Clink. Clink. That’s the sound of several large pennies dropping in that hollow brain of mine.
I’ve had two reactions to situations over the past couple of days that have left me uneasy. I haven’t liked how I’ve felt. On Monday evening, my respite evening was shafted. The new cab firm have turned out to be totally unreliable, so I had to spend my free evening sorting out a new company to do Steven’s transport. By the time I got to bed, I was fuming with resentment.
Worse, on Sunday I found myself getting irritated with Steven. He was watching an epic 4 hour music video and wanting to discuss everything he was seeing on screen (“Dad – Frank Sinatra’s spreading the news. That’s a bit silly Frank. You can spread butter but you can’t spread news”.) I was trying to work out the support workers’ holiday pay. But I had to give up after half an hour because it was impossible to concentrate. It needed to be done though, so I knew I’d have to get back up after Steven had gone to bed. And for a while, I resented Steven for that.
Clink. I’ve become a manager. I spend less and less (I don’t like this phrase) quality time engaging with Steven because I’m always having to manage something. The care package, the personal budget, the support workers, the list is endless. I’ve never aspired to be a manager in my working life and now I find myself as an employer and a manager. How did that happen?
Clink. Its down to Personalization. The social care world, with its lack of insight and imagination, has created something in its own image. An army of managers that spends so much time managing nothing it hasn’t the time to engage with what really matters.
Everybody is a manager in social care. I used to go to meetings and everyone there had the word “manager” in their job title. Steven’s old social worker wasn’t called a social worker – she was a Transition Manager. I asked her once what that meant.? I needn’t have bothered. ” I manage Steven’s transition to adult services”. A nothing job. There are no services to be transitioned into. A manager who manages nothing. She might as well have been called, “Door keeping Manager” and manage opening a door on the cliff edge of Beachy Head.
So for Personalization to work and for LAs to rid themselves of all their statutory duties and manage nothing, they’ve had to create a whole new band of managers. The families, the carers now do the LA’s old managing role, as well as the normal day to day stuff of caring. Something had to give. And that something was human engagement.
I don’t want to be an employer. I do not aspire to being a manager. I’d like to be Steven’s dad. Or just Mark.
From → Social Care