Perception of Social Work in the Media

Alison O’Sullivan, President of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, said:

“Like most observers ADCS is not party to all of the information surrounding this case and that is right and proper. The restrictions that apply to reporting family law cases are there for good reasons to protect the privacy of the families concerned, often during the most traumatic times of their lives. Those protections must apply to children themselves, as well as adults.

“We know there is a more complex story behind the headlines. Decisions around adoption and other forms of permanence resulting in a child being removed from their birth parents are rarely one dimensional and such decisions are mandated via a court process. Social workers do not recommend, and Courts simply do not remove, children from parents for being smokers. The full report highlights larger details around significant issues of neglect and parental substance misuse.

Social work is subject to great media scrutiny and professionals are rarely recognised for the positive work that they do with children and families. Frontline staff are engaged day in and day out in the most challenging and complex work and as leaders of children’s services we are absolutely committed to promoting one of the most important professions in the country by encouraging better public understanding of the role.”


The Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) Ltd is the professional leadership association for Directors of Children’s Services and their senior management teams in England.

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