Manifesto to my Social Worker and Everyone

20140211-231959.jpg I’m still very new to this concept of blogging but have been reading many over the past few months. Such a diverse world of in depth articles and comment through to more diarist type approaches. In the vein of the latter I just wanted to briefly capture a memorable morning. On Wednesday of last week I had the pleasure of taking part in a morning of talks, debates, question times and a celebration of Social Work. This was a launch of a piece of work we have been doing to re-look at the role, value and expectations of social work alongside a world of personalisation, community and true citizenship. The morning was marked by a key speech from Lyn Romeo chief social worker. Now, I have had the fortune of hearing Lyn speak a few times now but this talk was just that little bit more special. Yes the moment was enhanced for my colleagues and I in that it was taking place in our area and with just our staff, but that was just the icing. The content, confidence and way in which the chief social worker spoke that morning registered with so many. In the days following many have commented on the chief social worker role and why it has taken so long before social work has been recognised with one. One thing that was clear was that social workers had been impressed and inspired by Lyn and her vision and fully bought into the idea of a chief, the telling statement being “I think our profession is safe in her hands” The morning was varied and meaningfull, a question time with Board members, the Chief and Madeline Cooper-Ueki from NDTi followed by inclusion talks and our role as social workers in supporting true citizenship and community opportunity. Our project over the last year has been called the Great Leap Forward (see previous blog) and has been a challenge and a pleasure. The detail of this work is for another day and another chat, possibly over a curry but I thought the below poem / story tried to sum up the element of what people may want us to achieve. The tale is from the perspective of a father of a young Learning Disabled boy entering adulthood. The boy is non verbal, but his Dad knows his son and can understand the wishes in his sons eyes. Those wishes he puts to paper on behalf of his son. Read aloud to capture the moment.

Manifesto to my Social Worker and Everyone

I don’t want you to see me, because if you see me I’m not part of your community

I don’t want to be a shadow in a residential home, because I want to be another face in the street

I don’t want many things, but I want to be able to have everything

I don’t want people to have special clubs for me, because if I’m in that club I’m not in the club your in

I don’t want to be a special name, a word or a group, because I want to be a boy a man and a bloke

There is many things I want to be but you don’t know any of them, yet you get to experience all of them

I don’t want to pat dogs in a day centre, I want to bloody well own a dog and take it for walks

I don’t want your fears to define me, I want my actions and choice to scare the crap out of you as you run for the risk assessment

I want to be a pain in the Arse, I want to be a nice bloke, I want to do voluntary work god I spose so

But what I wanna do is have a drink, have kids, have a fight. Kiss a girl or a boy I’ll decide

But I want to do all of that and more tonight, tomorrow and whenever

I don’t want you to see me, because at the point you don’t see me I might actually be part of your community.

I don’t want to be part of your community, because I want you to be part of our community

I have no idea what our community is, but what I do know is that I would let you do whatever you choose to within it 20140211-231909.jpg


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