As the days become more distinctly autumnal, I’m sharing some interesting links I’ve come across over the last week. As always feel free to share any other links you find that are related or interesting in the comments section.
I’m always wanting to find new blogs that are related to social work internationally so if you find one I haven’t noticed again, please leave a link!
Firstly, another plug for This Week in Mentalists – a now-traditional weekly round up of mental health related posts from which I stole my inspiration for these round up posts. Essential weekly reading for me and for all those who have an interest in mental health.
Keep writing, Veruca, I think this one will be a corker!
I also came across this post on Blogher which is written by someone who worked as a social worker. The title says it all really ‘The Problem with handing out the Happy Pills’. She raises some excellent and thoughtful points about medication.
After my absence last week, I’m back with some of the links I’ve come across that I’ve found useful over the last week (or two because I’m covering some of the posts I missed during my weekend away!) which relate in some way to social work – some more than others!
Enjoy and as usual, please feel free to add your own links in the comments section.
A slightly truncated version this week because the last week has been a little distracting and we have a foster child who is likely to appear at any moment!
So please add any other links or sites you’ve seen that have been useful in the comments section.
I’ll start with a post by Malcolm Payne which highlights a short article in the Economist about waste in the US health care system. Really sobering though as our government tries to privatise our own health service. Scary stuff.
Dorlee has another interview up on her blog about Social Work V Psychology and an interview with a practitioner who is trained in both.
Finally, a mention for Community Care’s podcast which helps keep me up to date with social work/social care related news on a weekly basis. This week, they cover the strikes by social workers in Southampton.
Great work from them and good luck to all those in Southampton.
Definitely a great supporter.
As for me, my posts my be a little more sporadic while we have a child in placement but I’m not going anywhere.. in fact, I’m sure I’ll find many many more things to say about the dichotomy between practitioner and ‘client’.
Quick post today as I have a few things on the go.
So, Wikio sent me their top 20 UK Health Blogs and again, I’ve made the list. Thanks to everyone for your support and do check out the other sites there – there are some real gems and it’s a pleasure to be among such fine company.
I also was interested in this post from Community Care about crafting in care homes. I wish there were more personalised activities (or any activities beyond the ‘singalong’ and ‘bingo’ ). It does raise important issues about the sense of self and differing interests and pursuits that one has when one might need residential care and why we make assumptions that what is enjoyable for one person would be enjoyable for the next, just because they are the same age.
With the move towards self-directed support in care provided at home, I wonder when residential services will also pick up.
On a related issue, I caught this link yesterday on Twitter about a care home which has installed touch-screen computers. For me, it’s an obvious step to take but its’ a shame it had to be provided by a grant and not by the provider service themselves – seeing how much they charge for placements!
I wonder how much these private companies are subsidised by these types of grants…
Still, it is good to see some different ideas about ‘activities’ in care homes and a challenge to the assumption that older people just want to sit around and sing ‘Knees Up Mother Brown’.
And ever at the cutting edge, Gamer Therapist looks at some specific uses for Google+. I have to admit, I’m still finding my feet with Google+ – I am not wholly convinced by it yet but as always see potential and reserve a ‘wait and see’ policy – definitely worth reading the post if you want to find out more about it and a context in which it might be better used.
And the Masked AMHP has posted a two part story – Part One here and Part Two here – subtitled Lenny : A Life and Death in the Mental Health System – as always with his posts, it is both poignant and valuable. Very highly recommended and beautifully written.
The last link and in the spirit of This Week in Mentalists ‘wild card’ is a non-social work post but a post from an ClaireOT about MOOC (Massive Open Online Course). I know some OTs are much more involved in this than social workers (judging from my ‘social media’ presence!) but I think it is a fantastic way to share resources and build information.
I am all for creating different kinds of social work/social care MOOCs. Maybe that’s another project for another day but do go and read Claire’s post if you have any interest in the possibilities of technology to create and grow learning collectively.
A day late this week (although my original intention which might not have been very clearly stated) was always that it would be a ‘weekend’ project rather than a specifically Saturday project! This was a fairly emotionally trying week for me at work with the shadow of an unexpected news which shook me a fair bit. I couldn’t really face doing a round-up post yesterday but here’s my attempt for today. Apologies to all those wonderful posts that I miss out – please feel free to add them in the comments.
DorleeM has a useful and interesting post/interview which, in its course, define ‘racial microaggressions’. I think it reflects a lot of issues around self-definitions, respect and empowerment. It’s interesting to see the different uses of language as well – which is an aspect I’m particularly curious about with the use, in the United States of the term ‘Persons of Color’ (spelling intentional) where we would, in the UK refer to Minority Ethic groups. I have a difficulty with definitions related purely to ‘ethnicity’ as it seems to imply there is an intrinsic difference but am equality uncomfortable with ‘color’ being a sole redefining factor as an extrinsic difference. Maybe that’s a thought for a post in itself but I think back to the ways that language defines our thought processes.
And another new blog to ‘turn up’ is Inspired Social Work written by a Hospital Social Worker in Canada – she writes over two posts, some hints for if you ever find yourself in hospital – part one is here – and part two is here. Again, very transferable guidance!
If there’s one post that really riled me this week, it was this one. I don’t want to go into deep explanations as to why as I hope it is obvious but I think it is a poor indication of the expectations of students in the UK if they downplay theories and want to be solely taught how to process and complete tasks. As I said on Twitter, the training is a degree not an apprenticeship. Tasks can and should be taught by employers and we have too little genericism as it is. It also makes me think about the purpose of university degrees. Are they to educate or to roll out ‘ready to employ’ graduates? There is an element of giving the rod rather than the fish here and we all have to take responsibility for our own learning but the theories give the profession important boundaries and guidelines – otherwise we just complete task after task without a wider context and that becomes dangerous.
How not to do Social Work expounds on the difficulties of keeping work fresh and the importance of training, reflection and resources.
Social Worker Mom identifies a problem and issue I’ve seen so many times but it never gets easier – Exercising the Right to Make a Bad Decision . Although she has put it in the context of service users, I find myself doing it as well from time to time..
Malcolm Payne poses an interesting question ‘Why do we expect the truth from case records?’ As I’ve had to do a lot of case recording analysis this week, it certainly rang some bells with me about assumptions and again, the language we sometimes use. Interesting.
The spectre of sickness has cast a shadow over my household this week. Fortunately I have more or less escaped the worst ravages but it’s been an interesting week work-wise and I hope to come back to some of the themes over the next week.
As for the rest of social work blog land, there has been much going on as ever.
I have also been involved in a small way in the set up of an impressive (not on my account!) group blog – Rock, Paper, Politics – which is to cover politics with a small ‘p’ rather than grandiose political labelling. The first set of posts are up and I’d recommend you go and look – my post is here!
- Thirdly, I’ve been playing with Google + over the weekend, and there’s a great post here from Claire– an OT – who explores the uses of the network specifically for OTs but everything she says is equally relevant for social workers. I have a Google + account for the blog which can be found/followed by searching for my username which is FM Blog (I know, I know – I do have a personal account which I am currently using much more extensively!).
I’m coming in a day ‘late’ with this week’s round-up post due to some sickness in the household. The benefits are that I can now pick up some of the great posts that were published yesterday. Might well stick to Sunday in the future!
As always, please feel free to add any posts I may have missed out in the comments or links to other sites (preferably related!) that I haven’t come across.
Have a nice rest-of-weekend!
I’m starting with a post from Awake and Dreaming about discrimination and difficulty faced through the stigma of mental illness herself and some reflections on how it affects other people.
She has children but is not on good terms with them in spite of the fact that they are working. When applying for financial assistance, she is informed that she should be able to request for regular income from the children, and that she should apply for maintenance should the children not be providing for her. Only when children are unable to support, or the court decides that there is no grounds for the children to care for their parent, would financial assistance be provided.
I doubt that would go down well with the middle-class electorate here. Do read the post though, it challenges some of the assumptions we make about care for older adults in society.
Finally, I want to add a link to one more site, After Alice, which will be particularly interesting/useful to UK social workers who are involved in the roll out of personalisation (as I am and I make no apology!). It is this blog of a support planning officer and I really look forward to following and reading it.