Weekly Social Work Links 24

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.

SocialJerk has a new director who wants to make changes.

And How Not to Do Social Work meets a local council Cabinet Member for Childrens Services who demonstrates they learnt all they know about social care from the press.

Dorlee reflects on the first month of her job search.

And From Media to Social Work reflects on her first shift in a homeless project.

On another note, The New Social Worker has a fascinating article about the use of Facebook and Social Networking by Social Workers and some of the ethical considerations.

And this was an important news week in the UK for social policy and social care with the Dilnot report being published. Malcolm Payne covers the issues thoroughly on a few posts on his blog – worth reading through them.  This one focuses on carers and advocacy.  This one on the issue of quality of care which seems to have been lost amid the discussion of cost and this related post on whether we would pay insurance for care that is not top quality.

and worth looking at the comments thread here for more discussion about Dilnot and the repercussions.

Moving back across the pond, Social Worker Mom raises an absolutely crucial skill to have as a social worker – being able to tell your manager when you are ‘at capacity’.

And Social Worker in the South explains some of the ways she keeps going through the week at work.

Going Mental is counting down to her holidays..

And Diary of a Social Worker returns after a break.

Dilnot Discussion and Links

Although there are some good points which highlight the main issues which will be published in the long-awaited Dilnot report here and here.  We have a good idea what might be discussed.

Rich at arbitrary constant has opened up a discussion post for issues concerning Dilnot so thoughts can be collated in one place from different groups of people –  so I do recommend anyone stopping by heads over there. He has also curated a fine collection of links related to Dilnot.

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!).

Weekly Social Work Links 23

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.

Via The (Not So) Cheap Social Worker, in a post about social work and the laws of economics the author links to an interesting post by Dr Lynn K Jones who writes about the poor wages that social work has attracted in relation to education and qualification level. It’s fascinating to read the US perspective – not least because I think I’m very well paid as a social worker!.  Maybe it’s about salary expectations..

How not to Do Social Work had a glimpse into the appeals of gang culture to children in care – probably something that’s a lot more prevalent in my ‘patch’ than his by the sounds of it but there’s danger, as he points out, in complacency.

On the day before the Dilnot Commission reports on a plan for future funding for care in the UK, Do No Harm has a post about the Singaporean system and the Maintenance of Parent Act where ‘children’ can be compelled to pay for their parents’ support. He writes, giving an example

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.

Meanwhile, SocialJerk reflects with pride (pun intended) on the New York State Legislature’s acceptance of same sex marriage.

Dorlee has another interview on her site, this time with someone who does Family Therapy. As ever, a great read!

Social Over(Worker) shares a painful story about adoption from the viewpoint of the sibling of an adoptee.

From Media to Social Work shares her thoughts more extensively about this story.

Meanwhile the author of Deck of Many Things, a social work student, shares her thoughts about transferable skills after coming into social work from a different profession (IT related) and multi-faceted and thoughtful approach to systems theory – showing, in itself, the importance of different backgrounds in the tapestry of the profession.

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.

Enjoy Sunny Sunday!

Weekly Social Work Links 22

A quicker than usual version for this week as I’m a bit pushed for time this morning so apologies in advance for any omissions but as always, if you see something I’ve missed, please feel free to use the comment section.

A post from The Masked AMHP is always a treat – this week he turns his attention to a question I sometimes ask myself – Why be an AMHP?

And a new and interesting looking blog about a soon-to-be social work student ‘From Media to Social Work’ about a career changer (yes, I know it’s obvious from the title!) finding difficulty securing voluntary work.

Congratulations are due to S.Wangene at A Social Worker’s View who reaches her first year anniversary of her blog from Kenya.

And to Fareez at ‘Do No Harm’ from Singapore who celebrates five years of being a social worker! He shares some things that have kept him going in the job for five years (and it isn’t just chocolate.. ).

SocialJerk shares some of the ‘joys’ of working with schools.

And How not to do Social Work shares some of the frustrations of social work and the systems that grow around it.

Nectarine at Going Mental shares a link to a campaign to change the FBI’s definition of ‘rape’.

The Nudge Patrol discusses the importance of professionals taking therapy. Interesting – I’d venture a guess that approaches to this might be culturally different in the UK.

Mike Langlois shares some thoughts about ‘safe places’ which we might be kidding ourselves about to the detriment of those we work with and for.

Malcolm Payne asks if all practice in a religious social work agency has to reflect that religion. Great piece.

Meanwhile Dorlee continues with her job search and shares 20 questions every interviewee should know the answers to. Best of luck to her.

One of the reasons for the rapid round up is that I wrote this weeks ‘This Week In Mentalists’ while will be available at some point here. (it hasn’t published yet at the time of writing but it’s a great site so explore all content there in the meantime!)

Two round-up posts before 9am on a Saturday. Phew. I’m off to enjoy my weekend and wait for the so-called heat wave!

Have a good weekend all Smile

Weekly Social Work Links 20

So another weekend, another series of links that I’ve found in and around the social work blogging networks.

I want to start with a few new blogs I’ve come across.

Unsettling Social Work is written by an academic who is primarily concerned with the sociology of social work – last week he shares his thoughts on Cameron’s mission to save children from sexualisation and commercialisation.

CPEA Nose  ‘a bloggers slant on health, social care and children’s services’ gives his take on Winterbourne View

And Full Care Order subtitled ‘Reports from the Front Line of Child Protection in Ireland’ gives us some background about Child Protection Myths and Reality

And back to some of the regulars –

Malcolm Payne on St Christopher’s Blog shares an interesting study from the Nuffield Trust about the use of social care and in-patient hospital care for people at the end of their lives.

Another fantastic post at Social Work Tech Blog which shows some of the possibilities of incorporating technology into practice – this time the author takes us through the process of how he made psychoeducational videos for sharing and he shares the videos he made. Really very impressive and as always, he makes us more aware of the untapped possibilities of using technology increasingly in practice. Particularly as we (in the UK) have quite narrow definitions of what social work practice is at the moment – I suspect that will change substantially over the coming years.

This link about a Social Work Rescript on the Centre for Welfare Reform  was shared with me by Shirley Ayres over the week. I highly recommend it as it’s a useful ‘reminder’ about ways of working.

Social Jerk shares her ever amusingly truthful take on unsolicited advice.

How Not to Do Social Work shares his thoughts about the difficulties of finding work and particularly how that affects children leaving care.

And at Social Work Career Development, Dorlee shares her learning from her first week of job hunting.  I find her posts very inspirational and positive. I would recommend them to anyone looking for work in any field.

S.Wangene from Kenya expounds on the importance of safe sex.

Social Worker Mom shares an update of her week.

And at the New Social Worker Blog, Kryss talks of some of the difficulties of practising what you preach regarding self-care.

Finally another non-social work specific post but a great insight into the Neary case  from The Small Places – worth a read and a save if you are involved in working with the Mental Capacity Act and the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards in particular – or want to know more.

And with that, I’m off for the weekend again. If you come across any interesting sites or links that I haven’t picked up on, please do share with me!

Have a good weekend!

CQC and Southern Cross – a retrospective

I’ve bemoaned both the changes in the CQC and the financial troubles of Southern Cross over the last few years since I started writing this blog.

For today, a bit of a ‘lazy post’ – I thought I’d collate all the posts that I’d made on those two subjects. It provides a little bit of context and stops me repeating myself.

Southern Cross

Trouble at Southern Cross (2/7/2008)

Active Care – Another Tale of Southern Cross? (16/8/2008  – READ THE COMMENTS!

Alton Centre, Active Care and Southern Cross – An Update (5/9/2008)

Southern Cross and Hillingdon (19/12//2008)

Frozen Reading (12/2/2009)

8 deaths – 10 days (26/2/2009) – oh the irony when I comment that Southern Cross own a lot of real estate.

The concerns and worries about the financial management of Southern Cross go back a long way. This is not ‘new’ news. The ‘new’ news is that the company is now close to the brink of collapse. There is almost an inevitability in this as those who sought to make a quick buck in the care sector realise that sometimes the figures don’t add up. Property doesn’t always pay. But making money on the back of what was a public monopoly (provision of care services) can lead to some rich pickings until some of that money needs to be spent. Corners are cut. Staff costs are cut. Older people are warehoused in increasingly larger residential and nursing homes while the roll-out of the so-called personalisation agenda rings very very hollow at the moment for those who are the most dependent and those who need long term care. Where this the personalisation within residential and nursing care services? Where are the small group homes with support for older adults with dementia? They don’t exist because they wouldn’t make a profit.

That is what those involved with personalisation need to address. Not how people who have capacity and ability to manage personal budgets or have families to help them will manage but how will personal budgets (health and social care) and personalisation help and create better systems for older adults in dementia nursing care. Give me an answer to these questions and I’ll have more faith.

CQC – Care Quality Commission

From the first day the CQC came into ‘being’

DoLs, IMHAs and the CQC (1/4/2009)  – these were all introduced on the same day. Do look at the quote from Barbara Young, the first Chair of the CQC. VERY telling.

Britain’s Homecare Scandal (10/4/2009) – another Panorama investigation.

Inspections (3/12/2009)

Can Gerry Robinson Fix Dementia Care Homes? (8/12/2009) – another TV programme.

Linford Park Nursing Home (3/8/2010)

Closing Care Homes (30/9/2010)

Lessons from the Care Sector (26/10/2010)

Trouble at the CQC (3/11/2010)

Johann Hari’s Manifesto for Change in Care Homes (26/1/2011) – one of which was ‘proper inspections’.

Scrutiny, CQC and ADASS (15/2/2011)

Excellence Ratings for Care Homes (1/3/2011)

Inspections and the CQC (11/3/2011)

Whistleblowing (7/4/2011)

Which Care? What Care? (19/4/2011)

Care Home Crises (16/5/2011)

So is this surprising? I wish it were.  I want to emphasise though that it is the management of the CQC that I feel is badly serving those who need support and care rather than the individual inspectors who I know have as many criticisms of the system as the rest of us do. How did this, or the last government allow regulation so toothless just as they are ratcheting up the OFSTED inspections? Does it say anything about how we, as a society, want to value or hide away adults with disabilities?  I suspect it does.