Social work campaign aims to tackle image and recruitment problems

Personnel Today has joined forces with sister title Community Care in a bid to improve the image of social work and highlight the acute recruitment and retention problems the sector faces.

Community Care magazine launched its Stand Up Now for Social Work campaign in response to negative media coverage of the profession in the wake of the Baby Peter case.

Among other things, the campaign is calling for increased support from employers, better access to on-the-job training, and government commitments to tackle the sector’s skills shortage.

The government has committed £73m to developing children’s social workers, but recruitment problems are widespread. Research by the magazine in April revealed one in nine social worker posts in England are unfilled, with vacancy rates as high as 18% in London.

Once in a job, many social workers also feel they suffer from inadequate training and supervision, leading to increased workplace stress.

The Public Sector People Managers’ Association has identified social worker recruitment as one of the key areas to focus on. The body has urged organisations to help improve the image of social work to improve the attraction and retention of candidates.

Personnel Today would like to hear from readers working in the local government and social care sectors. E-mail


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