Should Fear Of Being Shamed Affect Social Workers’ Professionalism?


Researching Reform

An article published in Community Care on Wednesday by a professor of Social Work at the University of Birmingham suggests that media and public scrutiny of the profession is causing social workers to feel shame which leads them to behave unethically.

Matthew Gibson says:

“Government departments provide press releases, inspectorates provide ‘inadequate’ gradings, and the media amplify the message of incompetence locally and nationally.

Inevitably senior leadership teams seek to avoid being publicly shamed and change their organisations so that employees produce the evidence they need for a positive evaluation.”

The article comes out in defence of the social work sector, but not through intelligent reasoning of the need for this vital work, instead it chooses to focus on blaming the press for the current shortcomings inside the system and the deep shame research suggests social workers feel about their roles.

Mr Gibson’s central argument is that a lack…

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