SOCIAL workers across Yorkshire are teaming up to improve child protection.

All 15 councils in the region yesterday signed up to a new campaign to recruit new social workers and boost standards in the profession.

Social workers cared for 74,000 children in Yorkshire in 2010/11 – including 5,296 in Kirklees.

The number of young people being cared for in each area is:

29,941 in West Yorkshire

23,251 in South Yorkshire

7,952 in North Yorkshire

13,356 in the Humber area

Alison O’Sullivan, Kirklees Council’s director for children and young people, is leading the two-year campaign called Children’s Social Work Matters.

She said: “It’s important to raise the profile of social work so people have a deeper understanding of what it’s really like to work with vulnerable children, some of whom are at risk of serious harm.

“Children’s social workers are passionate about what they do. The job can be intensely challenging and difficult, yet incredibly rewarding – and it makes a real and lasting difference to the lives of young people.

“Across Yorkshire more children than ever need support. The increase is reflected nationally and is due to a growing awareness of child protection issues, especially after the Baby Peter case in London.

“In our region we viewed this as a call to action. Never before have 15 councils joined forces in this way.

“We want people to have a better understanding of what it’s like to work with vulnerable children and we want to encourage more people to consider it as a career.

“As the campaign says, Children’s Social Work Matters – and it really does for thousands of families across Yorkshire.

“Councils are linking up to learn from each other and to make sure that, even in the most challenging of circumstances, social workers have the support they need to transform lives for the better.”

For more information about the new campaign visit