David Clark, the Chief Executive of SOLACE (Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers) has made a splash by dipping his toe into the world of blogging by tackling the challenges of social work in the face of a lack of political support.
To put it more plainly, he explains that some of the problems of recruitment to social work and in particular social work in children’s services may have been exacerbated by the thoughtless and attention-grabbing words of the government and her representatives saying
Anybody who witnessed the disgusting spectacle of politicians pillorying the social work profession after the death of Baby P cannot help but be revolted. Pandering to certain sections of the media, politicians of varying political hues were happy to put the boot in to social workers at every level. This preparedness to opine, wholly unencumbered by facts, shows politicians at their worst, and statements like “we must ensure that it never happens again” display politicians at their most stupid.
From my infinitely more lowly position, I’d applaud him for saying so. The government, and Ed Balls in particular, have been overly keen to dismiss any of the real issues that have led to difficulties and lack of confidence in the systems that exist and instead lay the blame for failures in the child protection systems at the door of individual social workers and social work managers – when in fact, some of the policy-driven changes must account for the over-administrative nature of the role.
Of course, while agreeing wholeheartedly with him, it is good to see the support come from a source more likely to garner attention.