Tag Archives: relationships

Response to Commentators #2

You are apologists for a multi billion pound industry

This is a response by Sarah Phillimore, a family law barrister

I confess that I did not think the post Establishing Good Relationships would provoke much by way of comment either good or bad. But ‘Outraged’ lived up to his or her name.

Outraged said:

This doesn’t mean that either the parent or the social worker has to be 100% well behaved 100% of the time; this probably isn’t possible.”
Twaddle…absolute twaddle…a social worker is supposed to be a “professional”, they have standards and codes of practice to adhere to, which includes the social worker being professional, not being “well behaved” completely contravenes that. In that instance any social worker who does not behave well 100% for 100% of the time is in contravention of their professional ethics. Hence they should be hauled in front of the HCPC “fitness to practice” hearing and if serious enough prosecuted for Misconduct or Misfeasance in Public Office. The fact that this is happening, Social workers ARE being struck off and being prosecuted undermines the whole toadying drivel written on this website.

The point of this post was NOT to suggest that we ought to expect social workers to behave badly to the point that they fail to adhere to professional standards and ethical codes. The point being made was that the social work/parent relationship is one between two humans, working in often stressful and difficult situations.

It is not difficult to see how both participants in that relationship might at times be guilty of failing to listen carefully or failing to respond authentically. What is important is that people can recognize when they are behaving in ways that don’t promote healthy working relationships and take active steps to improve the situation.

I accept that I probably need to change the wording of this post because if anyone is reading thinks we advocate anything less than professionalism from social workers, this is not our intent at all and I am sorry if my post was clumsily worded.

The simple point I was trying to make is that social workers are human too. And respect and good working relationships are a two way street. But of course if you think you have been badly treated or a social worker has acted unprofessionally you must complain and take action as this is not acceptable.

The issue of standards of professional conduct and proper routes of complaint is an important one and hopefully we will soon be able to provide more detailed information about this in another post. [Edit – this has now been done, see our post on making a complaint]

For now I will edit the Relationships post to reflect Outrage’s concern.

Anyone who thinks this site is ‘toadying drivel’ either hasn’t read it or has a very different definition of ‘toadying drivel’ than most.

 

This site should be taken down instantly, you are disinformation agents, there is a mass of evidence out there for the abuse of parents and children by the social services of this country, illegal actions by social workers, solicitors, the courts. There are no conspiracy theories here, the Social Services are stealing children, it is a multi-billion pound industry that cares little for child protection and is focused on profits.

Again, a comment that refers to the ‘mass of evidence out there’ but strangely, refers or links to none of it.  We would particularly like to see evidence that the child protection system is a ‘multi billion pound industry’ that is ‘focused on profits’. The evidence we have found – see our Mythbusters section – does not support this assertion.

 

What I feel is irrelevant, as clearly shown in your response, what would be interesting is for you to actually respond to the points raised…do you seriously believe it is ok for Social workers not to be “well-behaved” 100% of the time?

I think I have answered that point above. Of course professonals with professional training should reflect that in their behavior and dealings with others. But it is also important to recognize that social workers are still humans and if their clients are persistently rude or aggressive, then it may be that the social worker responds in a less than patient and calm manner

 

Do you deny that the Child protection fiction is a multi-billion pound industry?

I am not sure what is meant by this. Do I agree that vast sums of money are spent in investigating harm done to children? In trying to work to keep families together? To pay for experts and foster care and lawyers at final hearings? Well yes of course.

But do I agree that it is an ‘industry’ make ‘mulit-billion’ pounds worth of profits? Absolutely not. I would like to see some evidence about this. I have been asking for a number of years now and I am still waiting. But of course it is easier to make astonishing claims than it is to prove them.

 

Have no social workers been struck off, prosecuted or had their fitness to practice questioned?
How does your line “This doesn’t mean that either the parent or the social worker has to be 100% well behaved 100% of the time; this probably isn’t possible.” fit in with the codes of conduct and professionalism social workers have to adhere to?

Yes social workers have been struck off for misconduct. So too have barristers, doctors, solicitors – in fact any professional body that operates according to a code of conduct will have had to act against some of its members some of the time.

 

If you are genuinely anything other than a disinformation agent would you have not entered into the debate rather than simply telling me to take my leave? I don’t wish to take my leave as I would happily enjoy commenting on every aspect of the disinformation you have all over this site and provide evidence that contradicts your fairy tale of social services in this country. Of course I know that would not happen as you “moderate” ie censor comments and replies to your site, not something that an objective, balanced and genuinely “resource” site would have to do. The site reads like propaganda, and clearly comes from an “authority” perspective. It’s not a resource site, it is a poorly hidden agent for the child stealers.

I hope that by entering into the debate I can reassure ‘Outraged’ that we are not ‘disinformation agents’ and nor do we censor or moderate with a heavy hand.

But to enter into and continue a debate requires that the participants are prepared to treat each other and their arguments with a basic level of courtesy and respect and to keep the number of sensationalized and unsupported allegations to a minimum.

If Outraged truly believes we are  a ‘poorly hidden agent for child stealers’ then by this comment alone he/she puts himself very firmly in the Conspiracy Theory camp and I doubt that any further engagement is going to produce anything positive.

But as ever, I will be delighted to be proved wrong.

 

Establishing Good Relationships

Establishing a good working relationship with your social worker is, of course, a two way street. It is the responsibility of both of you to try to make it  work, for the good of your child. If either of you is rude, dismissive or doesn’t seem to be listening, the relationship will struggle.

This doesn’t mean that either the parent or the social worker has to be 100% well behaved 100% of the time; this probably isn’t possible. We are all human and the parent/social work relationship has the potential to be difficult even at the best of times.

But if either person is aware that they haven’t behaved well then they need to apologise sincerely and take action to make things better.

Here is a helpful short video explaining the 3 necessary things to establish a good relationship of ANY kind.

Those 3 things are:

Commitment

you have to commit to any relationship for it to grow

Authenticity

don’t be insincere, people will notice and it harms the relationship

Communication

if you are not talking opening and listening carefully to one another, the relationship can’t work.

Edit  – the point of this post was NOT to suggest that we ought to expect social workers to behave badly to the point that they fail to adhere to professional standards and ethical codes. The point being made was that the social work/parent relationship is one between two humans, working in often stressful and difficult situations. But if anyone feels their social worker has acted unprofessionally then they must complain about this kind of behaviour, it is not acceptable.

To read more about making a complaint about a professional, see our post here.