Have your say

Welcome to Have your say Community Care’s
online discussion forum.

This week’s subject is the decision by home secretary
David Blunkett to replace vouchers for asylum seekers with new
smart cards. He also announced that new detention centres would
replace the dispersal scheme.

What do you think about the way asylum seekers are
treated in this country?

Have your say by clicking here


Comments received on Alan Milburn’s speech to the
National Social Services Conference:

Alan Milburn is a politician. He has to keep
the voters happy, and if that means having a dig at
‘underperforming’ agencies, then that is what he will do.

We live in a competitive world of winners and losers, winners
are rewarded whilst losers are blamed and forced to improve, or
they get the sack.

Or at least they do in most jobs!!!

I am a DipSW student and it amazes me how social work
professionals moan on about low morale and stress. Nobody forced
anybody to be a social worker, people change careers all the time
and social care is not the only profession which encounters

Social work managers are well paid, as are social workers, so
some accountability and criticism should be expected.

We have a fascinating job which directly improves people’s
existences, so we get some stick on the way, and the managers are
under pressure, what’s new???.

Would you prefer Alan Milburn to say everything is fine as it is
and embark on a campaign of back slapping and false praise? Thought

The comments of bad management have a grain of truth, in that
they are responsible for recruiting and maintaining a motivated
workforce of capable employees. If they cannot achieve this, get
someone who can, or get another agency involved to help out and
show the way it should be done.

The criticisms are aimed at social workers in general, I do not
take it personally.

Richard Field

University of Teesside

Unless more resources are put into social
services the rest of Milburn’s speech is meaningless. The attitude
of NHS management has also got to be changed toward social care.
Finally, continual reorganisation to mask the lack of resources is
one of the biggest sources of staff stress and

Roland Powell

Alan Milburn’s comments appear to be both
ill-advised and inaccurate. Ill-advised in that they can only
further de-motivate social care staff, discourage new entrants to
the profession and further alienate the general public from the
concept of social care services based in local government.

Inaccurate in that the data for the authority I work for do not
reflect recent SSI inspections etc.

Could it have been an attempt to deflect criticism he knew was
coming over NHS waiting lists and times by showing he was being
tough on social care issues?

Pete Morgan

Very disappointing. A much more positive and
upbeat speech about the achievements of social workers would have
set the scene for the launch of the recruitment

Ian Johnston, director, British Association of Social

Out of touch is a polite version of what I
would say about Mr Milburn’s comments. I am an experienced
operational manager of children’s services and my responsibilities
include child protection. I work for Warwickshire County Council
that I now am informed is ‘failing’. An interesting concept when
the SSI actually praised out child protection services, but who am
I to argue.

However, I think our senior managers are also ‘out of touch’.
Surely those persons responsible for all our management data should
also be astute enough to look at every which way this can then be
interpreted. None of us can surely be naive enough to think that
statistics will not be used to prove any point that any individual
wish to make. Their combined failure therefore to have fully
analysed the information they were providing about performance is
as much an insult to us as is Mr Milburn’s stance.

I find myself totally disillusioned in world of highly paid ‘men
in suits’ who do only the job they are asked to without adequate
training, expertise and foresight. So much so that I am now
applying for jobs outside of social services. Indeed I already have
interview for a job with less responsibility, less expectation for
extended working hours and more money.

I may of course not be successful, but I will keep trying and it
is only a matter of time before I go. I may not be indispensable
and I may be easily replaceable, but as people like me leave the
profession I am not convinced that there are sufficient numbers to
take our places.

We all know that the government has failed in more of its
targets than it has achieved, and that the general public was so
disillusioned that the majority could not even be bothered to turn
out to vote. Perhaps league tables of their achievements and
special measures would be the wake up call that they need.

In Rugby where I work we do have an MP, but I would argue he is
of no value to the man in the street nor has he ever done one thing
to convince myself and many like me that he is worthy of a salary
far greater than most.

All I can say is GOOD-BYE social services and anyone with any
brain or sense will do like me and just get out because it really
can only get worse.

Disappointed of Warwickshire

I would like to suggest that Alan read the
excellent article written by Terry Bamford in Community
(11-17 October edition page 38). I would also like to
suggest he volunteers for that programme ‘back to the shop floor’.
As he seems to be missing the basic ethos of why most of us are
still doing this work in spite of the system.

Susan Bennett

More from Community Care

Comments are closed.