Is this a return?


It has been a whole lot of time since I logged in here and wrote anything. My last post in October 2013 (!!) was a bit of a farewell to this blog. Life, work and not having much to say was to blame.

Having said that, over the past few years I’ve been working hard at developing my own business and what a journey that has been (3 years old this weekend). Between my last post and working full-time for my business, there has a few job changes and a period of re-evaluating what being a social worker means to me.

Without doubt there have been times over the past few years where I have wanted to share my thoughts. Most notably around accreditation for children and families social workers, the developments of fast track training schemes, my experience of inspection, the concept of innovation in social work and funding attached to that, the demise of the College of Social Work, the possibility of another new regulator, my concerns around adoption, Martin Narey’s review into residential children’s homes, my experience of training and practicing as a Best Interests Assessor, my shift from governance roles to frontline practice and management… and the list goes on…

All in good time.

For now though, it is just a hello. Do watch this space though…


Time for a change…

You may have notice that this blog hasn’t been updated in some time. I have experienced a significant period of writers block that I have become very frustrated with and have spent the last few weeks reflecting on. Having given it considerable thought, I’ve decided I’ll write up my thoughts and share with my blog followers.

Those of you that follow me on twitter will notice that I can be quite guarded about what I do for a living. Over the past 9 months or so my career has taken me down a more specialist path, something that I had never planned for. In truth I always saw myself as remaining more of a generalist. Whilst I am very much enjoying my work –  and hope that things continue in the direction they are going –  as someone who has enjoyed writing and sharing my views, specialising professionally has presented barriers to writing pieces that I see as more accessible and interesting. Although I can’t hide from the fact that my experiences, skills and knowledge are becoming more focused in particular areas, I do feel it would be inappropriate for me to alter my blog content to what I know. For that reason, and to maintain the boundaries I have set myself, it is time to move on from this blog.

I have waited some time before I made this decision, as I have always found writing to be a bit of an outlet, a forum to share my views and ensure that I am heard. Whether people have listened is another thing all together. What has been humbling is the feedback from people who work for, access, or just have a general interest in the world of social work.


The Children’s Improvement Board

The news that funding for the Children’s Improvement Board (a partnership between the Association of Directors of Children’s Services [ADCS], the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives [SOLACE], and the Local Government Association [LGA]) has suddenly been withdrawn by the Department for Education [DfE] is something no one was expecting. It has left people confused, angry, and worried that decisions like this are being made without any warning. From twitter I can see that people are also saddened by this news. They are sad that the sector has now lost a significant opportunity to have well coordinated (by a board that was working!) sector-led improvement schemes before being left to coordinate improvement activity between ourselves.
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Eastenders social worker

**This is not intended to be a complete analysis of the situation, but happy to do that if people want it. This is no criticism to the BBC, who have in the past represented storylines involving social workers incredibly well, just a professional view point on this particular story**

Never have I really felt so strongly towards a soap storyline involving a social worker. Last night I was sat around a friend’s house, catching up with them and eating takeaway whilst watching Eastenders. It was the storyline where Lola had her baby removed from her care by the police and her social worker. I haven’t really been following the storyline, but have seen the odd episode.

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Online safeguarding training

Recently, whilst planning a longer post about social care inductions, I have been thinking a lot about the advantages and disadvantages of online training courses. In particular, my mind has been focussed on online safeguarding training.

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