It is not just us beleaguered local authority types that are slaves to a modernisation agenda that doesn’t realise that it’s making all the same mistakes again. I mean, you used to know where you were with police officers – awkward to deal with, often over-zealous, hopelessly un-PC but usually reliable in a crisis – particularly in threatening or violent situations. You could also rely on their GBH of the English language: “I was proceeding down the high street when the person I now know to be the accused took it upon himself to shatter a shop window using what appeared to be the claimant’s head, m’lud.” They might mangle the language but at least you could understand what they meant.
But it seems the police are catching on to our social work ways. The Metropolitan Police is advertising for relationship managers. The job ad runs: “Needless to say, you are fully capable of identifying and mitigating risk, recognising the implications of new technologies and appreciating the impact of information systems.” Identifying risk and using technology systems, just up my street.
I reckon I could give it a spin after all I’m “a true self-starter with the vision and resilience to make things happen”. But then realise I can’t bring “considerable leadership experience in a matrix environment” – as I have no idea what that means, unless of course I ask my boss.
Even the police are locking themselves up with the management bollocks that is stalking social care corridors. And then they demonstrate over pay! What next, person-centred care on The Bill?
As for us, you could argue that the very best social work is all about relationships – understanding our unique relationships with clients and their families and drawing from a wide knowledge base to help make sense of it all.