Djcnor’s Weblog

Baby P and Social Workers Everywhere

Posted on: December 2, 2008

For those who aren’t in the UK, Baby P is a male toddler who died even as numerous state representatives dealt with him and his mother. This happened in the same area as another baby’s death some time ago under similar circumstances. The response has been extensive. At first, a representative of the social work agency that was supposed to be responsible for Baby P’s care said no one deserved to be fired. Over time, one “responsible person” after another has been offered up as a sacrifice to the public outrage.

Now, I’m not saying that someone somewhere didn’t mess up. But ever since a lot of my friends in college were headed for social work as careers, I’ve always known a lot of people in social work. And the dilema that every single one has faced is how to complete the huge amount of paperwork records they are required to keep on as many cases as they are handed while still managing to do for the “client” what they are supposed to be doing for him or her.

The truth is that under most circumstances, a social worker can get into far more trouble for giving priority to taking care of the client that he or she can get into for not completing the proper amount of paperwork in the correct form.

In fact, if the records are in good order, it takes something major going wrong with the “client” for you to get in real trouble. However, if the paperwork is not in order, or if you have put so much as a notch in the red tape restrictions, you can get into a whole lot of trouble even if the results for the client are excellent.

Yet, every time something does go wrong, the response is firings and an increase in restrictions and paperwork, making it even harder for social workers to actually manage to accomplish the work they want to do, the work that drew them to that career, however ill paid it is, in the first place.

You teachers know the sort of thing I’m talking about. There is not a teacher in the US or Britain who hasn’t said “If they’d just let me spend my time teaching, they’d have those good results they want so bad!”

Well, social workers are saying the same thing, and getting as little response and respect. And the results are easy to see.

Just my opinion, as always.

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2 Responses to "Baby P and Social Workers Everywhere"

Hello, my name is Faye Saville and I am in my final year studying for a BA (Hons) Public Relations Sandwich Degree at the University of Central Lancashire.

I am currently conducting a piece of academic research for my dissertation. My research is focused around the area of crisis communication and online public relations.

This study aims to discover how and why various Internet methods (e.g. blogs and social networking sites etc) are used by individuals to communicate with online during a crisis. My research specifically focuses on the crisis and case of Baby P. Therefore, this study requests to hear from individuals who have an interest (professional or otherwise) in the social work/social services and welfare sector and the case of Baby P.

Would you be interested in posting my questionnaire on your blog? If you have accessed the Baby P case online and have followed the case I would very much appreciate if you could fill in my questionnaire and return it to myself.

The questionnaire also aims to discover how and why individuals who have an interest in the social work/social services and welfare sector have found using the Internet in the Baby P crisis useful.

If you would like me to send you copy of my questionnaire please let me know. The questionnaire should take approximately 15 minutes to complete and your responses will be a very valuable contribution to my research.

Please note: All questionnaires filled in and returned to my email: QuestionnaireResults@live.com will remain completely confidential and anonymous. Bloggers who wish to share their comments with other bloggers, can send responses to: http://fayesaville.wordpress.com/contact/

If you have any questions or comments please do contact me.

Kind regards,
Faye Saville.

Hello Faye,

I think I’ll pass on the survey. Last time I checked I would have to upgrade my blog to have a poll. I haven’t read up on the Baby P case thoroughly, though I watch a lot of news and read newspapers. The aspect I was most interested in was how typical it was of the situation social workers find themselves in and the attitutde of the public toward social workers. As you would see from my blog posts, I comment on whatever catches my interest that day.

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