Health Minister Robin Swann has launched a new campaign to help boost the adult social care workforce in Northern Ireland.
The ‘Social Care – Making a Difference’ campaign has been developed by the Northern Ireland Social Care Council (Social Care Council) on behalf of the Department of Health as part of its ongoing work to reform Adult Social Care. The campaign highlights that social care staff are an integral and valued part of the health and social workforce and their work is critical to the sustainable provision of social care services now and in the future.
Speaking ahead of the campaign going live on Monday 10 May, Health Minister Robin Swann, said: “Our social care sector works tirelessly, day and night to provide quality care to the most vulnerable in our society. The pandemic very clearly brought home the absolutely vital role of the sector and it was only through the effort and commitment of social care workers that services were maintained.
“In Northern Ireland we have a skilled and dedicated social care workforce who help transform lives and enable people to live well. However we can’t ignore the fact that the needs of our population are increasing and we need more skilled social care workers to meet the demand for these important services. Through this new campaign we not only hope to inspire the right people to consider a career in social care, but also help the general public gain a greater appreciation and awareness of the role of social care workers.”
The campaign is centred on local social care workers, whose stories are told through video and photography while highlighting the diversity, impact and importance of social care and the positive difference it makes in people’s lives. Campaign materials will be available on the Northern Ireland Social Care Council website and promoted through radio, digital and print media.
Patricia Higgins, interim CEO at the Northern Ireland Social Care Council highlighted that social care offers a range of opportunities across many programmes of care and settings: “We are immensely proud of our registered social care workforce maintaining high standards of care for people in our communities who need it most. A career in social care provides progression and opportunities to work in a care home, a person’s own home, supported living and day care settings. Social care is a rewarding career and has a powerful and unique role in supporting people to live better lives.”
Chief Social Worker Sean Holland underlined the vital role of the care sector in society: “Those of us who have the privilege of working in health and social care know first-hand the vital role that care workers have in looking after some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.
“Through this campaign we want to make sure that everyone knows what an important and valued job social care workers do. We want to inspire those with the right qualities and values to step forward and join the social care workforce. If you are someone that wants to make a difference, then consider a career in social care.”
Currently, almost 44,000 people are registered as social care workers in Northern Ireland, making care workers the largest part of the health and social care workforce.
Social care workers are individuals who help to support, care for, protect and empower people to live as well and as independently as possible. They deliver a range of practical help and emotional support to individuals, families and communities. Working in social care requires staff to be compassionate, kind and skilled in delivering a quality service to the people being supported.