Podcasts

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071 Professor Tan Ngoh Tiong Global Inst of Social Work

Posted by on Nov 20, 2016 in Children, Children & Social Care, government, health, International, law, Mental Health, Podcasts, policy, Research, social work education, Training, Uncategorized | 0 comments

071 Professor Tan Ngoh Tiong Global Inst of Social Work

Dr Tan Ngoh Tiong is Professor of Social Work and former Dean of School of Human Development and Social Services, SIM University Singapore. He is the Chair of the Global Institute of Social Work, was Co-chair of Commonwealth Organization for Social Workers (COSW), Past President of Singapore Association of Social Workers, past Regional President (Asia and Pacific) of International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW). Prof Tan is He led IFSW and COSW’s FAST (Families And Survivors of Tsunami) Project as an international social work response to the Asian tsunami disaster. He is currently President of ConneXions International and has been active in international social work and social development.

He has authored a number of books and scholarly articles including Asian Tsunami and Social Work Practice, Challenge of Social Care in Asia, Extending Frontiers: Social Issues and Social Work in Singapore, Human Rights Perspective, Alternative Dispute Resolution and Social Work Around the World Volumes I, II and III. He is a consultant editor and reviewer for Families in Society, Journal of Global Social Work Practice, China Journal of Social Work and Asia Pacific Journal of Social Work and Development. Prof Tan received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota; MSW from University of Pennsylvania and BA from University of Singapore. He has been a Visiting Scholar to Cambridge University and Harvard University as well as UC-Berkeley, Oslo University and Sydney University.

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070 The Bradford LSCB Interviews 01

Posted by on Nov 2, 2016 in abuse, Child Abuse, Children, Children & Social Care, crime, government, health, law, Learning disability, Media, neglect, Newly qualified social workers, Podcasts, policy, Research, safeguarding, service user, Sexual Abuse & Domestic Violence, Social Work, social work education, Training Courses | 0 comments

070 The Bradford LSCB Interviews 01

This is the first in a series of podcasts looking at the Bradford Safeguarding Children Board which I have the privilage to Chair.

Initially, in five interviews with key members of the Board, you will get to experience a flavour of the work of the Board and the people who serve on it.

The first is with Michael Jameson.  Michael is the Strategic Director of Children’s Services having responsibility for strategic leadership across education, employment and skills, social care, safeguarding children and youth offending. His stated aim is to work with partners to make Bradford a place where children and young people from all communities feel safe, enjoy living, and develop the skills and opportunities to fulfil their potential.

Bradford itself is a vibrant city in West Yorkshire of about half a million people with a very high number of children under 18.

It also has a rich cultural diversity with about 120 languages spoken.

Following podcasts will feature other Board members such as the Consultant in Public Health who also Chairs the Child Death Overview Panel, the Superintendent of Police responsible for safeguarding, the Chair of the Adult Safeguarding Board and the Headteacher who chairs our Education sub committee.

Thanks as always to Alba Digital Media for technical support to this Podcast.

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Action For Myalgic Encephalomyelitis ( M E )

Posted by on Oct 27, 2016 in adult care, Children & Social Care, government, health, law, Mental Health, policy, Research, Social Work, Training, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Action For Myalgic Encephalomyelitis ( M E )

Sonya Chowdhury took over as Chief Executive of Action for M.E., the UK’s leading charity for people affected by Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.), in September 2012.

Following Sonya’s appointment, Action for M.E. carried out a full root and branch review of its activities, and which led to the publication of a bold and ambitious agenda for change. This led to increased transparency and clarity for the charity which has contributed to a shift to increased collaboration and effectiveness of its work. Sonya is now working with key stakeholders and the Action for M.E. team to develop the new 2016 – 19 strategy.

Prior to joining Action for M.E., Sonya, worked in senior management roles for leading children’s charity Barnardo’s where she was Head of Business Support for two days a week and National Lead for the Family Strategic Partnership for the remaining three. Sonya co-pioneered the ‘Innovating Futures’ programme which used a newly-created business generation model to help advance the practice of voluntary sector leaders.

Sonya has held a number of senior management positions within the voluntary sector after starting her career within statutory social work following her graduation from Bath University with a BSC Joint Honours in Sociology and Social Work and a Social Work Diploma. She has extensive Board experience and has Chaired a number of Boards of Directors/Trustees and was a governor of a local secondary school for a number of years. Sonya has also worked as an Independent Consultant and Trainer undertaking a wide range of contracts with local authorities, police, health and voluntary sector organisations.

M.E. Matters

Imagine your world shrinking to a point so that all you see, day after day, is your bedroom, darkened because any light burns holes in your head. Any attempt to move is thwarted because it feels like an elephant is sat on you. Regardless of how much you rest or sleep, you are still exhausted and have no energy whatsoever. Friends have stopped calling and family struggle to really understand what’s wrong with you.

M.E. is a neurological, long-term, fluctuating condition which affects 250,000 people in the UK; around 17 million worldwide. About 25% of people are so severely affected that they are house or bed-bound for many years, even decades; their experience not being dissimilar to that I outlined above. M.E. is the biggest cause of long-term school absence and one in 100 young people have it. Suicide is six times higher among people with M.E. than in the general population.

The causes of M.E. are still being investigated. Emerging evidence indicates that there are likely to be a number of factors involved and that there may be a number of different types or sub-groups of the illness. There is evidence that certain infections can trigger the illness. Many are viruses but M.E. may be triggered in other ways.

I joined Action for M.E. just over four years ago having worked in statutory social work (children and families) and specialist drugs work before moving to the voluntary sector where I have had a number of senior leadership roles. Nothing prepared me for the tragic stories and experiences that I see on an almost daily basis, stories of people who are so severely affected by M.E. and yet so severely neglected.

I often describe M.E. as an illness of mystery and myth. There’s a lot we still have to learn about the illness and, despite increased profile of M.E. in the press and media, people still hold misconceptions about it: “It’s all in your head”; “It’s not a real illness”; “Do some exercise and you’ll get better” and “We all get tired” are just a few examples of things I hear from the uninformed. M.E. is often called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or CFS by the NHS, a name which does nothing to help tackle the myths about what M.E. is and isn’t.

Alongside dealing with ignorance and a lack of understanding, many people with M.E. are forced to give up work because they are too ill, or because there is not the support and adjustments to enable them to remain in work. With less than one in ten people with M.E. in work, the estimated £6.4bn cost to the economy in 2006 is probably under-estimated. People with M.E. also struggle with accessing support and care. Our recent consultation with 850 people found that, despite 97% of respondents potentially being eligible for social care support under the Care Act, only 16% had had an assessment and of these, only 6% had received any form of support.

Some people with M.E. do make a full or part recovery and not everyone is so severely affected. But M.E. affects us all in one way or another, either directly or indirectly through the cost and burden it places on society.

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069 Social Work Across the Atlantic

Posted by on Aug 24, 2016 in Children, Children & Social Care, government, health, International, law, Media, Media Training, Podcasts, Social Media, Social Work, social work education, Training, Training Courses | 0 comments

069 Social Work Across the Atlantic

Hello again. This programme features a short radio interview I gave on recruitment , retention and the reasons behind vacancy rates/agency staff numbers.

Then my guest is Deona Hooper, based in South Carolina and the founder of  Social Work Helper digital newsletter/magazine.. She describes it as a “woman owned mission driven progress website providing news, information, and resources related to social issues, social justice, social good and human rights issues”.

Deona is the Founder, Developer, and Editor-in-Chief of Social Work Helper. She has a Masters in Social Work with a concentration in Management and Community Practice with a Certificate in Nonprofit Management- both from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

https://www.socialworkhelper.com, or you can contact on Twitter: @swhelpercom

Also developing an App for the social work community in the USA. Check it out and give her feedback and have a think how it would work here in the UK.

 

Thanks, as always, to Alba Digital Media for technical support to the Podcast.

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068 Churches Child Protection Advisory Service

Posted by on Jul 25, 2016 in abuse, Child Abuse, Children, Children & Social Care, crime, government, health, International, Media, neglect, Podcasts, policy, Research, Social Work, Training, victim | 0 comments

068 Churches Child Protection Advisory Service

Justin Humphreys is the Executive Director of Safeguarding of CCPAS. This Charity , formed in 1977, has over 8000 subscribing organisations, churches and other bodies that look to it for training, consultancy , DBS checking and general support. It operates all through the UK and has strong links abroad.

Justin talks of the challenges facing faith based organisations in the current climate of attention on historic abuse and what CCPAS is able to do to make them safer.

The objective is to make vulnerable children and adults safer when involved with places of worship, organisations and individuals in the wider faith community.

Find out more about them ( main number 01322 517817) , through www.ccpas.co.uk ,  or a 24 hour helpline 0845 120 4550 (though out of hours for urgent calls only)

Thanks, as always, to Alba Digital Media for technical support to the Podcast.

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067 James Rook CEO Sanctuary

Posted by on Jul 13, 2016 in Children & Social Care, health, Podcasts, policy, Social Work, social work education, Training, Training Courses | 0 comments

067 James Rook CEO Sanctuary

 

I felt that it was important to look at the private sector and Sanctuary provides staff across health and social care. James is one of the most influential figures in this sector and the interdependence that exists with employers seems likely to continue indefinitely.

After 20 years of developing and resourcing work within adult and children’s social care, James , as the Chief Executive, has built up a unique understanding of the sector. Agency staff and interim appointments are part of the fabric of the social care landscape. When he set up Sanctuary he employed eight staff and it’s a positive statement of the company that, although it has grown to be the largest provider of social workers in the sector, the same eight staff are still there.

He has an enormous passion for the work, supporting a number of charities, in particular the Social Work Awards which are now an established part of the calendar.

Much of his time is spent with the leaders of social care within local authority, central government and the third sector.

Thanks , as always,  to Alba Digital Media for their technical support.

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066 Ruth ALLEN Chief Executive BASW

Posted by on Jun 7, 2016 in adult care, Child Abuse, Children, Children & Social Care, government, International, law, Media, Media Training, Mental Health, Newly qualified social workers, Podcasts, Research, Social Work, social work education, Training, Training Courses | 0 comments

066  Ruth ALLEN Chief Executive BASW

Dr Ruth Allen joined the British Association of Social Workers as Chief Executive on 11th April 2016.  She was previously Director of Social Work at South West London & St Georges’ Mental Health Trust and Chair of the Mental Health Faculty at the College of Social Work.  Previous to that she was a head of social care, social care manager and practitioner within local government and the NHS working with client groups of all ages.

 

We talk of the range of challenges facing social work in the months to come. The programme covers thoughts on domestic and international issues as well as messages for the tens of thousands of social workers in the four home nations.

Thanks as always to Alba Digital Media for technical support in making this podcast.

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065 Dept for Education Review of LSCBs Alan Wood

Posted by on Jan 29, 2016 in abuse, Child Abuse, Children, Children & Social Care, Conference, crime, government, health, law, Media, Podcasts, policy, Research, victim | 0 comments

065 Dept for Education Review of LSCBs  Alan Wood

Alan Wood has been asked by the Secretary of State, Nicky Morgan MP and the Minister, Edward Timpson MP to lead a fundamental review of the role and functions of Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LCSBs). This will include the child death review process and consideration of how the intended centralisation of serious case reviews (SCRs) will work effectively at local level.

Alan was a previous guest on the programme when President of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services.

His CV includes:-

2014: appointed, secretary of state to review children’s services, Birmingham city council; 2013: commissioner, children’s services, Doncaster council (appt by secretary of state to review its children’s services); 2006-present: corporate director, children and young people’s services, London borough (LB)of Hackney; 2002-12: chief executive, The Learning Trust (a not-for-profit organisation delivering all education services in LB Hackney); 2000-2001: director of education, LB Lambeth; 1997-2000: deputy director/assistant director of education, LB Lambeth; 1990-1997: head of pupil support and special educational needs, LB Southwark; 1977-1990: history teacher.

President ADCS; 1982-90: Labour councillor, Camden council.

Recorded from his phone in the Dept for Education

Thanks , as always , to Alba Digital Media for technical support in making this Podcast.

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064 Review of Safeguarding Children Boards

Posted by on Jan 20, 2016 in Child Abuse, Children, Children & Social Care, crime, government, law, Podcasts, policy, social work education, Training | 0 comments

064 Review of Safeguarding Children Boards

 

The Government announced just before Christmas a review of Local Safeguarding Children Boards so I invited David Jones , National Chair of the Association of Independent LSCB Chairs, to be my guest.

David is a registered social worker, qualifying in 1974.  He was appointed in 2010 as the Independent Chair of Leicester Safeguarding Children and Adults Boards. His varied career and substantial experience have focused on social work and social services in general, children’s services and child protection.  He helped launch the Association of Independent LSCB Chairs and is currently the National Chair.

David has worked internationally as Chair, Adviser and Consultant to several groups, policy committees, advisory boards and councils. He retired after 4 years as honorary President of the International Federation of Social Workers in 2010 and continues to play a leading role coordinating The Global Agenda for Social Work.

David has held several national roles in government departments and agencies, working with Parliament, Minsters and government officials, retiring from the post of Deputy Director (Children) and Professional Adviser in the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) in 2010.  He was awarded his doctorate in social work in 2009 for research into the evaluation and inspection of social work.

 

Thanks, as always to Alba Digital Media for their technical support in making this Podcast.

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063 Michael Hames. Police pioneer against child abuse

Posted by on Dec 1, 2015 in abuse, Child Abuse, Children, Children & Social Care, crime, government, International, law, Podcasts, Research, Social Work, traffiking, Training, victim | 0 comments

063 Michael Hames.  Police pioneer against child abuse

My guest is Michael Hames who I’ve known for 20 years and whom I worked with on several initiatives and investigations starting when he was at Scotland Yard.

He was born in Colchester, Essex and after education at the Colchester Royal Grammar School, joined the Metropolitan Police in 1962.  He served for 32 years  and held a variety of management positions at senior rank from 1970.  During much of this time, he specialised in the detection of sex offenders.

For the last 5 years of his service, he was the Detective Superintendent in charge of the Obscene Publications Branch at New Scotland Yard. During his time there, he re-focussed the work to encompass the proactive detection of paedophile offenders and it has subsequently been renamed the Paedophilia Unit of the Organised Crime Group.  He developed and refined, the use of the first National Index of convicted and suspected paedophiles until the formation of the National Criminal Intelligence Service in 1993, when the Index was transferred to the Home Office Unit.

He supervised the operational unit which achieved outstanding success and world wide acknowledgment of its pioneering work to combat paedophiles.

He was the U.K. Interpol representative  on the Standing Working Group on Offences Against Children.  He chaired the sub-committee on law Enforcement methods and was the leading police advocate of legislation to ban possession of child pornography throughout the member States, as well as extra-territorial legislation to deal with child abusers who travel and commit offences outside their jurisdiction.  He has regular contact with non governmental agencies such as E.C.P.A.T. (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and the Trafficking of children for sexual purposes), The National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, in the U.S., as well as law enforcement agencies throughout the world.

He was also  a member of the Sexual Offences Steering Committee at Scotland Yard.  He has carried out research into Organised and Ritual Abuse of Children and is an acknowledged authority on the subject of Child Sexual Abuse.  He has lectured widely at home and abroad and published articles in the press and professional journals.  He frequently appears on Television and Radio.

He is now an independent consultant, advising and training at the request of  Local Authorities, Charities and Private Companies on a variety of subjects including Child Protection, Staffing issues, Strategic Management and Selection of Staff.  His speciality remains the combating of Child Abuse in Organisations.

He holds a post graduate Diploma in Management Studies.  He holds the British Psychological Society’s Level ‘B’ Certificate in psychometric testing.

His autobiography, ‘The Dirty  Squad’ was published by Little Brown in April 2000.

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Association of Independent LSCB Chairs

Posted by on Nov 18, 2015 in abuse, Child Abuse, Children, Children & Social Care, Conference, government, Media | 0 comments

Association of Independent LSCB Chairs

This was our resolution  following the Annual Conference of Independent Chairs of Safeguarding Children Boards.

PROTECT CHILDREN AT RISK FROM SPENDING REVIEW CUTS
LSCB CHAIRS CALL FOR SYSTEMATIC RISK ASSESSMENT OF
THE IMPACT OF SPENDING REVIEW CUTS
ON VULNERABLE CHILDREN & FAMILIES
‘Vulnerable children face serious risks in the 2015 Government Spending Review process’,
said David N Jones (AILC Chair) speaking immediately after the annual conference of the
Association of Independent Chairs of Local Safeguarding Children Boards (AILC), where a
resolution was passed unanimously (see below) highlighting the safeguarding risks for
children within the Chancellor’s 2015 Spending Review.
‘All the Independent Chairs present at the conference voiced grave concern at the likely
impact of proposed expenditure cuts on vulnerable families’, he continued. ‘There is already
evidence of serious reductions in early help and intervention and in youth services, both of
which are vital for those most at risk.
‘Effective safeguarding depends on coordination of a range of family and children services,
including general services such as health, education and criminal justice, as well as
specialist services such as social work. There is a real danger that fragmented approaches
to service redesign alongside reduced financial support for parents will create more risk for
children than the sum of each individual decision.
‘For the sake of the most vulnerable children in the country, safeguarding MUST be
protected and, if cuts are required, they must be planned and coordinated across the whole
of children’s services. Each organisation should publish an assessment of the risks for
children and the action proposed to reduce those risks. As always, health, education, police
and social care professionals will do their best to protect children, come what may, but they
need to tools to do the job’, David Jones continued.
The LSCB Chairs agreed unanimously that they ‘will continue to implement the LSCBs’
statutory duty to monitor and report on the effectiveness of local safeguarding arrangements,
including the impact of funding decisions on the safety of children and young people’.
CONTACT DETAILS
For interviews or more information from David N Jones please email
chair@lscbchairs.org.uk or phone 01604-414345 or 07880-209788.
Visit www.lscbchairs.org.uk

Statutory Local Safeguarding Children Boards bring together the leaders of the agencies working
with children in every local authority area in England. There are similar arrangements in Wales,
Scotland and Northern Ireland. LSCBs are required to have an Independent Chair and 2 lay
members who are not employed directly by any of local agencies. The Lead Member for Children’s
12 November 2015
Page 2 of 2
Services of the local council is a participant observer on the Board. LSCBs approve local procedures
for investigations, ensure multi-professional training is provided and scrutinise the effectiveness of the
local system, including overseeing serious case reviews when needed. LSCBs have arrangements to
gather the experience of children and young people and have to be connected to local communities.
However Boards have no power to insist on action by local agencies. They need the resources and
support to perform these functions effectively.
The Association of Independent LSCB Chairs is the national membership organisation for
Independent Chairs of Local Safeguarding Children Boards, a statutory position. Its membership is
made up of approximately 100 Independent LSCB Chairs operating across 146 LSCBs in England
(some chair more than one Board). There is collaboration with colleagues from equivalent structures
in Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. Independent LSCB Chairs come from a
variety of professional backgrounds including police, social work, law, health and public
administration.
RESOLUTION
Vulnerable children face serious risks in the 2015 Government Spending Review process.
Families in need frequently depend on additional help from health, education, criminal justice
and social care services. The police are also involved when there are safeguarding
concerns. All these services are facing major cuts in funding. Proposed reductions in
financial support for low income families add to the pressures on vulnerable families.
LSCB Chairs urge all decision makers to protect essential safeguarding of children, which
must include early help and intervention for vulnerable families to prevent serious abuse and
neglect. The future health and development of thousands of young people depend on early
help and intervention; there are already signs that these services (including youth services)
are being seriously cut back.
LSCB Chairs call on all government departments and local partners to undertake and
publish a risk assessment of the impact of financial cuts on vulnerable children and families
and their strategies to reduce those risks.
LSCB Chairs will continue to implement the LSCBs’ statutory duty to monitor and report on
the effectiveness of local safeguarding arrangements, including the impact of funding
decisions on the safety of children and young people.
Association of Independent LSCB Chairs
Sheffield, 10 November 2015
Passed unanimously at the annual conference of the Association of Independent LSCB
Chairs (AILC).

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062 DONALD FINDLATER– Lucy Faithfull Foundation

Posted by on Oct 14, 2015 in abuse, Child Abuse, Children, Children & Social Care, crime, International, law, Media, Mental Health, Podcasts, policy, Research, Sexual Abuse & Domestic Violence, Social Work, Training, victim | 0 comments

062  DONALD FINDLATER– Lucy Faithfull Foundation

Lucy Faithfull Foundation believes that child sexual abuse is preventable and that we can have a society where children are free from sexual abuse and exploitation.  Their purpose is to safeguard children and young people from sexual abuse by preventing it and responding to it. 

Their stated mission is to prevent abuse from happening by working in partnership with voluntary and statutory sector professionals as well as the general public.

This week saw the launch of a major initiative by the Foundation—

A national internet video campaign has been launched to encourage people who view images of child sexual abuse online to seek help.

The videos feature warnings of the harm done by viewing such images.

The Lucy Faithfull Foundation (LFF) said it was aimed to deter would-be offenders and encourage them to seek therapy before being arrested.

Donald Findlater is their Director of Research and Development

For seven years, Donald was Manager of the Wolvercote Clinic, the UK’s only residential assessment and treatment centre for men with allegations of or convictions for child sexual abuse. This followed a career in the Probation Service where, latterly, he was responsible for the development and delivery of Surrey Probation Service’s sex offender strategy. Over recent years Donald has worked as a “subject matter expert” with the DCSF (now Department of Education) in the creation and delivery of “Safer Recruitment” training programmes for Heads and Governors of schools and for recruiters into the wider children’s workforce.

As well as being Director of the child sexual abuse public education campaign, Stop it Now! UK and Ireland, Donald managed the development of the Lucy Faithfull Foundation’s Circles of Support and Accountability programme. He has also managed a joint project with Securus (a software company) developing and deploying the means of monitoring the home computer use of known sex offenders.

At Stop it Now! UK and Ireland Donald has steered development of the Helpline, as well as the Stop it Now! website and its online self-help tools and resources from their inception. He is regularly in demand from print and broadcast media outlets to comment on all aspects of child sexual abuse and exploitation prevention work and is considered a leading expert in the field, both in the UK and internationally.

Thanks as always to Alba Digital Media for technical support

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061 A Magazine for Autumn

Posted by on Sep 13, 2015 in abuse, Child Abuse, Children, Children & Social Care, crime, government, International, Media, Podcasts, Research, Sexual Abuse & Domestic Violence, Social Work, traffiking, Training, Uncategorized, victim | 0 comments

061 A Magazine for Autumn

Hello again after the Summer! I thought I’d use this chance to reflect on a few of the significant events over the last month before we get back into the regular pattern of Podcasts.
The worldwide refugee crisis—-More thoughts on abuse by priests—A Freedom of Information request by the BBC about the increase in numbers of abuse cases reported in schools and an interview I did about it—Finally, news that I’ve been appointed as Chair of a second Safeguarding Children Board–Bradford–and am really looking forward to working there.

Thanks as always to Alba Digital Media for technical support.

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Guest Blog from Maggie Mellon at BASW

Posted by on Aug 27, 2015 in adult care, Children & Social Care, government, law, Newly qualified social workers, policy, Research, service user, Social Work, social work education, Training | 0 comments

Guest Blog from Maggie Mellon at BASW

Guest blog from Maggie Mellon, Vice Chair of The British Association of Social Workers (BASW)

Stand up for social work by joining BASW

Community Care has reported less than a tenth of the profession are involved in the debate following the College of Social Work’s closure announcement. I want as many people as possible to get involved in talking about social work, we must defend and promote our profession and not expect others to do it on our behalf.
Here’s my case for why social workers should join BASW. It is not about how great BASW is, but about how great you can help make it. I had been a member of BASW for 20 or more years, but until joining the Scotland Committee in 2013, I had not been a very active member. I was a member because I believed that I should belong to the independent professional association for social workers. Like many members, I also wanted the protection of BASW’s professional indemnity and insurance.

I admit, I had some ambivalence about the reality of BASW and whether it really represented me and my understanding of social work, and of what needed changing. Was it rather cosy? Did it represent social workers more than it represented social work? Did it champion social justice and challenge government? Was it too wrapped up in professional self-interest?

But I was also mindful of the increasing need for social work to have a strong voice, independent of government. Nor did I see any government advisers who represented me. Why should Martin Narey with a career as a prison governor be advising government on social work training needs? Social workers should speak for social workers.

I was also troubled by the agenda to set the ethics and values of the profession aside in favour of a government-led target-driven approach, so I decided to get involved in BASW’s work. It is independent. It has a code of ethics. It has an ethical work place policy for safe and good practice. It does not excuse bad social work, but it does stand up for social workers who are being persecuted or who have made mistakes – or, as is often the case, a bit of both.

Becoming a member of the Scotland committee of BASW led me to put myself forward for the role of Vice Chair of the Association in 2014, taking office at what has turned out to be a very challenging but exciting time for social work. The response of many social workers in England to the closure of the College of Social Work makes it easy to believe that my personal impetus to get involved with BASW is part of a wider awakening of social work.

We need to own our professional values, to agree our professional standards and training and development needs, and to provide support to social workers in practice across all contexts and settings. We need to engage with government, policy makers, service users, employers, academic and research interests to ensure that social work makes the best contribution it can to individual and community well-being. Importantly, we need to ensure that social workers are not so tied in with government and committed to some current ideological certainties that we abandon our values and principles.

I have been most recently involved, alongside my fellow honorary officers, in devising a plan for the future – one that would guide the work of the Association over the next few years. This had to be a plan that was capable of inspiring members and staff to work together for the best possible results for social work and social workers. At our Annual General meeting in April 2015, we completed a process of consultation with our members to agree a new vision for BASW’s future. This became our newly launched ‘2020 Vision’, which sets out our aim to be ‘The Strong Independent Voice of Social Work and Social Workers’.

This launch turned out to be fortuitous timing very well-timed, coinciding as it did with the announcement of the College’s closure. We recognise that the withdrawal of government support has been a major blow to College members but this has also served to underline the importance of BASW’s financial independence and managing our expenditure on the basis of income from membership and services, not other sources of funding.

The 2020 Vision sets out the direction that BASW has set itself and it is a big challenge. We know the College closure and the Westminster Government’s attempts to undermine social work standards and education mean that this is a precarious time for social work as a whole.

We pinned our colours to the mast by joining the social work bloc at June’s People’s Assembly marches against austerity. We have also been active in initiating an alliance including SWAN, JUCSWEC and UNISON, and hope that former members of the College will join this defence of social work and social workers.

The College closure has had one very positive outcome, the formation of the Social Work Assembly by former College members in response. The online discussions and challenges that have ensued have included established social workers as well as newly qualified and student social workers. This coming together demonstrates there is lots of life out there and a strong will to reclaim ownership of social work from government and its quangos and back to service users and social workers.

The question is where does that energy go? Into setting up more organisations? Or into BASW, which is open to all social workers and is solvent, independent, open to new ideas, and ready to be the strong independent voice of social work and social workers? It can be as good as you make it.

Like me, you may not like some things about BASW. It is only as good as we can make it. But what a fantastic ready-made vehicle we are for the energy and engagement that is so clearly out there. In our day-to-day work, we know it is human relationships that are essential, and building relationships with your fellow social workers is what will safeguard the profession. There is strength in numbers; join us.

In the words of the famous gospel song, “Come along my friend come along, Come along and ride this train, Nothing on this train to lose, Everything to gain”.

Let me know your thoughts as always

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The Green House Charity.

Posted by on Aug 15, 2015 in abuse, adult care, Bristol, Child Abuse, Children, Children & Social Care, health, Social Work, Training, victim | 0 comments

I invited the Chair of this charity, Steve Livings, to describe the vital work it does. I have also been a Trustee of the Green House for several years.

The Green House (Bristol) formerly the Avon Sexual Abuse Centre has been in existence for over 30 years initially counselling adult victims of rape and sexual abuse. Today we are providing free counselling for a minimum of 24 sessions on a one to one basis to adults, children and young people. We also offer emotional support sessions for parents whose children have been abused and work alongside the police and social services teams on criminal proceedings.

A few months ago I took over as Chair of the Trustees and felt very humble to lead a charity at the forefront of helping victims and survivors. I was in a very fortunate position having taken over from a Chair, James Wetz, who had taken the Green House from a very low point some 9 years ago to a professional organisation where we are today counselling some 75 people every month. Michelle Windle, the Director, leads a very committed and passionate staff group whose work is truly inspiring.

I have been a Trustee for some 7 years and joined after a very full career in the Police where I headed the Child Protection Teams and had been the police member of 5 unitary authority multi agency child protection panels. I have always had a passion for this work mainly because I had witnessed at first hand in other areas of my police work the outcomes of abused victims who had turned to substance abuse and crime. It was with this experience and background that I willingly became a trustee of the Green House where I know that all of our resources go into helping those victims and survivors.

In order to survive any charity must be business like and our current business plan sets out clearly the road map to ensure we continue to do the vital work that we have done well for so many years. That is to embrace change and demonstrate our values through impact and to explore developments and improvements so we are ready for future requirements.

We have felt the effects of national attention following high profile investigations into sexual abuse, which does not seem to abate. The positive outcome is that the shift has started to move from sexual abuse being a taboo subject and a ‘hidden’ activity to one which can now be shared with a recognition of not only the scale of the abuse but to highlight the sheer anxiety and mental distress that has dominated so many people’s lives. This has seen an increase of about 30% in referral to our services.

However,despite the prominence of these cases, the majority of sexual abuse is experienced much closer to home and in families.

Our service in Bristol has grown but we know there is still a need to raise the awareness of our service especially amongst young men, BME communities and people with substance abuse or self-harm issues. We find ourselves providing a specialised service with complex counselling for highly vulnerable adults, many of whom have experienced years of trauma, mental illness and self-harm.

At the Green House we believe it vital that, if we are to survive, we continually review our work and gain feedback from our clients who have completed counselling. This confirms the significant, positive outcomes of their engagement with the Green House by helping their psychological and physical well being.

With regard to our Children’s service we are seeing an increased complexity with well over a third of children we see at the Green House being in the care system as ‘Looked After’ children or in ‘Kinship’ care. The challenges in these cases are many as the young people are not only damaged by the abuse that they experienced but are also often dealing with the breakdown of the family unit and then having to cope with different care placements. This means that our staff are required to liaise more with multiple stakeholders to ensure the right support for those young people.

We have also seen an increase in the number of cases where young people view domestic violence, or are children on the ‘At Risk ‘ register or are one of the many young carers. We found that just under a quarter of our clients have court cases pending or current which causes yet more anxiety for them and their families and that needs such sensitive handling by our staff.

A great concern to any charity these days is securing longer term funding. I note recent research by the Guardian has found that none of the Rape Crisis organisations in England and Wales have secured funding beyond March 2016. This is despite a 50 per cent increase in victims and survivors receiving ongoing support since 2014. We know that calls to Rape Crisis help lines has soared to 164,000 – an average of 3,000 a week.

The funding crisis is partly to do with cuts to voluntary sector grants provided by local authorities. But the bigger impact is probably due to the devolution by the Ministry of Justice to the 41 police and crime commissioners in England and Wales last October, which has worsened the situation.

The Ministry of Justice awarded some £31.55 million to Police and Crime Commissioners to provide victims’ support services from 1 October 2014 in their local area. The MOJ had allocated the funding using a simple and transparent population based formula.

It would seem that Local Authorities are looking to a strong, thriving voluntary sector when setting their budgets to providing high quality, good value services to their residents. But this is patchy and certainly not the case everywhere especially in the mental health arena.
Many charities have seen their funding cut by half while others have lost entire budgets. Looking across the sector it seems children’s and young-people charities are hardest hit. I am not sure about the future as the deep cuts to voluntary groups across the country show that government claims that charities can replace direct services currently provided by central or local government cannot be entirely true. I believe that is certainly the case in the mental health sphere.
I firmly believe that the way forward for charities, especially those dealing with mental health issues is to work in partnership, to network and not to be insular and work in competition against others who provide for victims and survivors. Partnership working provides strength and all can share their experience and skills.

We now seem to have waited a long time for the Government to open an inquiry but will probably not see any outcome for five years. This seems to be the view of Justice Lowell Goddard who also outlined the possibility that one in every 20 children in the UK has been abused.

Her remit seems wide ranging from institutional abuse in children’s homes, the grooming of underage girls in different parts of the UK, the so called celebrity abuse to the historical allegations of abuse by senior politicians and other public officials.
I do wonder if this is realistic and whether the five-year prediction is at all realistic. One cannot estimate the cost of this enquiry and I personally try not to see this as a Government sop to what is a national disgrace but to carry on with our work with victims and survivors in an attempt to make a little part of their lives better with a hope that we can find the funding to continue.

http://the-green-house.org.uk/

info@the-green-house.org.uk

To make a referral to our children and young people’s service, telephone 0117 935 0033 or email: caseholder@the-green-house.org.uk

Steve Livings
August 2015

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060 Dr Simon Lenton – Child Friendly Health Care

Posted by on Jul 7, 2015 in Children, Children & Social Care, government, health, International, law, Podcasts, Research, service user, social work education, Training | 0 comments

060 Dr Simon Lenton – Child Friendly Health Care

 Interview with Dr Simon Lenton  MB, ChB, DRCOG, MRCP, MPH/DLSHTM, FRCPCH, MFPH

He completed his medical training in Aberdeen in 1977 and was appointed as a Consultant Paediatrician in Community Child Health (CPCCH) in Bath in 1987 after training in New Zealand, Canada and the UK.

Between 1996 and 2000 he completed Public Health training with a Masters in Public Health (MPH) from LSHTM and placements with the commissioning arm of Wiltshire Health Authority and a further placement Southwest Regional Office.

Between 2000-3 he worked as a Policy Adviser in the Department of Health and helped develop the Children’s National Service Framework (NSF) providing advice to Ministers on a wide range of issues relating to the health and well-being of children across a number of Government departments.

In 2003 he was elected to Vice President (Health Services) within the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) and led “Modelling the Future” which identified the problems facing children’s health services in the UK and sets out a vision and strategy for the future development of children’s health services.

Between 2009 and 2011 he chaired the expert working group on “Child Friendly Health Care” (CFHC) on behalf of the Council of Europe. CFHC translated the values contained within the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child into a practical framework for service delivery. This piece of work has now been endorsed by 47 health ministers across Europe through a Declaration signed in October 2011.

Then Chair the British Association for Community Child Health (BACCH) and now Co-chair of The British Association for Child and Adolescent Public Health (BACAPH).

We talk of his commitment to child and family friendly health care and the background to this internationally endorsed initiative with its relevance to multi agency work in safeguarding.

Further helpful links:-

Child Friendly

https://www.rcn.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/424677/CM2011113_E_CFH_guidelines_ExM.pdf

Family Friendly

http://www.bacch.org.uk/policy/BACCH%20Family%20Friendly%20Framework%20final.pdf

You Tube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ooi8-0zirmA

 

My thanks as always to Alba Digital Media for their technical assistance in this Podcast.


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059 Papyrus– Youth Suicide Prevention Charity

Posted by on Jun 25, 2015 in Children, Children & Social Care, depression, government, law, Media, Mental Health, Podcasts, policy, Research, Social Work, social work education, Training, Training Courses | 0 comments

059  Papyrus– Youth Suicide Prevention Charity

I talked to Alice Newton , the suicide prevention training co-ordinator for Papyrus, a national charity dedicated to supporting young people contemplating suicide and raising awareness about the level of need.

They provide confidential help and advice to young people and anyone worried about a young person, help others to prevent young suicide by working with and training professionals as well as campaigning to influence national policy.

The 2015 PAPYRUS conference will be held on 27th June 2015 at Resource for London, 356 Holloway Road, London N7 6PA.

National Confidential Helpline –- HOPELineUK. If you are a young person at risk of suicide or are worried about a young person at risk of suicide: 0800 068 41 41

or Papyrus on 01925 572 444

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058 Professor Harry Ferguson on social work practice.

Posted by on Jun 18, 2015 in abuse, Child Abuse, Children, Children & Social Care, law, neglect, Newly qualified social workers, Podcasts, service user, Sexual Abuse & Domestic Violence, Social Work, social work education, Training, Uncategorized | 0 comments

058 Professor Harry Ferguson on social work practice.

This is another podcast from the highly successful BASPCAN Congress held at Edinburgh University.

Professor Harry Ferguson on social work practice in families , how social workers engage with children and what the landscape of the profession is like today. Harry joined the university of Nottingham in November 2008 as Professor of Social Work. Prior to that he held posts at the University of the West of England, Bristol and in his native Ireland at University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin and University College Cork. He is a qualified social worker and completed his PhD in the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, University of Cambridge (1987-1990), which was a historical sociological study of social work and child protection. His teaching and research interests lie in the areas of child protection, domestic violence, social interventions into fatherhood and men’s lives, and the social science of social work.

Thanks as always to Alba Digital Media for technical support and podcast production. Don’t forget Voicemail on the left of this page if you want to leave a comment.

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057 International Federation of Social Workers. President Ruth Stark

Posted by on May 31, 2015 in Children, Children & Social Care, government, International, law, Podcasts, Research, Social Work, social work education, traffiking | 0 comments

057 International Federation of Social Workers. President Ruth Stark

Representing over 1 million social workers world wide, IFSW has NGO status at the UN and represents the different ways that the profession serves communities over all continents. Ruth Stark is the current President and talks to me in a wide ranging interview, touching on subjects that unite the family of social work as well as illustrating its diversity.

After ‘trying out’ whether or not to be a Social Worker in the early 1970’s in Lichfield and Edinburgh, Ruth qualified as a Social Worker in Birmingham in 1976. Initially a Probation Officer in Stockton on Tees she moved to Edinburgh in 1978 and worked in various areas of social work – children and families, criminal justice, mental health, adoption & fostering. In 1996 she gained her MSc in Advanced Social Work in Criminal Justice with research into the Aftermath Of Sexual Offending In The Family- 20 Years On. Latterly she was manager of SASW ( Scottish Association of Social Workers ), part of BASW, for 15 years.

 Alongside her career in Scotland Ruth became involved in IFSW in 1989, organising the 1991 IFSW European Conference in Glasgow, the last time it was in the UK. This was just after the Berlin Wall came down and there were had 30 eastern European delegates for the first time at an IFSW event.

An interest in Human Rights issues led to responsibility in this field at IFSW European level and in 2008 she became the Convenor of IFSW Global Human Rights Commissioner. In July 2014 she was elected President of IFSW.

Still a practitioner doing independent reports for children and people facing deportation Ruth is passionate about making sure peoples’ voices are heard by policy makers and those in positions of governance. Frontline social workers and people who use services have the most important stories to tell about what really works in making a positive difference in peoples’ lives.

It’s also good to remember the IFSW European Conference on 6th-9th September in Edinburgh. www.ifsweurope2015.org

As always my thanks to Alba Digital Media for technical support in this podcast.

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056 Social Work in Scotland and N Ireland

Posted by on May 15, 2015 in Children, Children & Social Care, Conference, government, law, Newly qualified social workers, Podcasts, policy, Research, Social Work, social work education, Uncategorized | 0 comments

056 Social Work in Scotland and N Ireland

Following the general election I thought it interesting to hear about what’s happening in these two countries.

Alan Baird.

Alan Baird 300

The Scottish Government’s Chief Social Work Adviser. Previously Director of Social Work, Dundee City Council for the previous 11 years and Past President of the Association of Directors of Social Work.

In general, his role is to advise the Government on social work issues as they arise. To help him do this, he has a staff of nine civil servants and meets on a regular basis with Scottish Government Ministers.

Sean Holland.  Sean Pic

Before training as a social worker at the University of Ulster in 1987 Sean Holland worked as a residential worker for homeless charities in Nottingham and Belfast. After qualifying Sean worked in family and child care, disability services and training.

As Chief Social Services Officer of Social Services (CSSO) for Northern Ireland, Sean leads a team which supports Ministers, the Department of Health, other Government Departments and agencies working in the fields of social care and social work. Sean also has responsibility for policy for family and child care, mental health, older people and people with disabilities within the Department of Health.

Sean has an LLM in Medical Law, has worked with government departments on the development of social services in Bulgaria, Croatia, Azerbaijan and Jordan and is a member of the Advisory Committee for the Child Protection Centre at the University of Edinburgh.

Also in this programme I’ve included a Speakpipe request and would welcome more of them to hear your thoughts and ideas.

As always my thanks to Alba Digital Media for technical support in making this podcast possible.

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