A poignantly titled article in the Guardian is written by an anonymous child protection manager who found the work involved living with ‘depression and dread’.
It is important to hear the voices of front-line staff. This
account not only recounts the anxiety and stress associated with the risk of making
critical mistakes, but also details bullying by senior managers, who tried to
protect themselves and pass the buck down the chain when things went wrong.
If we want people to spend their careers in child protection
– so that their knowledge and experience cumulate over a working life – we have
to design organisations in which people feel safe and in which they are treated
with respect and justice.
Attention to the question of how to build better
organisations doesn’t really seem to rank high on the agendas of government or
the children’s services elite. They remain more concerned with telling
people how to do the job, rather than helping them to survive and develop in a stressful