Sunday, September 12, 2010

Armageddon out of here*: The Week in View

Sometimes, news is not news, in the sense that it doesn't tell you anything you didn't know already. Such was the case with the story in Community Care that a poll of social workers revealed that they are over-worked. The poll of more than 600 social workers showed that one in six have more than 40 cases, that 90% say high case-loads are affecting their ability to practise good social work and that more than four-fifths said their caseload has increased over the past year. One children's social worker who responded to the survey said: "Another Baby P, Victoria ClimbiƩ, Khyra Ishaq is waiting to happen and it will unless the government does something about the excessive caseloads we are supposed to manage". And who will be blamed when that happens?

As if that wasn't bad enough, the Guardian reported that vulnerable children are at risk as services struggle with the post-Baby P increase in referrals and the Government's 25% spending cuts. In fact, Robert McCulloch-Graham, the head of children's services at Barnett Council, reportedly likened the cuts to 'Armageddon'. I'm not sure whether this sort of 'language of exaggeration' always has the desired effect - its use is so common nowadays that it is likely to be ignored, like the boy who cried wolf. Still, it makes good headlines...

Following negotiations with the Law Society and other interested parties, the LSC has extended family legal aid contracts for one month, pending the judicial review hearing on the 21st September. As to where all of this may end up, see this article on the Guardian Legal Network this week.

And finally... another study, another story in the Mail. This one with the profound and surprising conclusion that couples who rush into marriage are more likely to split up. Really? I'd have never guessed. As I said at the beginning, sometimes news is not news...

*A pun by my late father. He liked a good pun. Or even a bad one...

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