Northamptonshire's social workers would talk more about their role - if they could

Social workers say they have a bad reputation because the public is not allowed to see what they a lot of what they do.

Wednesday, 22nd March 2017, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:06 am
Social carers say patient confidentiality often keeps them from talking about their success stories.

Client confidentiality bars them from reporting their success stories, but they agree they could do more to tell people about their work.

The comments come as Northamptonshire County Council celebrates World Social Work Day at a conference in Northampton.

Liam Moseley, 29, a short-term adult mental health social worker, said: "On the whole, most people don't know what social workers do. We do a lot more than child protection and the action some of our workers have to take in that role.

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Northamptonshire County Council celebrated their social workers at a conference.

"Confidentiality means that we can't talk about our successes. I think perhaps we are not so good at promoting ourselves."

Northamptonshire County Council's social workers were invited to talk at Kings Park Conference Centre, in Kings Park Road, in Moulton, to discuss best practice and hear what the future holds for their role.

They heard from charities who support families in social care, children who had been through care, and discussed how technology will impact their services.

Northamptonshire County Council's child services were rated "requires improvement" in 2016, up from "inadequate" in their last inspection.

Northamptonshire County Council celebrated their social workers at a conference.

Magreth Lawrence, who works in the child disability team said: "I didn't work for the council when we got the inadequate rating, but I feel things are really improving there. I know I can talk to my manager for help with a case or situation at any time.

"When you see how you've helped a child's situation, or when someone says thank you for your work, that to me is worth a million dollars.

"I don't feel stretched. I'm comfortable with my work and feel I can what I need to do done."

A £2bn boost to social care was announced by the Government earlier this month as part of the spring budget.

Speaking last year, county council deputy leader and cabinet member for children’s services Cllr Heather Smith said:

“Like many local authorities, we do need to get better at recruiting and retaining permanent staff so that children and young people get consistent support from their social worker.

“I’m delighted that Ofsted has highlighted the work of our fantastic Social Work Academy, which is another part of the solution as it means we can attract the best quality newly-qualified social workers and offer them training and support as they begin their social work career with Northamptonshire County Council.”