I thought that this was a really excellent piece in Community Care and wanted to share it with my readers (there’s probably some overlap between people who read this and read Community Care, but not total overlap)
It is something that we try not to think about, but the potential is there with every phone call, every email, every decision you make, the question you ask or forget to ask.
I know that some of my readers think that all social workers are heartless nazi-fascists – too certain, coy and hard to please, who need to be lined up and shot come the Revolution *, and I don’t expect to ever change their mind. We will continue to Agree to Disagree.
Nor do I happen to think that social workers are all harp-playing bewinged ministering angels who descend when fear and anguish wring the brow.
Like any profession, there are good ones and bad ones (teachers, doctors, lawyers, pop stars). Everyone will have and is entitled to have their own view on what proportion of good and bad makes up the profession.
It happens to be a profession where a bad one can cause a lot of misery, but it is also a profession where those within it have to carry a lot of fear and disquiet about making wrong decisions (either way – the Always/Never myth is, as I and others have discussed, a myth. http://suesspiciousminds.com/2013/09/29/alwaysnever/
Nobody can get every decision right, every time).
If we as a society constantly ramp up the pressure and consequences of getting a decision wrong in only one direction (always) we do run the risk of getting too many wrong the other, less criticised way (never)
*I’m reminded of the phone call I used to get at 9.15am every Monday without fail in an early job, from a man who would tell me that “come the Revolution, you and people like you will be first up against the wall and shot… no offence to you mate”