Isabelle Trowler, the government’s chief social worker for children and families, said recently that social justice is at the heart of what social workers do. I was at the meeting where she made these comments, and they made me think, because I disagree. I don’t disagree that it should be, but I disagree that it is.
In 2014, the International Federation of Social Workers formed a new definition of social work, saying that “principles of social justice, human rights, collective responsibility and respect for diversities are central to social work”.
Government adviser Sir Martin Narey described the federation’s description of social work as “thoroughly inadequate”. He said: “We need a more satisfactory and relevant definition. And we need a definition that concentrates on that work, which is about protecting children.”