Josh MacAlister has shared three dilemmas he is grappling with that cut across almost all areas of children’s social care.
In a blog, MacAlister has put forward a series of “contradictory” statements he says represents “a summary of the divergent messages that we’ve picked up so far” following a raft of engagement events and opportunities offered by the review.
These include a divergent opinion of the relationship between support and protection, particularly between families and social workers.
MacAlister says “Professionals have been more likely to tell the review that help and protection needs to be done together on a continuum whereas parents are more likely to tell us that having the same professionals providing help while also holding them to account for protecting their children presents problems.
He also probes the dilemma of providing either local, regional or national solutions and the conflicts between bureaucracy and freedom in providing effective support to children.
MacAlister admits “I don’t know the answer to these dilemmas, and as someone from our design group told me last week – “there almost certainly isn’t a right answer”. “All of the messages make sense to me and I find myself agreeing with what seem to be contradictory statements. But finding a balance or resolving the tension in these dilemmas is, I believe, the key to unlocking some of the big problems we have faced for decades in children’s social care.”
Read the blog here.