involved when someone is going through a difficult time, when they are vulnerable and may even resent input from social services. Yet when good relationships are forged between a service user or carer and their social worker, together they can make a significant difference, often with far-reaching and long-term beneficial effects. We live in interesting times;
ever has a profession attracted such negative, inaccurate stereotyping and hostility as social work. Why is that? Social workers are invariably
The College is both for social workers and led
Relationships are the core of social
work practice and that between a service user or carer and their social worker is arguably the most vital alliance
‘Austerity Britain’ presents a challenge as the need for social workers increases in the face of swingeing budget cuts. I have recently experienced both the very best and worst from my social workers. Relationships are the core of social work practice, and that between a service user or carer and their social worker is arguably the most vital alliance. Good social workers are invaluable.
by social workers, but input from service users and carers has been actively sought throughout. The importance of this ‘special relationship’ continues with service user/ carer representation on the Board, membership options and opportunities for volunteers. Establishing The College as a
beacon of excellence is timely and much-needed. I hope for appropriate services which can be accessed by service users and carers; and that The College develops a united, clearly-
defined public image to bust media stereotypes and to promote social work as the profession that it is. Working together, what an opportunity we have to make a difference!
Kate Arnett is vice chair of the Social Work Action Group in Worcestershire
Social workers offer their practice highlights of the month Linda James
Marie Joseph social work lecturer
The College of Social Work has
happened! Social workers can truly find ‘a voice’ as never before. I like what The College has begun to offer to service users and practitioners in so many ways. Social work is going to be in for BIG times.
workforce development manager (social care)
candidates for the Step- up to Social Work programme I was inspired by the enthusiasm, insight and passion for children and young people evidenced throughout the process.
The candidates were
bright, well educated and eager to make a contribution. They left me feeling very optimistic for the future of the profession.
approved mental health professional
Holding the hand of a gay man
I assessed in a police cell under the Mental Health Act, to show him that I had no fear of the idea he might be HIV-positive, and being able to help him open up about what had happened to him and as a consequence avoid a hospital admission.