Author, trainer, lecturer, government adviser and care leaver Jenny Molloy has been appointed BASW England’s first Patron.
Jenny said she wants to help the profession “be loud and proud” about what it does and the difference it makes.
A passionate advocate for care leavers and social work, Jenny has appeared extensively in the media and is much sought after as a speaker by universities and social work trainers.
Her first book, Hackney Child, deals with her experiences in the care system after walking into a police station aged nine with her two brothers asking to be taken into care to escape the trauma of her home life.
The sequel, Tainted Love, which tells the stories of the other children she met while in care. Both books made the Sunday Times bestsellers’ list.
Jenny said: “It is a massive honour to be able to give something back to the profession which I believe gave me the security and safety I needed away from home.
“To have a formal role within which I can spread the message of what amazing work social workers do is so powerful for us as care leavers and for social workers.
“My biggest ambition is that social workers can be loud and proud about what they do.”
Jenny hopes to help challenge the often negative public perception of social work, something which she says “makes no sense”.
“What they do every day of their lives is to make real big changes to the lives of children and adults. Sometimes these decisions are not what the parents or adults want. That is tough, but it is the vulnerable children and vulnerable adults that we have a duty to.”
She added: “One of my proudest moments was when I was doing a book testimonial recently in London. I had invited my social worker who is now 86 and senior social worker who is in her 70s.
“I was sharing the stage and people in the audience were saying how amazing it was to read a book that doesn’t slate the care system and social workers.
“I told them my social workers were in the audience and they got the biggest round of applause. It was amazing.”
Jenny believes when the truth is known about what social workers do and what they mean to the children and adults they support attitudes will change.
“My hope is to be part of that process of change and promote the good work that social workers do wherever and whenever I can.”
Jenny’s appointment was welcomed by BASW England Manager Maris Stratulis. She said: “BASW England is absolutely delighted that Jenny Molloy will be our first Patron. Jenny has always been a strong advocate for the social work profession and for BASW.
“She brings a wealth of personal experience to this role including being a former child in care, author, a mother and someone that is prepared to speak out about difficult issues and stand up for social work.”
Allan Orrick, Chair of BASW England, added: “It's great to be able to welcome Jenny as the first ever BASW England Patron to speak out for social work and social workers and tell her amazing life story and the effect social workers had on it.
“I look forward to working with her to spread the positives about social work.”
An in-depth interview with Jenny featured on page 14 of the December 2012 issue of PSW. Click here to read it.