Education, Employment, Live Debates, Live Twitter Debates, Online Debates, Open Access, Open Learning and Tools, Social Care Employment, Social Media, Social Work Employment

Social Work and Social Care Employment in Times of Austerity

The rhetoric of better government services and increased support for vulnerable individuals and their families is contrasted with the harsh reality of significant budget cuts, reduction and/or closure of services, and various reorganisations ranging from merger of services and/or departments to retrenchment of social work and social care workers, unification of middle and top level management, and/or reduction/elimination of supervisory/line-management positions.

The job losses in local authorities are only aggravated by the shrinkage and/or closures of various charities while, there are entire cohorts of new graduates that are still struggling to find their first employment.

Therefore, in our next live twitter debate we wish to explore some of the following questions:

  1. What are the prospects of employment for newly qualified social workers?
  2. Does the area of specialization have any bearing on new graduates’ prospects for employment?
  3. What are some of the employment opportunities available in social work and social care today?
  4. How easy is it to get that “Golden” first job?
  5. What are the employment prospects for statutory social work and social care workers?
  6. What are the employment prospects for  social work and social care workers working in the voluntary/third sector?
  7. What are the employment prospects for independent social workers?
  8. What are the employment prospects for agency workers?
  9. How easy or difficult is it to change between services and/or specialisations?

The time and date of the debate are as follows:

Topic:    Social Work and Social Care Employment Prospects in Times of Austerity

Date:     Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Time:    15:00 to 16:15 EST  (20:00 to 21:15 GMT)

Official Twitter Feed:  @SWSCmedia  

The debate hashtag is:  #SWSCmedia

If this is your first time to join our debate please follow the following steps:

How to join the debate:

  1. To participate in the debate, type #swscmedia in the search box at the top of your twitter screen and press enter or press the search button (search button is the little lens on the right-hand-side of the search box). You will then be able to see all tweets containing #swscmedia;
  2. To share your views or respond to a point or a question or to share your ideas/views please make sure you include #swscmedia in the text of your tweet. This will ensure that others who are following the debate are able to see your tweet.

We look forward to seeing you in our debate.



One thought on “Social Work and Social Care Employment in Times of Austerity

  1. Here is an edited version of something I sent to a GSCC Blog today, that has not yet appeared there.

    Your Blog reached me today via Twitter, I hope you are now gainfully employed using your social work training.

    As for unemployment amongst the newly qualified, it was for ever thus.

    Back in 1977, I well recall numbers of newly qualified CQSW holders having been sponsored by The Home Office and successfully completed training unable, to get work. I had qualified in 1975, when only very few had such difficulties. No doubt some/many drifted off elsewhere, they are well qualified and have great potential for many careers, I know of others who eventually got probation employment, and at least one who had many months of unemployment who went on to senior management.

    It was an issue throughout my employment for my Trades Union, Napo (The Trade Union and Professional Association for Family Court and Probation Staff) Presumably it still is a major concern for Napo.

    Unfortunately the Government is still waiting to be “joined up”, as a great deal of money and experience is being wasted at a time there is a dire need for Social Workers to tackle the current Government’s policy of attending to, I think it is the so called, 120,000 most challenging/needy families.

    I shall copy this to Priti Patel my MP in Witham, Essex. She maybe interested, but I doubt it. I remember the first time Napo had a national strike ever, in about 1983 it was about worsening conditions for, then, trainees. I was politely fobbed off by the Tory MP I lobbied that day, John St John Stevas, as other colleagues were by John Wakeham a predecessor, in her constituency, where I moved in 1983.

    Put simply, most Government Ministers and Parliamentarians are only seriously interested in Social Work when there is a crisis and the practitioners are held responsible. Whereas what is needed is consistent, so called ‘joined up Government’.

    I would urge, you and all trainee colleagues to join their Trades Union as students. Ultimately, when after 30 years stressful overwork with extreme responsibility for society’s most challenging people, I “burnt-out” 8 years ahead of my retirement age. It was due to the intervention and Union support that I was literally saved from catastrophe and negotiated early retirement.

    Had I been supported by my employer(s) and properly managed earlier I might still be working today. I still have all the assessment and people engagement skills needed, but as a disabled person, lack the administrative skills to be a computer operator and spend the amount of time with the ‘clients’ I deemed necessary to do the job, I was trained to do in the mid 70’s.

    Although Probation Officers no longer need to obtain the same qualification as Social Workers, I suspect that a Social Work Qualification may still be acceptable for many Probation Service jobs and vice versa, such is the overlap of skills and activity between the employments.

    Sadly, despite great effort Napo failed to persuade former Government Ministers of the stupidity of Probation Officers and Social Workers being trained separately.

    In my career, some of my training experiences from social work, were of greatest use to me when I was a probation officer, especially when I was working in a prison.

    There was similar wasted energy in separating Court Welfare Work from Probation and Social Work.

    I handled the professional aspects of all such work with my basic 2 year non degree CQSW course and ongoing in-service and professional updating training, to the extent that I received commendations for my work in the year, I “burnt-out”, from The Chair of the Parole Board and from a Chief Probation Officer, (that in a case where after my departure a Life Sentence prisoner went missing and needed to be recalled to prison).

    Posted by Tolkny | December 13, 2011, 7:13 pm

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