Meet and greet: Thursday 3 November, 3.15 – 3.45pm, DH Lounge (E30)
The Principal Social Worker role, as set out in the Department of Health Guidance to the Care Act and the Vision for Adult Social Work published by the Chief Social Worker for Adults Lyn Romeo, should be the bridge between the real experiences of people, families and social workers on the front line and strategic decision making. Rob Mitchell, co chair of the National Adult Social Worker Network and Elaine James, Service Manager for Strategic Commissioning at Calderdale Council explain why.
Rob and his fellow co-chair Mark Harvey (who join Lyn and Elaine on the DH stand on Thursday 3 November) argue that PSWs are conduits to ensure decision making is transparent and that social work is accountable to the people social workers are here to serve.
Social workers are involved in every story highlighted during campaigns such as those which were told during the #7daysofaction but sometimes it is difficult to detect the relational skills of good social work in what you are reading.
The campaign - in case you missed the 2,600 postcards sent to all PSWs in England, the 2.3 million impressions generated on social media, or the brilliantly chaotic special @WeLDNurses tweetchat supported by Adult PSW Network Co-Chairs Rob Mitchell and Mark Harvey - has focused on the stories of 9 of the 2,500 - 3,000 people detained in Assessment and Treatment Units in England. And this is the website the families have developed.
According to the report published in support of #7daysofaction by the Centre for Disability Research at Lancaster University, 7 out of 10 people with a learning disability in ATUs do not have a health or behaviour support need which requires treatment and 35 percemt should be discharged home to their family and community.
Perhaps the most concerning theme in the #7daysofaction stories are how young the people are. Most were aged between 16 and 18 when they experienced being taken from their families for assessment and treatment, often under section of the Mental Health Act. Years later, in some cases up to 10 years later, the process of getting people home appears to be exceptionally difficult.
This storify captures the tears, frustration, hope and joy of #7daysofaction, please take a moment to review and reflect and perhaps share your thoughts with us on Thursday 3 November at 3.15 - 3.45 in the DH Lounge. We look forward to meeting you.
This blog post was drafted by Rob Mitchell and Elaine James