Headlines: June 16th, 2011

With pay for most frozen and in some cases, cut, social workers are angry about the way people see the profession. A survey reveals that 85 per cent of social workers say they are poorly represented in the UK.

The findings come from a survey of 580 UK social work practitioners by social work recruitment consultancy Liquid Personnel.

Many respondents called for greater support for the profession, with one commenting: “Social work needs a positive voice to speak up for it, for example saying how many children and vulnerable adults are saved by social workers. Our PR is a disgrace!”

The survey went on to ask which body or person should be responsible for standing up for social workers and representing their interests. 42 per of respondents said BASW (The British Association of Social Workers), 15 per cent said this should be the responsibility of the Government, 13 per cent said a ‘Chief Social Worker’, and 11 per cent said the College of Social Work.

The survey also showed that 69 per cent of social workers have had their pay frozen in the past year, and a further 16 per cent have had their pay reduced.

Jonathan Coxon, MD of Liquid Personnel, commented on the findings, saying: “We all recognise the need for more positivity in the profession, but it’s now time for affirmative action. Organisations such as BASW and the College of Social Work have a real opportunity to begin making a difference for social workers on the frontline.”

He added: “Negative stories will always grab the headlines, and its frustrating that social work’s good news stories will rarely make the front page. But changing the public perception of the profession is not just a PR exercise; it can only come from meaningful investment and reform.”