Social Skirmishes

l How many social workers does it take to run an office sweepstake? Pat Blades, a Surrey care manager, writes that “adding up social care and admin staff still left us reconciling 40 runners in the Grand National with 11 staff members.” So each person put in three pounds and picked three horses and then paid extra for the remaining few horses. “The process ground to a halt half way when we realised that our duty care manager was out on a visit, so always striving to practice in anti-discriminatory fashion, we awaited her return before resuming. All agreed this was team working at its best with further consideration as to how we could adapt the learning experience and apply it to weekly allocations.” What next, poker schools?

l Not with a bang but with a whimper. That was International Social Work day in our office – and in the UK. Apparently, there are more than 500,000 social workers in 83 countries. There were poster campaigns, rallies, meetings and declarations of human rights in places as diverse as Thailand, Estonia, Philippines, Poland, Kuwait, Malaysia and Nepal. Generally it appears the day’s activities made one proud to be a social worker. Back in Blighty we were debating the latest pay offer (2.45%, so much for being valued) and the most recent child protection cases. And then there is the ever present worry that someday, something might go wrong – like the death of Philip Ellison. And then you realise how proud you are to work with people who accept danger in their working lives to help others.

l E-mail your anecdotes and observations to

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