If every day was the same life would quickly become boring. In social work this is one certainty you can guarantee, that every day will bring something new and exciting. But with this comes a lot of pressure and responsibility that would be expected when working directly with young people. And also for a Local Authority that will be under pressure to demonstrate it is performing well, which is quite right considering it is using public money to do so.
The other topic you will here regularly is change, designed to ensure efficiency is achieved and the best service can be delivered to the minority that need it the most. Despite not practising for not as long as others I have already experienced these changes almost constantly since qualifying. Which, to me already makes these changes pointless.
Furthermore, I can not see how they save money as different parts of the Local Authority are sold off highlighting each mistake like alarm bells as the dwindling pot of money disappears. Each time experienced knowledgeable workers are retired or made redundant to be replaced with inexperienced colleagues who are increasingly becoming over worked.
Now it is not really hard to see what is happening in the bigger picture with the coalition government in power. We all understand the ethos, and the need to make money from private enterprise. So here we are being run into the ground and with 270,000 public sector workers already unemployed, it is certainly going to plan.
This will not be getting any better for the foreseeable future so if we have to make changes let them be positive and beneficial for the people we work with. Lets stop changing job titles and rising pay with it, lets stop creating position for people that have no direct meaning on the work we do. Lets stop funding pot hole repairs and use tarmac that won’t erode under heat and cold weather conditions.
Social Work, despite its criticism is not about reacting to problems, it is not about removing children in order to meet adoption targets. However, it is about safeguarding and protecting vulnerable children and young people.
Early intervention should be early intervention, multi disciplinary teams should not just be professionals but also volunteers to provide family’s with advice and support. this should also include legal advice for people who are suffering from Domestic abuse in order to achieve change sooner.
Moreover, early intervention should be the responsibility of everyone making more use of the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) for all professionals to understand what is happening for these children and young people. To invite support sooner for their families and therefore creating more positive home environments.
The coalition government has removed funding for everyone, making it harder for the third sector to survive and provide the essential support it has always done along side the public and private sectors. Local Authority’s should also invest into the community’s where the support is most needed, rather than moving troublesome families around the housing association need to share essential information to ensure the right needs are being met.
Child protection should also be essential training on all courses that involve working with people. Whether it be teaching, health, mental health, government the aim to ensure that everyone understand what everyone needs to do to ensure the safety and well being of every child. So that it does not need a referral to Children’s Social Care.
In order to do this the government will need to start considering the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child with all legislation that it wants to bring in. Making all children prime consideration at all times and not just after a tragic death.
I live in hope