I wanted to make a public apology for a public mistake.
On Saturday I published a post on this blog about one of our support worker’s experience working in supported living. Yesterday, I removed the post.
I did not feel like I was breaching the support worker’s confidentiality at the time because, (a) he asked me to write the post, and (b) I showed him what I had written before publishing. I respected his request that he remained anonymous in the post as well as the name of the place and the area it is located. I now see that as it wasn’t “my” story, I shouldn’t have published it. I stupidly and irresponsibly overlooked the emotional impact of the story and saw it primarily as a concern for #LBBill to try and stop the practice of turning care homes into supported living homes.
After publishing, what happened next, took me completely by surprise. Very quickly, in every media I published, the comments focused on the support worker rather than what I saw naively as the core of the story. The comments turned to what action the support worker has/will be taking about reporting the place. I replied on each site/thread along the lines that I trusted him and was leaving it up to him to decide what action to take. This only seemed to stoke the fire and the comments became more critical of the support worker. I realized that if I tried to explain further about his situation, I would run the risk of compromising his anonymity. It was foolish of me not to have thought that through before publishing. Obviously I have no control over which direction a post goes in. Nor would I want to. But I could see that I was making a difficult situation for the support worker much much worse by my unprofessionalism. At that point, I decided to remove the post.
The second factor that arose that I hadn’t accounted for was that people started to express they felt responsible for taking follow up action and reporting the home. This arose out of the assumption that neither the worker, nor I, were going to do anything. I truly regret if my lack of thought burdened people with a sense of responsibility. The matter has been reported and I don’t want anyone to feel under pressure.
Even if my intentions were pure, it was wrong of me to use the experience of the people in the home and the support worker as a discussion point for LBBill.
Please accept my deepest apologies for that.