Social worker distress ‘not taken seriously enough by employers’
Social work employers and educators must do more to ensure practitioners are supported in handling emotional distress, according to sector leaders.
Speaking at Community Care Live on the issue last week, Paul Angeli, assistant director of children’s social care and youth inclusion at the London Borough of Merton, said emotional distress was at the core of all social work, but employers and managers did not take it seriously enough.
“Distress is the stuff of social work and if it’s not then I don’t know what is, because when you hear a distressed child or a vulnerable adult, if you’re not hearing that distress than as a social worker what is your job? What are you doing? Your job is to help them manage their distress. In order to do that social workers internalise that distress so they can help that person make sense of it. So I would say the management of emotional distress is at the core of social work practice.”