Social Care Workforce

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2015 National Delegate Conference
24 February 2015
Carried as Amended

Conference notes with concern that community, health and local government social workers have long been vilified in the media when things go wrong. Individual social workers have seen their careers destroyed when they have been held to account for the failures of the employer to fund the service properly. Portrayal of social workers in television dramas has compounded the one sided view of the profession.

Added to this, the ruling by Lord Justice Munby whereby social workers will be named in reports will only add to the social worker being the target of abuse. Quite apart from the individual distress, the effect on recruitment and retention of social workers will inevitably decline.

Conference believes that all social workers provide a vital service, from cradle to grave, for the most vulnerable people in our society. Adverse portrayal of social workers in the media creates a negative perception of the work they carry out, potentially impacting on citizens accessing such essential services in their hour of need.

Conference therefore calls on the National Executive Council to:

1)Issue guidance and advice to branches around safe staffing levels in the community, health and local government social care context;

2)Campaign to press all governments in the UK to review social worker numbers and to bring in the appropriate regulation to ensure employers compulsorily report staff levels and vacancies annually;

3)Encourage Regions to map all our community, health and local government social care members, including social workers so that we are better able to target information and organising and recruitment activity;

4)Seek to enter early discussions with commissioners of television productions to strive for a more balanced portrayal of all social workers in the media.