Thursday, 27 March 2014

A Tale of Two Cities?

Two neighbouring English cities, Birmingham and Coventry, have child protection services that are deemed to be ‘inadequate’. Both are in the news today airing their improvement plans.

Coventry is calling a special meeting of councillors to discuss the situation.

Birmingham has had a ‘commissioner’ imposed on it by the government.

I wonder if these cities are really the ‘bad apples’ that many people assume they are, or whether they are just symptoms of a wider malaise. How many other children’s services departments in other British cities are operating at full stretch? How many social workers struggle daily with inadequate resources? How prevalent is the toxic blame and shame culture? How many opportunities for learning are being lost because people are afraid to talk openly about where and how mistakes happen? How many children are at risk of re-abuse because services are not meeting their needs?