Sometimes when the phone is ringing, and two different clients waiting in reception wanting to see you urgently, and your manager is wanting more updates on your out of county placements and the latest pathway plan urgently. The heat in the office is extremely high as Health and Safety will not let you open the window, and the last time you had a drink was five minutes before you left home this morning.
This is just a one minute snap shot that is repeated every five minutes of the working day. What gets you through the day? sometimes I wonder but the support of your team is one good way. But really it is a confident understanding of the procedures and the legislation that we work to. Understanding the remit we work in, enables clear guidance to underpin the knowledge learnt whilst studying to become a social worker.
It can already feel like that if you have not got support from any other agency the expectation is that Social Care will provide it. For some people this is essential for them to manage, however for others leaves families angry because the support they feel they should have has not been provided.
So although I do not like having to read through books and books of guidance, I understand that it is important. So maybe scrapping the guidance is not necessary but instead understanding where it is and how it can be accessed would be a better way of managing the bureaucracy.
The working together document is not just a useful document for Social Workers, it also provides useful guidance for other agencies. Essentially, it provides accountability for social workers and provides a basis for support.
And lets be clear this guidance does cover a large variety of abuse from neglect to sexual and all of the variety’s that this may be forced upon children. So to take it from one document, will ultimately mean that others will have to be written.
It is not the guidance that needs to be cut nor is it the budget that needs to be cut instead it is the time spent fixed to the desks completing funding request forms, forms to pass information up to management, forms in triplicate to make a referral, forms to request other forms.
I guess the one area in which the young person would like to see more of will become a luxury and that would be to see their social worker more often. Rather than just the statutory guidance, which many social workers will find hard to manage with the constant pressure they are under.
So lets not cut the guidance, instead be creative as to how it can be found I do not want to have to trawl through the intranet, or the Safeguarding board website then to the Department of Education or Opsi to find the information I need. Instead, provide the systems that help social workers make their decision accurately, quicker and more effective to enable true safeguarding of vulnerable children. To enable them to remain within the family when they can and to process child protection system’s faster where they are needed.