Social work is a world I entered in 2006. Since then, it’s seen many changes which have arisen for a variety of reasons; serious case reviews, legislation and media profiling to name just a few. But what has remained consistent is the desire to share good social work practice, improve quality and produce better outcomes for children.
In a typical year, hundreds of thousands of children are involved with children’s services. Often, these result in positive outcomes. And yet it is the very small proportion of cases where things go wrong which are profiled by the media, and result in public outcry with calls for the profession to be held to account.
While being held to account is something all social workers are well versed in, being praised is not a common experience. Perhaps this is due to the nature of the job. Children, society’s most vulnerable, should not be hurt, should not be abused.
But I often wonder if social workers are treated in this way because social work is not truly recognised as a public service. We hear junior doctors are going on strike and there is a public outcry. We hear teachers are going on strike and there are conversations on every radio station and news broadcast across the nation. When social workers go on strike due to poor working conditions and high caseloads? It may be publicised in the sector press, but where else? Continue reading…
This blog first appeared on Community Care. Charmaine Malcolm is a Frontline Fellow and former participant on the Firstline leadership training programme.