If you could point a finger at someone to blame for the cuts that we are starting to shoulder and feel the bite of who would you point it at. I would imagine that it would be like a game of spin the bottle but no one wanting to get in the cupboard with Local Authority’s.
Its hard to imagine that anyone would want to do that anyway? after all in some areas they are one of the biggest employer (or were). But it is like being dragged to the hair dressers when you are a little child and you want to let your hair grow long. “You will make the cuts” – “you will have your hair cut!” So 25% goes straight away from every service including Child Protection and the specialist services. I mean its a Tory council so there can not be pot holes in the road.
But as a Children’s Social Worker should I be pleased to hear that finally a review of the cuts is being asked for by the four Children’s Commissioners. Although we already know the answers, and why the NSPCC argued that it is a false economy to implement general cuts to all services.
Could I be to harsh about the impact of the cuts, should I be looking at ways of supporting the community to help others within the street in child protection issues. How to have those sensitive, difficult conversations with their neighbours about domestic abuse, substance misuse, physical, emotional, sexual abuse and neglect. I have lived in a street where the neighbours have wanted to know all about everything that is happening in your life. Where it is common for people to walk in and make the tea. The trouble with this is if you can not get on with everyone the situation often becomes worse.
Its not all doom and gloom, there is opportunity for groups to come together to manage community centres and run breakfast clubs, after school clubs, support groups, parenting classes, keep fit classes, cooking classes. Managed and promoted by the community for the community. Providing support from people who are living in the community and understand the difficulties that are specific to that area. Therefore the support being provided is relevant, necessary and needed.
Child protection is important at all levels and can not be cut in the community, or at the higher level. Because the impact on Children does not last just until 18 years of age, learned behaviour is hard to change especially if there has been damage done.
So to the Children’s Commissioners speak to the young people, hear their complaints about their care, accommodation, access to education, contact with family and their future prospects. Challenge the Government on the cuts, and ensure the right services are provided for all Children and Young People.