Community Care, the website and magazine for the social care profession, has launched a campaign to protect the profession from media distortion. Stand Up Now for Social Work demands respect for social workers: "The great work of most social workers goes unrecognised while the profession gets pilloried in the media for its mistakes. The campaign to reverse this starts here." Amongst other things, they call on: "The media to portray social work in an accurate and balanced way, be accountable for the information they provide, and agree and adhere to guidelines for reporting on social work."
Since I stopped doing public law work, I've not had much contact with social workers, but (subject to the limits of the guidelines referred to above) I wholly support this campaign. Yes, social workers make mistakes (as we all do), balancing the delicate interests of children and their parents, but they also provide an essential front-line service to the most needy in society. The kind of hysterical media reporting that we have seen recently belittles the achievements of the service and demoralises hard-working dedicated professionals. I hope the campaign is successful in its aims.