The publication of any serious case review (SCR) always prompts professional questioning and anxiety about practice shortcomings, as well as generating understandable unease about how the public and media will react. The Daniel Pelka SCR brings into distressing and vivid relief the catastrophic consequences for children when, for whatever reason, public agencies have been unable to prevent the tragedy of a child dying.
Protecting children is, without question, the most demanding of public services. It requires inquiring minds, good use of authority, and great skill in making sense of what life is really like for children and families. The work is messy and complex, demanding finely balanced and timely professional judgements.
Reading the SCR has been deeply saddening and salutary for everyone in the sector. Knee-jerk policy reactions will not, however, engender better practice. Instead, everyone involved in children's services needs to reflect in a measured way, concentrating on how to deliver and support best practice.
There are many issues we need to reflect on carefully, but three stand out. Firstly, the SCR highlighted the perennial theme of inter-professional communication (although it could have done more to try to understand what prevents professionals from being able to share their pieces of the mosaic that makes up children's lives).
We need to remove some of the blockages, transferring learning from the considerable good practice around the country where children have been well protected. The busyness of everyone's work worlds, differing organisational priorities, and, sometimes, a less than fulsome appreciation of each other's roles, can impede sharing knowledge – and hunches – about what may be happening in a family. Critical reflection and analysis of cases are essential in all agencies if children are to be well protected, and the College of Social Work will be looking to work with other professional organisations in order to promote these capabilities.
Secondly, the SCR pointed to workload and resource pressures across different children's services. These are part of the context, though they cannot excuse poor practice. However, we ignore them at our peril.
Instead, we must look at ways of supporting practitioners to be more professionally assured in engaging with children and parents/carers, in assessing risk and above all in making sure that children's experiences, voices and interests are the bedrock of decision making. The new and developing network of principal social workers in local authorities is just one of the important levers for achieving best social-work practice.
Finally, the toxicity of family life for children where there is domestic violence and alcohol misuse surfaces powerfully in this SCR. Despite greater consciousness of just how extensive domestic violence is across all communities, the severity and risks are often minimised. A high proportion of referrals to social-care teams involve domestic violence.
So the SCR raises a number of pressing practice issues for social work practitioners. It is incumbent on employers and organisations such as the College of Social Work to enable social workers and other professionals to know how best to work with children, non-abusing parents and also with perpetrators.
Media reaction to publication of this SCR has been less "blaming and shaming" than it has sometimes been in the past. Some media reports did predictably default to the simplistic position of blaming social workers, but others reflected on just how hard it is to protect children and recognised that it is a multi-agency task.
We cannot be complacent because there is much more to be done and improved. In the meantime, perhaps, just perhaps, there is growing public recognition of the scale of the challenges involved.
Annie Hudson is chief executive of the College of Social Work
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Essay on Health and social care UNIT 4 M1
1765 WordsDec 20th, 20138 Pages
Stereotypes of life stages
Stereotyping is when a judgement is made on a group of people because of the actions of a few. Stereotyping happens because of misinformation and other people’s opinions.
There are many stereotypical perceptions of life stages and their possible effect on development. Each of the six life stages will be explained with the expected norms and how this affects the development.
There are many stereotypical views of foetal development. A pregnant woman is expected to have a healthy diet, exercise, take vitamin supplements, and have regular visits to the doctor to benefit herself and her baby. The NHS website also informs why mothers should eat healthily so this is a reason why mothers feel…show more content…
Childhood (4-9 years)
The stereotypical view of this stage of life is that people think all children start to learn new things, as this is the first step to education. This is also the time when they discover how to make new friends and can keep these good relationships until the end of their lives. However, some children do not get a chance to be educated for example; children who live in poverty are not as educated as others.
There was also a BBC news report about Daniel Pelka, a four-year-old child who had been beaten and starved for months by his parents before his death in March 2012. He had not learned English, as it was not his first language so this lack of language and low confidence made it almost impossible for him to confess the suffering he had gone through. This shows that children need to be nurtured well and be given a variety of foods in order to have a balanced diet. Children should also be given a good education and extra help if needed, as this will help their intellectual development.
Another stereotypical view on children is that this is the age when they are influenced by their family and what they watch on television. For example, a TV show like Horrid Henry may make the child want to be disobedient, behave badly, and throw temper tantrums. This stereotype is accurate because children like to copy what they see. Also, children are egocentric, as they do not yet understand anybody’s feelings or thoughts.