Celebrities back social work recruitment campaign

Sadie Frost, Michelle Ryan, Goldie and Samantha Morton are among the celebrities who have today helped launch a government recruitment campaign to tackle the chronic shortages of social workers across England.

The £58m recruitment drive, Help Give Them A Voice, aims to persuade 5,000 people to take up a career in social care. The sector is notorious for staff shortages and has recently been badly affected by the Baby P scandal.

Earlier this year Personnel Today’s sister title Community Care revealed that one in nine social care positions went unfilled, and a quarter of workers were unaware of valid career paths.

Each of the celebrities taking part in the campaign plays the role of a child or adult in need of support in a series of video advertisements that have already been shown on the internet. The six films will today be run as a 40-second television advert.

The stories are based on real-life case studies, and the campaign website shows how social workers helped in each case, before inviting people to register their interest in entering or returning to the profession.

Children’s secretary Ed Balls, who is leading on the campaign for the government, said: “The success stories of the nation’s social workers are rarely heard and research shows that many people don’t even know what social workers really do. This hard-hitting campaign will mean a big step towards raising the profile of their work and showing what social workers deal with every day.”

In May the Department of Health launched a series of measures to improve social care recruitment, including a pilot national management training programme for 20 recent graduates from any discipline, which will offer each person a £20,000 ‘golden hello’ to take the course.

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