Public, private and voluntary organisations are to work with 345 schools on out-of-hours educational projects for which funding

31 Aug 00
The government is to launch a quality strategy for social workers in a bid to raise standards and challenge the negative stereotypes that dog the profession.

01 September 2000

The strategy will aim to boost standards in social services departments and improve the experiences of service users. A new body, the Social Care Institute for Excellence, will oversee training and promote good practice.

A Quality Framework setting out the roles of councillors and officers in promoting excellence in social services will also be published, with the aim of improving service delivery.

The new measures were revealed by David Gilmore, deputy chief inspector of the Social Services Inspectorate, during a panel discussion on the negative portrayal of social workers in the media.

`The aim is to improve the quality, consistency and value of social work and social care services,' he said. `The image question does need to be addressed and has a significant role to play.'

A survey has highlighted the extent of disillusionment among social workers and social care staff. Organised by Community Care magazine, it found that 84% of social workers felt negative media coverage, which portrayed them as people who broke up families, generated hostility from the public.

It also showed that 81% felt this portrayal had caused service users to mistrust staff, while 41% believed it had led to difficulties in recruiting new staff to the profession. Nearly 40% of the 971 respondents said they had seriously considered leaving the profession as a result of its poor public image.


Did you enjoy this article?