It’s that time of year – the first day to be precise – when the blogosphere is filled with predictions and hopes for the coming year. In the past I have occasionally been tempted at New Year to join the crowd and draw up an elaborate wish list for child protection in Britain and elsewhere.
Not this year. More than ever, after a surprising and disturbing 2016, I am coming to the view that the “future’s not ours to see”, as Doris Day once said.
So, this new year I am going to restrict myself to a single hope, a single wish, a single appeal, a single entreaty.
This is it.
Let all those who have influence on child protection policy and practice get smart in 2017. Let them see that the blame and shame culture does not result in improvement, but has the opposite effect. Let them see that improvement comes about primarily as a result of those who do the work being empowered to learn from their mistakes and service failures; and being empowered to initiate changes (often small and modest ones) to make practice safer and to improve service quality.