In follow up of the excellent work by Bristol Council in partnership with the Open University and the BBC we are pleased to welcome Annie Hudson (Director of Children and Young People’s Services) at Bristol Council (@BristolCouncil) to our live debate and Twitter #LiveChat.
The public perception of the role and professional identity of social work and social workers as well as its depictions in the media, particularly in the UK, seem to have gone from extreme negativity and witch-hunting in the aftermath of Baby Peter to a more positive narrative and greater understanding of social workers’ role. This has been due to a variety of factors including a Stand up for SocialWork campaign by Community Care and the very welcomed launch of the Guardian #Socialcare network as well as the important work by various professional organisations such as the British Association of Social Workers, The College of Social Work, and the Social Work Reform Board.
It seems that the main answer to clarifying and/or correcting the misconceptions regarding social work and its’ practice is greater engagement with the media. This is particularly important for Local Authorities and the statutory sector, as traditionally the statutory sector has been rather reticent in engaging with the media while the voluntary sector has been actively seeking media engagement.
However, engagement with the media, as well as social media, is not unproblematic and requires appropriate training. Distinction between personal and professional boundaries are easily blurred in media, and in case of social media it is debatable whether a full separation and distinction between personal and professional views and voices is achievable.
Therefore, we are pleased to welcome Annie Hudson (Director of Children and Young People’s Services at Bristol Council) to our debate on Tuesday, 21 February 2012, when we focus on “Social Work in Media: Protecting Our Children” and explore some of the relevant issues in relation to social work and social workers’ image in the media and their engagement with the media (See Annie Hudson’s Interview with @SWSCmedia).