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Fear, Domination and Pepperoni Pizza

November 2, 2012

Last month, Lucy Series posted an excellent blog about the Domination Theory that exists in social care ( The crux of the matter basically being that by the very nature of the social care system, there will always be a power imbalance. It is not a personal thing; the service user or carer is probably not being targeted but they will always have the fear of their life being completely disrupted by a decision taken by the social care team.

It struck a lot of nerves at the time of reading and I don’t like the idea of being dominated. It’s probably why I get into so many battles with the LA because I cannot bear to feel so powerless.

It shows up for me in the most unlikely places. This morning I did the weekly shop at Sainsburys. Money is very tight at the moment (I have to phone the gas board later as they want to put my monthly direct debit up to £195!!). On Fridays, Steven goes to a day centre run by the positive behaviour unit. A few months back,as part of Steven’s “independence planning”, the OT suggested that Steven make his own pizza whilst at the day centre and he can bring it home with him for tonight’s tea. We had week’s of observational monitoring forms to complete as every step of the pizza making process was analysed from a behavioural perspective. The support workers had to rate Steven’s performance on every step of the task from 0-5. It was very tense for Steven and the support workers as they were being observed all the time whilst engaged in the pizza. Now it is just part of the Friday routine.

Whilst wheeling my trolley around, I added up the cost of making this pizza and it came to £7.65. A ready-made pepperoni pizza was on the shelves for £2.25. I could have saved my self £5.40. But I didn’t because of fear; fear that I will be accused of being uncooperative in promoting Steven’s independence. It’s happened before in court and I live with the anxiety that it may happen again. And I feel pretty pathetic.


From → Social Care

One Comment
  1. Suzanne Hayes permalink

    Mark I totally agree with you we as carers are always not seen in a positive light we do wrong for doing right we have just had al direct payments for care and respite removed by Wiltshire Social services and I feel like you totally powerless exhausted and depressed for the person we care for future when we are not around to face up and say no

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