Community Care celebrates 50 years reporting on and supporting social work

With our first edition having been published on 3rd April 1974, we will be spending 2024 reflecting on how social work has changed over the past century and where it might go next

Birthday cupcake with burning lit candle with number 50.
Photo: Myvector/Adobe Stock

Today, Community Care celebrates 50 years reporting on and supporting the social work profession.

We published our first edition on 3rd April 1974, a few years after the creation of a unified social work profession in the UK, with the advent of social work and social services departments, a single qualification and generic social work roles.

As our first editor, Mark Allen, said in a recent interview to mark our 50th anniversary: “People felt that it was the start of a new era in social work, so attitudes were positive.”

The profession has been through a lot since then, and we have evolved too.

How Community Care has evolved

We launched our Community Care Live event in 1997 and our Community Care Inform Children subscription-based learning resource in 2007. Then, after publishing a weekly magazine since 1974, Community Care went completely online in 2011, with the Inform Adults site launching in 2014.

Since 2017, Community Care has been owned by the Mark Allen Group, the publishing company founded and chaired by Mark, under which the brand has continued to evolve and innovate, such as The Social Work Community – an online community for practitioners to share thoughts and ideas.

Through these changes, and the much more significant developments in social work, we have always sought to be a supportive ally to the profession, most recently through our 2023 Choose Social Work campaign.

Our interview with Mark was the first in a series of pieces of content we will be publishing over the coming months to mark our 50th anniversary as well as looking to the future. You can stay up to date by bookmarking this tag page, and signing up to our free newsletters.

‘A privilege to support social work’

Community Care’s publishing director, Katie Sharman, said: “The Community Care team and I feel a real privilege to work on a brand that supports social work, a sector filled with inspiring and hardworking individuals that work tirelessly to improve lives. It has been fascinating to look back at copies of Community Care from 1974 and reflect on how both the brand and sector have changed since then, as well as think about what the next 50 years will bring!

“We continue to be committed to providing learning, careers and news content that best supports the sector, and the best ways we can deliver this content especially with the current pressures on time and resource. Most recently we are proud to have launched The Social Work Community, a place for the social work sector to connect and network. We are always keen to have feedback on how we can continue to support the sector so please do get in touch with any thoughts and feedback by emailing communitycare@markallengroup.com.”

Celebrate your colleagues

As part of our celebrations for Community Care’s 50th anniversary, we wanted to highlight the brilliant work social workers do every day to help each other and those they support. Be part of our My Brilliant Colleague series and write to us about a colleague’s excellent practice or support they’ve given you in a time of crisis.

You or your colleague have the option to be anonymous and the entries can feature anyone you work with, including team managers, practice educators and students. Check out the previous entries and find more information by reading our nominations form.

7 Responses to Community Care celebrates 50 years reporting on and supporting social work

  1. Victoria Coker April 4, 2024 at 9:22 am #

    Community care has reached so many social workers and other professionals in a unique way that expresses innovation, leadership and abilities to continue to take the professionals in their journeys as to improve the service users lives.
    It also gives social workers opportunities to find good jobs as to improve their statuses.
    I wish other organisations can learn from the Community Care. I remember when it started and never fail to deliver. Congratulations. Hope you continue to grow in strength

    • Mithran Samuel April 4, 2024 at 9:57 am #

      Thank you so much for your very kind words, Victoria – we really appreciate your thoughts and the fact you’ve stuck with us as a reader!

  2. Pete Feldon April 4, 2024 at 3:18 pm #

    I would add that Community Care has always endeavoured to be scrupulously accurate and well-researched in its reporting. If only that were the case with national newspapers!

  3. John B. April 4, 2024 at 7:04 pm #

    I loved the magazine and remember the letters page!

    • Tahin April 7, 2024 at 9:11 am #

      Miss the letters page too.The magazine had a truly wonderful range of articles which really engaged us readers. CC still the only source for most of us. Also I admire the way CC journalists navigate the often authoritarian orthodoxies imposed on us by Leaders to unpick the issues and inform us.

  4. Sue Ross April 5, 2024 at 9:29 pm #

    I read it first when I was a young unqualified social worker in 1974 and it made me feel I was actually connected in some small way to a profession that mattered even though I had nt a clue what I was supposed to be doing. I ve been reading it ever since, in all the incarnations. Thanks

  5. Mithran Samuel April 7, 2024 at 8:37 pm #

    Thanks all for your lovely comments and memories! It means a lot to us as a team.

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