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Fear and Loathing in — Surrey?

June 8, 2010

I watched the Channel 4  “Dispatches – Undercover Social Worker” broadcast last night as probably did many of the readers of this blog. The muddle, despair and incompetence on display made very depressing viewing. The dispatches blurb states that their reporter, John Coffey uncovered “a lack of resources, inadequate staff support and training, high workloads, poor morale and overwhelming amounts of red tape and ‘box-ticking'”. He certainly did. All that and much more was on display and this was in affluent Surrey, not in  some deeply deprived inner city area. The Telegraph reports Surrey County Council as saying, “Child protection is our top priority and we will examine the findings of this programme carefully.”;  as if they did not know already what goes on in the Department.

I must say I found the language used by the members staff particularly unsettling. Anything which was not very good was “crap” or “piss poor”. Being busy was “running round like a blue-arsed fly”. Clients problems and issues seemed to be spoken about in hugely over-dramatic terms which would not be out of place in a Sun headline. There was little if any sign of calm, considered professional thinking or action. Frankly, if I were a child whose safety was dependent on the decisions and actions of the team portrayed in this programme I ought to be very worried indeed.

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