We all know what the Munro Report stated and that is was all about us needing to work in a child centred way. Still, even so why can’t Authorities manage to implement these changes to help to improve our Sector.
What do we need?;
Better sharing of information and working together
I can’t believe that I have to write this in 2016. How many serious care reviews have we seen that raise this as one of the key points. I always think that having key links to each service can help. This can be done by having designated workers/ seniors linked to certain areas. They could offer meet and greet sessions a few times a year. This will help with building our relationships and helping with working together and getting to know one another. This will tackle the problem and can bring services together e.g. Police, Health, Education etc.
Additional training on Safeguarding for other professionals and agencies
They need to understand our role, responsibilities and what we do. They need to understand procedures and when they should call us/ report things or even just call us to ask a question. An example of this is, just how many times I have sat with a Head Teacher/ Safeguarding Lead and they’ve asked me questions as they don’t really understand what they need to do. This could be resolved so easily. This will also help them to understand that they too are responsible for raising concerns with the people that they are working with and that it’s not just our job to do this. They need to also have an understanding of the procedures that we need to follow before we can take certain steps.
Further support for our newly qualified social workers
We need to help in building their confidence and praise them when they’ve done something well. Not just leave them to it after they have completed their ASYE they are still growing and learning and it’s really sad seeing them leave so early on in this career. They are our future generation of Social Workers and we need to support them through this journey.
Stop government cuts
I don’t want to get on a huge rant about the government and the cuts but, they need to just stop it, they’re making our jobs which are demanding enough already even harder. They need to stop preventing us having the workers and the resources we really need. They need to stop focusing on the negligence of social workers we are being pushed too thinly now at their expense. They are the first to criticise us when something happens, it really does feel that they are trying to push us against a rock and a hard place. It’s so frustrating to hear about what we are losing out on and then the next day hearing about the 2 billion they will be spending to improve a road. Seriously?
Including the media’s views. This can make even our day to day visits from what people have watched or read even harder to understand. Could they once in a while publicise something we have done well as we help families and make positive changes on a weekly basis. This also needs to include other professionals too, we also have an expectation on them and they need to understand this, not just pass all the responsibility on to us.
I think this should go without saying. We are supposed to be helping families not sat at the computer the majority of the time. Our work feels like it’s solely focused on protecting ourselves now, meeting statistics and completing assessments on time. Give us the time to do this work that we are trained to do, let us make these changes.
Make us feel appreciated
To start with please just praise us when we do something well. The other request is simple, give us a permanent desk. I don’t feel that this is hard to do. Make us feel like part of the team we are supposed to be. Stop making all the areas about touchdown and having other people sat with us. This doesn’t just create issues around confidentiality but it also makes it harder to support our team and Newly Qualified workers. I can see that eventually we will work even more remotely and that it will be such a shame if we lose this team environment.
I feel like there are so many more things that I could add here. But these are the big ones that jump out at me to start with. I don’t think that these are unfair requests and these simple things could really help in our day to day working.
I hope that we will start to be listened to but unfortunately we are still sat waiting. If you are struggling and feel that you would like a chat please don’t hesitate to contact me. You are not in this alone and we all feel similar. It important that you speak about it and also as hard as it sometimes, you need to discuss it with management. We aren’t invincible and we can’t always do everything that we are asked to do. You need to speak out about it and have your say.