Social workers across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough were given the backing of local Labour and Co-operative Party candidate Nik Johnson this week, in the lead up to the Mayoral election on 6 May.
Nik Johnson outlined his ideas and plans for social work in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough should he be elected Mayor.
“I want every single social worker and every single resident of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to know that their Mayor puts the 3 C’s of compassion, cooperation and community at the heart of every single policy decision made by the Combined Authority,” said the Labour and Co-operative Party candidate.
“Assuming I am the successful candidate in the forthcoming local elections, I would whole heartedly embrace the opportunity to work closely with social care professionals, like I have done for the last 25 years in my role as an NHS Children’s doctor.
“Over many years I have seen how – indeed I am indebted to – many social workers for their support and dedication to get the very best outcomes for my patients and their families.
“We need to value our social workers and make the necessary investment in social work recruitment, education, and retention initiatives.
“The issues of poverty, homelessness, equality, and diversity and how to make the societal change to tackle these problems is at the heart of everything I have done in my professional life. I see no reason to change in that ambition and it will be the focus of how I as a Mayor would want to work across organisations to help all within in our communities to live healthier, happier and productive lives.”
The remarks came as part of a statement to the British Association of Social Workers (BASW), which represents over 22,000 social workers around the UK.
Maris Stratulis, National Director for England at BASW, said: “It is really important that elected leaders are accountable to their constituents and we welcome candidates standing for Mayoral election in May responding to our questions.
“Social work has been the forgotten frontline during the pandemic, and it is important that decision makers recognise the unique contribution to society that social workers make.
“Social workers often come into people’s lives at the most difficult of times, and every local area will have children, families and adults that are supported by social workers. Social workers are not just found in every community – they are also there supporting citizens to thrive and live the best life possible.”
Last month MPs paid tribute to social workers as part of BASW’s World Social Work Month celebrations, a bumper month of activities championing the profession.