there to get clients on our side, we’re there to ensure clients are clear about why we are there, what we are concerned about and what needs to change and what we can do to help, and the consequences if things don’t change – that’s how you build a working relationship with clients, honesty – not hiding behind the ‘system’ – social workers have joined the system – own it

  5. H September 23, 2016 at 6:03 pm #

    Anything to get people talking about social workers and seeing some of what we do will be helpful.

  6. Debbie September 23, 2016 at 9:58 pm #

    A mother said to me today take my kids I’ll have nothing left it’s what you sw do……it is not what we do, we help families in crisis put their lives back together.
    I so hope this programme gets the message across better than I do.

  7. Vicky September 24, 2016 at 10:55 am #

    “If I come back Monday and you haven’t called them then I will show no mercy” – a line I would never and have never said. This appears to be a typical daily mail type quote. The simple fact is to incapulate what social workers say when warning, is near on impossible as one must work and comment within the realms of the law.

    • Pauline October 10, 2016 at 6:54 pm #

      The potted response was remarkable and memorable, precisely because it was unprofessional; the context was a personal visit, not a professional one, to her ex’s home. The direct way she spoke was truthful and friendly, not giving the woman a choice but to call for help. There was no professional distance here, because the woman was known to her and the situation dire, and she wanted to be sure the woman couldn’t play helpless any more. It was totally supportive (and powerful because it was immediate). This was a special situation, not a professional one.

  8. Kate September 24, 2016 at 11:26 am #

    Amusing and reflects some of the real social issues that social workers respond to but pretty unrealistic.Social workers faced with the scenario portrayed would spend time with the family looking at all aspects of the children’s care-not just offer an either “accept support or your children will be taken into care”.Over simplified.

  9. Andrew Foster September 26, 2016 at 9:57 pm #

    It is well known that the truth sometimes hurts……….but hey, loosen up guys, put away your pomposity, your prissy self-satisfaction, your arrogance and your ‘if only’ belief systems…….do yourselves a favour and appreciate the reality portrayed in this new Brand offering………it is a TV programme, not an assassination of the profession. It is as it is……!

    • DIane Jackson September 27, 2016 at 8:01 pm #

      It looks good, and I am so pleased. I am sure Jo’s mother has had an influence – and that’s not taking anything away from Jo. Social work is about engaging with people and working with them, it’s about being able to judge risks and not afraid to take them. Jo’s mother wrote a brilliant article in The Independent when she retired, I am sure with some diligence it can be found. Prevention is the best form of protection for all client groups but especially families. It is not about form filling and watching your back. Great one Jo, and give my regards to your mum.

  10. Hels September 27, 2016 at 10:32 pm #

    What a waste of 30 minutes!!!! Never get them minutes back ! It was rubbish