Children’s Social Worker from Hull backs region-wide campaign to inspire others to take up vital role

A Children’s Social Worker from Hull is backing a region-wide campaign during Social Work Week (20-24 March) and World Social Work Day (21 March), aimed at encouraging others to take up the vital role.

As part of the campaign, Anna O’Brien, along with Children’s Social Workers from across the region, has appeared in an online video in which she has described how she has been able to make a positive difference to the lives of local vulnerable children and families. Anna, who works as a children’s social worker at Hull City Council, has also opened up about some of the challenges, misconceptions and immense rewards that come with the job. As well as hoping to inspire people to consider children’s social work as a career, Anna aims to raise awareness about the profession, including some of the more diverse, less well known aspects of the role.  

You can watch the video here:

Across Yorkshire and the Humber, children’s social workers are helping to shape and change the lives of vulnerable children, young people and their families for the better, often under the most desperate of circumstances. Since 2011, all 15 of the region’s local authority children’s services departments have been working collaboratively as part of the Children’s Social Work Matters (CSWM) programme, which aims to champion the vital role of children’s social workers, raise industry standards and attract, support and retain staff. As part of its latest campaign they are hoping that together, they can encourage more people across the region to take up this vital, yet hugely rewarding role.

As a region, Yorkshire and the Humber has consistently achieved lower-than-national-average vacancy, agency worker and turnover rates. Latest Department for Education figures show that in 2022, vacancy rates regionally were at 16.8% against a national average of 20%. The regional agency rate was 15.7% compared with 17.6% nationally and turnover rates in the region were at 15.4%, whilst nationally they were at 17.1%.

Pauline Turner, Director of Children, Young People and Family Services at Hull City Council said: “Few would argue the importance of protecting society’s most vulnerable at a time when they need it most. But attracting, recruiting and retaining children’s social workers remains one of the biggest challenges; something that is not unique to our region. Anna provides an honest, yet valuable insight into what is arguably one of the most rewarding of professions, which we hope will help raise awareness about the role and break down some of the barriers that exist.

“Social Work Week and World Social Work Day provide an opportunity for us to do this. I would encourage anyone with an interest in helping to make a positive difference to the lives of vulnerable children and families to consider becoming a social worker in Hull. Aside from being a great place to live, practitioners in our region also have access to a unique support system through the CSWM programme, which is helping to improve both their working lives and ultimately the lives of those they serve to protect.”

To find out about becoming a children’s social worker please visit:, which contains a wealth of information about the role of children’s social workers, including case studies, qualifications needed and routes into the profession.

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