It has been a really long time since I last sat in front of my computer to even try and think about writing something, its been even longer since I have been able to think about anything else other than what I need to do just to do for tomorrow. It’s not because I have not wanted too, but because I have found that over the last couple of years there has been a subtle change in social work attitudes, leaving me tired on a daily basis from the daily pressures. Like many people I have had to consider my own position and my own well being and what this might be and I decided to make a big change and become a locum manager. Other than my first position I have enjoyed this change, I have been able to take on new positions and new teams and make changes.
Social Work has continued to take a battering from the press and significantly from the government the drive to reduce spending has meant reduced services and more people relying on Social Care for support. For many in Social Work this is the ongoing process that happens on a regular occurrence. From this however has been a drive for a more direct engagement with high risk families and thoses families where there has been a history of social care involvement to tackle the route causes of the concerns raised. There are always lessons to learn from social work practice and that is especially important when hearing the voice of the child, but what is the real skill is challenging the views that children should be seen and not heard. A position which challenges many parenting styles but also makes social work anaylsis so important when assessing potential risk and potential harm.
I have found that I have continued to enjoy working with social workers to challenge their thinking and their assessments and to ensure that practice develops. Where ever I have worked I have met lots of committed and hard working social workers who work long hours for very little gratitude, the problem being that no matter how much work you do there is always more to complete. Often it is the emotional impact of the tasks that I find where my support is most needed, where through tackling difficult conversations has lead to a very real recognition and acknowledgement of a parents own emotional well being. A start in a long journey to affect change but find a service that will be able to engage and continue the work needed. But often this has meant that my social workers have been left managing highly emotional and stressful situations and needing their own supervisions in order to be able to manage this effectively.
When positive changes happen within a team and both performance figures rise, but also more importantly the moral of the workers rises and because of these changes that they are then making in families lives, I can feel happy in my role supporting them. It also makes the change a positive change for me it does mean that my skills are not used consistently in one place.