When did it all go wrong between social work and the media?

To mark JKP’s 30th anniversary year, Martin Barrow discusses the relationship between social work and the media, and the negative impact it has on society’s views of social workers. Martin (@martinbarrow) is a foster carer and writer for The Huffington Post having previously worked as editor for The Times back in 2008. He writes about social work, mental health and child welfare. He is also an editor of the upcoming title Welcome to Fostering, publishing in May. 

When did it all go wrong between social workers and the media? You can do worse than to look back to 1987, exactly 30 years ago, to the Cleveland child abuse scandal. This was a profoundly disturbing case in which dozens of children were removed from their families on the basis of diagnoses given by two paediatricians. In the face of a public outcry the doctors were challenged and, eventually, many of the children were allowed to return home. By then, an entire community was traumatised and social workers, as well as paediatricians, had become demonised.

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New Graphic Book prize for schools – sponsored by Jessica Kingsley Publishers

Graphic Book Prize SchoolsFor 2017 the Stationers’ Company is launching a new Graphic Books category in their Shine School Media Awards. The Awards are open to all secondary schools and are designed to encourage team work and develop interest in the world of print and publishing.

JKP will consider the winning entry of the Graphic Books category for publication.

Guidelines for entry:

The winning entry will explore either:

  • A contemporary social issue of your choice, such as poverty, refugees, migration, social inequality, homelessness, the situation of a minority
  • Or, a mental health issue of particular concern to young people, such as anxiety, exam stress, bullying, lack of confidence, depression

The Graphic Book should aim to leave the reader understanding more about the subject of the book, even to have changed their mind about it. Great Graphic Books combine words and pictures to say something similar that neither words nor pictures can do separately. Consider how your images support the text, and vice versa.

  • Entries may be in full colour, a restricted colour palette, or black and white
  • Page size should be a minimum of 120mm x 170mm and a maximum of 210mm x 298mm
  • Extent, a minimum 8 pages
  • The Competition is open to all secondary schools in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Eire
  • The closing date for entries is the 7th April 2017

For more information and to enter, visit the Shine School Media Awards website. We look forward to seeing your submissions!