Social workers criticise ‘Kiri’ as inaccurate portrayal of profession

Social Workers have criticised the plot of the first episode of Kiri. Suggesting the significant inaccuracies and the overall negative portrayal of Miriam, Kiri’s allocated social worker, will only serve to further harm or distort an already embattled profession. Many have highlighted the need that future social work dramas could be the perfect vehicle or platform to showcase positive stories, relationships and outcomes that happens every day in the profession.

Here’s what some social work professionals had to say about Channel 4’s social work drama:

“Hip flask …..its painting a really good picture”.                                                   

“First impression not great but let’s see how series goes. Line of Duty is on its fourth series depicting dodgy police officers. Don’t want to be over sensitive.”

“I wasn’t expecting anything more than disappointing, it saddens me that our profession is never reflected in positive light and the good work we do never seems to be recognised.”

“I stopped watching I after she didn’t accompany the girl into the house… just wouldn’t happen, so I was disappointed from the start. Won’t be turning in next week.”

“Some old stereotyping – I’m sure also affecting the blood pressure of most SWs across the country who have spent the best part of the last hour screaming at the TV!!”

“Factually incorrect. Unsupervised contact would NEVER happen prior to an adoption. Continues to make social workers look incompetent and don’t even get me started on the dog!!”

“We need to look past the drama and focus on changing the blame culture for social workers.”

“As a drama I enjoyed it, and already considering my theory as to who did it. The portrayal of social work left me very uncomfortable, l thought the stereotypes re clothing, coffee etc made me smile, least they didn’t succumb to the @CV. The dog in work, great idea”.

“I’m a social worker with 20 plus years of experience and I’m appalled at this portrayal of this profession where in truth you can’t do right doe doing wrong.”

“I thought it was poor. Lots of things annoyed me not least the way she looked and the fact she had that dog in the office.”

“Absolutely fuming about how social work and social workers are portrayed. Again. Why must we always be portrayed as dysfunctional unprofessional people who mess up leading to awful things happening? It doesn’t portray an accurate picture of what we do at all!”

It was painful to watch. I had to stop towards the end of the show as I called House on SW cliché bingo. The only thing that was missing was a cameo appearance from Maxine Peake.

Just awful but I’m sure that the commissioning editor and all involved think its absolute BAFTA gold.”

“Disappointed that yet another social work drama has failed to demonstrate social workers in a better light! Drink driving, turning up drunk at known drug users house, taking your dog to work, walking out of court and the hip flask? What’s that even about???!! And she barely touched her computer for case notes and barely any phone calls in the office?!! Not very realistic!! And it’s a shame they started the series with a serious case review. Makes it look like an everyday occurrence!”

“Was bloody awful. Her role was so unprofessional and totally portraying us in a bad light again. Who on earth takes their dog to work, leaves it in their car and transports a looked after child in the back of their car with that dog in there. Was super angry and so is everyone in my team.”

“Turned off as couldn’t cope with the terrible Bristolian accents, the bad acting & poor scripting. How did this get good reviews?”

“Turned it off after half an hour because it was just like every other portrayal on TV. People say other professions have inaccuracies in TV but to that extent and for every drama to show the flowery, incompetent SW just contributes to the picture society had of SW.”

It even had an impact on our potential future workforce:

“Being a social work student it’s already hard to explain to my peers why I want to do this job – media representation like this doesn’t help!”

“I am wanting to apply to get in to the social work course. Watching this I felt that although the SW was sympathetically portrayed she had no support from her line manager. Also she had to attend a police interview without any representation or any idea as to the purpose of the interview before hand. Is it really like this?”

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