Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Shortage of social workers

Tabloids, baying mobs, and how Britain's severe shortage of social workers is putting vulnerable children at risk.

You may remember when last November Britain turned into a medieval land where crowds were frothing at the mouth with anticipation.

In a stunning 21st century version of a collective voodoo, the mobs waved their Blood On Their Hands copy of The Sun and demanded the witches be burned at the stake. The tabloids were telling them about child killers let loose by the evil Sharon Shoesmith-led social workers, who in turn had been hired by a scheming Labour government forwarding the single mothers' lobby's sinister plot. The equation was nice and easy on the brain: socialism →benefits→ social workers → single mums → child killing.

Afraid to go against whipped-up collective hysteria, very few had the guts to warn of the obvious consequences. If social workers are deemed responsible for every single evil act carried out in the country to the point of having their names and passport pictures plastered on daily tabloids, who but those with a heavy penchant for S&M would want to sign up for that kind of career?

We didn't have to wait long. Four months on, a system that was already understaffed and underfunded before the Baby P case is now dealing with even more serious staff shortages. The BBC reports that the shortage is so bad that "recently retired social workers are being urged to return to the profession".

According to the Local Government Association, "The fallout from the devastating case of Baby P is still being felt. Historical evidence shows that as respect for child social workers declines, people who were looking at child protection as their chosen career think again". Unison talked of "a ticking time bomb in child protection", adding that social workers come under constant fire during high profile child abuse cases [with] an increase in threats of violence against them since the Baby P case".

Yet, that doesn't seem enough for Britain's children-loving tabloids to stop boiling the pot. With the recent news of a foster family having their children attacked by the homeless 18-year-old they were mentoring, it's yet another round of socialism→benefits→ social workers → single mums → child killing.

Today's Daily Mail's 'editorial' looks more like a satire from Private Eye. Before you can even blink, the tragedy that befell the South Wales family is automatically linked with "the Government and its army of well-remunerated social services chiefs" and, of course, "with Labour's determination to rig the benefits system against families". In short, "the single motherhood industry".


Anonymous said...

Mark my words.

The day the Tories win the elections, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland as depicted by the Daily Mail and The Sun will be a land where child abuse doesn't exist or is a tiny footnote in their daily newsrounds.

Single parenthood will cease to be the root of all evil, or at least it will be under firm control, the same way homosexuality was being dealt with in the good old 1980s.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with you people.

The care system should be about transforming lives for the better. Instead, foster families, and the children they care for, are too often being treated disgracefully -and all in the name of human rights and cutting costs.
It is a national disgrace.