Meet social care’s top bloggers no.3: The Small Places

Lucy Series, who runs The Small Places blog, on why the Daily Mail's misrepresentation of deprivation of liberty safeguards drove her to start writing about several complex areas of social care.

Image: screengrab

What’s your name or pseudonym?

My name is Lucy Series, but the blog is called ‘The Small Places’. The title comes from a famous speech Eleanor Roosevelt gave to the United Nations about human rights. 

Her point was that human rights issues are there in the minutiae of the domestic and everyday. I think that’s a really important point when it comes to social care.

Where can we find you on the Twitter/blogosphere?

My blog is at:  I also tweet at @thesmallplaces.

What three words would best describe your blog?

Care, research, rights.

What’s your role in social care?

I am a socio-legal researcher. That means that I research law, but I am interested in how law works in practice.

I am especially interested in mental capacity issues, but I also write about care provision, regulation and transparency. Before I became a researcher, I worked and volunteered in health and social care.

Why did you start blogging/tweeting?

The Daily Mail. I was irritated by the misrepresentation of the Court of Protection and the deprivation of liberty safeguards, and I wanted to put more accurate information into the public domain.

I also find it’s a much faster way to share research findings, news and information with a broader range of audiences than academic journals. 

A significant proportion of people reading The Small Places are social care practitioners, carers and people with disabilities. To my mind, they are the most important audiences. It would be a shame if information about people’s rights was locked behind paywalls in academic journals.

If you could recommend one of your blog posts to social workers what would it be?

The problem of domination in social care

Can you recommend a social care blog?

It’s difficult to only name one. I’m an avid reader of the Not So Big Society blog but I also get a lot out of reading blogs by care service users and carers. 

I’d particularly recommend the blogs of Amanda Baggs, an amazing autistic blogger from the USA, and carers Mark Neary and My Daft Life

All three blogs have a lot of useful insight into what it’s like to be caught inside the social care ‘system’.

Favourite non-social care blog?

It has to be the UK Human Rights Blog, which contains accessible summaries of human rights cases, as well as being a great (and accurate) resource for human rights news.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen in your job?

Resource Allocation Systems. They’re very strange beasts.

What one tip would you give to NQSWs or people thinking about becoming social workers?

I’m not a social worker myself, but I’ve met some really inspiring social workers through working in social care and researching it. 

The qualities that have really impressed me in social workers are: critical reflection, being open to other perspectives and challenges, finding creative solutions, and being passionate about the rights of service users.

What’s your most hated jargon in your job?

It’s got to be “deprivation of liberty safeguards”. Such a terrible name, for such important protection.

Best biscuit for a tea break?

Fox’s Chocolate Viennese. I could eat a whole packet in one go.

The Small Places is featured in our #socialcare60 Twitter list, which features the top social care tweeters as voted by our readers and Twitter followers. Check out the list, and download it here.  

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