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Re: THE MAIL VERSUS SOCIAL WORKERS

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 4:27 pm 
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Christina of Birmingham is a bit optimistic here - "I was wondering how her story had ended, glad to see it's a happy one. They look a lovely family." The story's ended, is it? Hardly.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 4:32 pm 
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Yes. Quite apart from all the normal family stuff, if this young woman is as limited intellectually as social services suggest then things will get harder, rather than easier.
It seems as though her partner is doing a lot of the raising (good) and she is sheltered a bit by him, so I hope that relationship lasts.
I am pretty certain that in most cases SS would just monitor and support, rather than go nuclear and take the child into care. Apart from anything else, their duty is to the child not the parent, and the child's interests are generally assumed to be best served by being with their natural parents unless there is a serious risk of neglect or harm.


Note for Guardian/Dayleeey Mayle - THIS is what we do - unpick the crap journalism of the Mail and see what it really means...

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 10:26 pm 
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I'm a bit wary that we seem to be looking down on this woman because she's not too bright. It's dangerously close to 'Sterilise the Underclass.'

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 11:23 pm 
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I am not looking down on her because I don't know enough about her case. What I am doing is suggesting that cases do not get to the stage hers apparently got to without there being good reason for it, that social workers are not the idiots or the evilly-motivated power freaks that the DM apparently thinks they are, and that as Fife Social Work department are highly unlikely to give their side of the story, we are not going to find out what their evidence is for thinking that this girl is likely to have such difficulties in bringing up her baby that he would be better off with someone else. It's the gay adoption story all over again: nobody outside a very small circle of people has the whole story, but we can be absolutely certain that it isn't anywhere near as simple as the Mail would have us believe and that social work departments don't lightly remove babies from their families, whatever Mail readers' paranoia might suggest to them. The Press loves to suggest that social workers just make up their minds, out of sheer nastiness, to remove children from their grieving and undeserving families. It is not so and the more often it is pointed out that this is a last resort and only done in rare cases and with very good reason, the better.

And of course the other important point is, as I said above, that the Mail leads its readers by the nose on goodness-knows-what criteria. In this case, the story's written to make the mother out to be a good but simple girl who has been cruelly wronged by faceless powers. In other cases, stories are written to make mothers out to be evil harpies who are not fit to have children, and in those cases the readership obediently screams that 'the children should be taken away and given to good parents instead' - see Baby P /Shannon Matthews/just about any neglected child case passim. It is NOT up to the tabloid press to decide that social work departments have got it wrong, whichever way they have decided to play it. This time it's 'leave the baby with his mother, he'll be fine with her', another time it will be 'they didn't take a baby into care and he came to harm'. It's when social work departments start finding they can't fill vacancies in children's departments because nobody wants the opprobrium that goes with the territory that the real dangers kick in. Social workers are, overwhelmingly, competent professionals. It's like the vaccines and doctors business - what is the point of having professionals whose job it is to make difficult judgments if tabloid journalists are then going to tell credulous and ignorant people that those same professionals are useless and that they should instead believe what they read in something destined to wrap chips, written by someone who could well be writing tomorrow about tits or mascara or Strictly Come Dancing? There is no problem if newspapers bother to get the other side of the story, or even report according to a consistent set of principles. But of course they don't.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 11:52 pm 
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glasgowgril wrote:
It's when social work departments start finding they can't fill vacancies in children's departments because nobody wants the opprobrium that goes with the territory that the real dangers kick in.

It happens even sooner than that. In a previous job I had regular dealings with people involved in a Social Work Masters programme at a uni. I won't name it but the uni is in the top 10 in every league table and runs what is almost certainly the top Social Work training in the UK - it has an international reputation and very big names. Now this course was always filled effortlessly but an awful lot of the students were getting cold feet as their placements loomed. Their earnest desire to make a positive contribution was butting up against this growing sense that they were hated by millions and about to step out the door and into that foaming bile. There were quite a few who thought they'd get their qualification and try to get into a 'good job' away from children and families work. Failing that they'd retrain in another profession or seek a role not working directly with the public. When had helping children and families stopped being a 'good job'? Assessing if an old person needed a wheelchair ramp or meals on wheels was beginning to look like the good job to many. Certainly important tasks in their own right but practically nobody wanted to go near C&F work and those that did were considered barmy by some of their peers. Even doing a C&F placement alarmed some who had absolutely no intention of going near it in their whole career.

These highly intelligent and very capable people would be destined for the top jobs and fast track promotions and they're furtively discussing ways out. Very competent and intelligent people with firsts in their undergraduate degrees from very good unis and a tremendous amount to offer but feeling very cornered, panic stricken and looking for a way out before they'd even started. I'm sure most got over this but some will not have.

The reputation of social work is shit all over on a regular basis by the gutter press because it's easy to pick a fight with people who are bound by confidentiality and mountans of legal constraints and can't retaliate. In private they rage and feel wounded but have to be professional, soak it up and keep going. Like they need any more stress and obstacles.

Can't the Mail and other rags see that they are directly harming something that is there to protect the most vulnerable in society? Do they care that they are culpable? They're happy to accuse social workers of all manner of things but don't see the blood on their own hands.

I mean that quite sincerely - they have blood on their hands. They directly feed into people leaving the profession, moving within the profession to a safer area and taking their skills with them and they encourage people they encounter to abuse them, refuse to co-operate or make false accusations, sometimes career ending accusations. Because of stories printed in the media persecuted social workers have reacted differently than they would have, or have not even been in a vital post at all and awful events that could have been prevented have not been stopped. But it sells chip wrappers.

If social work was wrapped up and ceased outright tomorrow do they have the faintest idea what would happen? Have they the faintest clue what sort of damage limitation is going on?

If Mail readers care so much and know exactly what is required then why aren't they training and encouraging their kids to? It speaks volumes when in the worst financial conditions in a very long time there are masses of unfilled social work posts nationwide.

Wonder why?

Wonder if it means services suffer?


:x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x


Eventually the situation will get so bad that incentives will be offered to fill these gaps and we can look forward to the calibre of recruits falling. What kind of society is it where advertising salesmen get more respect, and a lot more money, than people who protect children in grave danger?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 12:15 am 
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"Can't the Mail and other rags see that they are directly harming something that is there to protect the most vulnerable in society?"

Well, there, of course, you have it. They not only don't care about the most vulnerable in society, they actively despise them. The disabled, disadvantaged children, the poorest in society, asylum seekers, the lot, they hate them all. The only vulnerable group that they don't hate is the elderly.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 12:41 am 
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davidjay wrote:
I'm a bit wary that we seem to be looking down on this woman because she's not too bright. It's dangerously close to 'Sterilise the Underclass.'


No-one's doing that.No-one's suggesting that. You are projecting.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 12:51 am 
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What glasgowgril and J said. What always really annoys me about these stories is the fact that the Mail cynically takes full advantage of the fact that they know they will get a free run at the story because social workers aren't allowed to present the true facts. They also never point out that care orders don't get made unless and until a highly trained judge has been satisfied that it is necessary for the child's safety, and that parents in this situation are automatically entitled to legal aid irrespective of their means so that their interests will be very fully represented by very experienced and able lawyers. If any commenter points that out, they get shoals of red arrows.

The converse of all this was that story last winter of the very cosily wrapped up kid whose parents took him for an amble round the foot of Mount Snowdon in the snow. The Mail very deliberately presented the story as if the parents had been trying to climb the mountain in a raging blizzard, and duly had their followers baying for that child to be taken into care. Yet, if he had been, I suspect there would plenty of sad face pictures accompanied by details of the value of the parents' house and more baying for social workers to be sacked.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 10:44 am 
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One more thing - the more of these stories there are, the more scared credulous and ill-informed people are of social work departments. Lots of people seem to think that they, being middle-class (!), will never have to deal with SWs. Wrong. Have a disabled child? You need a SW. Have an elderly relative who needs a care home? You need a SW. Dementia? SW. etc etc etc. And if people think SWs are evil, inconsistent people who have the right to 'snatch' (a very tabloid word) your child or your granny or whoever on the whim of one individual, then they either won't start accessing care or they will not be open and honest. What papers like the Mail do is appalling and the results can be seen in the comments on any of these articles, day after day.


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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 4:15 pm 
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I was going to post a detailed critique of the appalling way in which the media is confusing the easily-led over the Sharon Shoesmith business, but what's the point? Anyone with two brain cells can see what's happening here and can only marvel at how even in the face of easily-available and comprehensible facts, the media deliberately sets out to whip up mob hatred against someone who at most was distantly responsible for what happened and who was very badly wronged in the area of employment law. Yes, bosses are paid to pick up the tab when things go badly wrong. No, they are not paid to be vilified by scum like Amanda Platell who, however unpleasant she may be (and she's getting worse week by week), is quite intelligent enough to know that she is deliberately misrepresenting the facts in order to please her brain-dead and sentimental readers. Disgraceful, just disgraceful.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/artic ... tence.html


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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 10:56 pm 
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SW's, nurses, police, doctors, fire fighters...what group of workers does the DM actually like?


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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 11:15 pm 
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White English male taxpaying ones.


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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 11:17 pm 
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In the so-called 'private sector'.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 5:27 pm 
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Pensioner, 82, left to die in his wheelchair while frail wife lay on the floor after social service carers failed to call on them for THREE days
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But they were last visited by carers on the morning of September 24. They were meant to leave home for respite care later that day but they refused, to the frustration of their worried sons Jeremy and Jonathan.
Social services were notified of the situation by Jeremy, who asked them to reinstate the care package previously in place.
But social worker Anthea Sherwood said the sheer 'volume of calls' she was dealing with meant that never happened.
Three days later Jeremy went to the house to find his father dead.

So not entirely down to Social Services then.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 5:47 pm 
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Malcolm Armsteen wrote:
In the so-called 'private sector'.


And the armed forces "aka Our Boys"


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