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SWU Blog: John McGowan on a new survey on social work during COVID-19

Union launches new campaign for better working conditions for social workers

Take the 5 min survey: COMPLETE SURVEY

Together, let's tell our Covid-19 experience and demand better working conditions for social workers.  During the pandemic, the Social Workers Union has been inundated with concerns from social workers about their working conditions.

Launching the survey today, SWU General Secretary, John McGowan said:  ‘ To say that social work is a challenging profession is of course something of an understatement.  We already know the impact on social workers of cut-backs to services and staffing. With the additional pressures  regarding  the impact of Covid-19 we are potential facing a crisis in the sector’. 

‘We are listening, as is the media and the public, who have been our allies in bringing some of the issues social workers are facing to the forefront. We are launching a campaign in an effort to apply even greater pressure on the government and employers, so measures can be quickly put in place to better protect social workers.

But we need to hear from as many social workers as possible to get a comprehensive view of the situation at work and have the data as proof of the extent of the problem.

To gather your account of your experience during this pandemic, we have put together a short 5 minutes survey for you to complete. With the findings from the anonymised survey, we will work with the media to this story, we will generate a movement on social media and call on our MPs for support. In early July, we will share more information with you on how you too can get involved with the campaign.

The strength of our voice is in our numbers. So please take 5 minutes to complete this survey by Tuesday 23 June and do share the survey link with colleagues who are social workers too.

If you are comfortable sharing your experience publicly or anonymously with the media, please do drop Carol Reid an email ( by Tuesday 23 June.  You can also contact John McGowan (, if you have any questions about the campaign. Although do note, we will be sharing more information early July.