Friday, April 30, 2010

Protected - from living

I've just posted on the Guardian about the baby P etc. issue. I'm really concerned that all social work these days seems to be about protecting peoples/authorities backs. I know protection is important but feel it's now got to be the only thing social work is about.

There used to be a time when social workers provided a service to people like my son. Now we can only talk to one if there's a crisis, preferably a vulnerability/protection one. It's no longer about doing the right thing to make life better - now it's about not being caught doing the wrong thing. It feels to me that social work has retreated from trying to make life better into only being concerned with not getting blamed for making things worse.

It isn't providing a service anymore, it's preventing people from living .... by risk assessing all the joy out of life, .... by assuming everyone is guilty of the worst possible crimes until they can prove they might be innocent, .... by not looking for the best solution but only for the least risky (to them), .... by withdrawing any services they do provide and contracting them out so there's someone else to blame.

All life is a risk, assessing it, should be about working out what is likely to go wrong and making sure that is allowed for - not just 'don't do it, it might go wrong'.

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