Choose Social Work: join Community Care’s campaign to champion your profession
By Ruth Hardy-Mullings, head of content, Community Care
Community Care is today launching a campaign to champion the great profession of social work. Here’s why…
A couple of weeks ago, four of us from Community Care went to spend the day with a children’s services team at a London council.
I left the day feeling both completely knackered and genuinely in awe of the work that social workers do every day.
We saw first-hand the families that the social workers worked with, the support they gave and the decisions they had to make.
What has stayed with me is the amount of thought and reflection that went into every one of those decisions. The social workers were constantly interrogating their own thinking, and being challenged by managers to reflect on the factors that might be influencing them.
One of these factors is the negative media landscape that surrounds social work. There have been several tragic child deaths featured in the media over the past two years, like those of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, Star Hobson, and, most recently, Finley Boden.
Every time a case hits the national press, whatever the reality of social work involvement, it inevitably affects morale and creates a heightened sense of fear of making a mistake, particularly in child protection work.
We know that this is a challenging time for social work, a sector that has had more than its fair share of challenging times. There are also the ongoing challenges with recruitment and retention: one in five children’s social work posts lie vacant, and the vacancy rate in adults’ services has risen sharply over the last three years. This causes more pressure and higher caseloads for the workers that remain.
The Choose Social Work campaign
This is why Community Care wants to counteract this negative media coverage and show the inspiring, brave, emotional work social workers do every day.
Community Care has launched Choose Social Work, our first campaign since 2015.
Over the coming months, we will share inspiring stories, from social workers, celebrities and people with lived experience, about the difference that social work can make.
We will publish a series of letters, Dear Future Social Worker, to inspire the next generation to choose social work as a fulfilling, rewarding career.
And we will show the damage that negative media coverage can have on social workers, and explore the potential solutions.
I’m proud to work for Community Care and, in a very small way, support a profession that does so much good for society.
As Labour MP and former social worker Emma Lewell-Buck said in an interview we will publish this week: “Every minute of every day, there’s a social worker somewhere, be it children’s or adults’, who’s actually improving someone’s life.”
We want this campaign to show that: we see you, we support you, we value what you do.
Please keep choosing social work.
5 ways you can support the campaign
- Change your social media picture to the Choose Social Work logo. Just right-click on the image to the right, save to your files, and update your Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/LinkedIn/TikTok logo.
- Email or message this article to five colleagues, relatives or friends, right now, and ask them to support the campaign.
- The next time someone asks you what you do, tell them you’re a social worker – and that you’re proud to be one.
- Use the #ChooseSocialWork hashtag across social media to tell us why you chose the profession.
- Submit a letter to the next generation in our Dear Future Social Worker series – email email@example.com.