PCFSW Network Response to Channel 4 Drama ‘Kiri’, January 2018.

The Principal Social Work Network (Children and Families) has responded with concern about the recent portrayal of the social work profession in the Channel 4 drama, Kiri.

Following the recently screened series, the Network says there is a danger public confidence in social work could be undermined.

Lee Pardy-Mclaughlin, co-Chair of the Network, said: “There are thousands of skilled, diligent, hard- working and empathetic social workers up and down the country who won’t have recognised themselves or their colleagues in the actions and poor professional behaviour of the social worker in Kiri.”

“We of course accept this is a fictional drama and a certain amount of licence will be taken, but we believe this style of hard-hitting drama combined with an excellent cast will lead many people to believe it is an accurate account or even based on a true story.”

“This perception, nourished by Kiri and other TV and film portrayals over the years, can damage trust in social workers and make an incredibly hard job even harder. It also adds to the difficulties of recruiting.”

Sam Clayton, co-Chair, stated that “Day in day out social workers work tirelessly to provide services to children, young people and their families. This is underpinned by a strong professional code of conduct that is endorsed by a regulatory body which strives to ensure that the conduct of Social Workers and the profession is upheld.

“As a professional organisation the Child and Family Principal Social Work Network is very happy to fact-check and advise anyone wishing to dramatize social work. The real job 125,000 social workers do every day, making incredibly difficult and often heart-wrenching decisions, is surely dramatic enough?”

Download a pdf version of the statement here

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