Isabelle Trowler, the Government’s chief social worker for England for children and families, spoke at an event organised by East Sussex County Council to mark World Social Work Day.
The event, held at Pelham House, in Lewes, was aimed at showcasing the positive impact social workers in East Sussex have on the families they work with.
Ms Trowler addressed an audience of invited social work professionals on the subject of her responsibilities as chief social worker and her views on the current state of social work and how the profession needs to develop in the future.
She said she hoped the day of global events would help to create a more positive perception of social work, a profession often unfairly maligned in the light of a small number of controversial cases.
She said: “Despite our best efforts, we only really get headlines when something bad happens, but every day we work with thousands of people across England and do a really good job for them. This is a chance to celebrate all the good things social workers do.”
Cllr Sylvia Tidy, East Sussex County Council lead member for children and families, said: “This event was a chance to recognise the hard work and dedication of our social workers, who do excellent work in very demanding circumstances.
“It’s important to us that children and families are placed at the very centre of the system, and from the feedback we get we know our social workers make a real positive difference in helping people who are often in very difficult situations to improve their lives.”
The event also included a talk from social work consultant and mindfulness teacher Susan Kelly, who showed how mindfulness techniques can be used to reduce stress and support wellbeing for staff in a busy and challenging work setting.
World Social Work Day is organised by the International Federation of Social Workers and is held on the third Tuesday in March each year.
This year’s event was aimed at highlighting the work played by social workers in protecting the most vulnerable in society and recognising how social work makes and positive difference to children and families.