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 if it means services suffer?
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?