When will we ever learn?

Posted on October 28th, 2011

Ofsted report Ages of Concern was published this week highlighting amongst other things that Social Workers continue to underestimate the risks posed to babies.   The report looked at 482 Serious Case Reviews involving 210 babies under a year old.

The report emphasises the need for ‘swift’ pre-birth assessments and an overall improvement on assessments undertaken.   It seems that Social Workers continue to marginalise fathers and fail to understand the risks parents pose when then have drug and alcohol issues and when there is domestic violence in the home.  The very fact that babies can not speak about harm, they can not walk or run away from harm, they are often covered from head to toe or tucked up in their cot asleep when we see them and therefore harm is not evidently visible.  This should heighten our sensitivity to the potential harm around them.

At Avocet we are experienced and well trained individuals who assess risk within all the assessments we undertake.  We endeavour to include and give equality of opportunity to father’s who feel excluded from processes and our assessments are child focused – always considering the impact on the child of the parents’ behaviour and actions.


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What is going on in the world?

Posted on October 25th, 2011

Two news stories made an impact on me today, both completely unrelated but each telling a very different tale about how these ‘hard times’ are impacting on individuals.   The first story involves two recent cases in China of a child being run over and killed.  The first child was two years of age and was seemingly wandering around without adult supervision when she was run over not once but twice and then it appears a number of adults walked past her as she lay injured and dying in the road.   The second incident involved a five year old walking to school who was run over by a lorry, the driver of which allegedly reversed over the child to ensure he could not survive because if he had done so then the driver would have been responsible for his medical bills.   Such atrocities are unthinkable in civilised society I thought.   But when you directly relate it to the current financial climate, the fact that we are experiencing a recession that has yet to take it’s ‘double-dip’, the increasing numbers out of work and more jobs cuts on the horizon you have to wonder what desperate levels people will resort to in a crisis.

In direct contrast to these two terrible incidents I read today that in the first three months of trading this year sales of Victoria Beckham brand designer clothing reached £15 million.  Added to this it is rumoured that her already immensely wealthy husband is being offered millions of pounds to join French football club Paris Saint-Germain.  Such disparity of wealth I have blogged about previously and I will in all likelihood mention again because the growing divide between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’ is becoming increasingly apparent.


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Respect to our Elders

Posted on October 18th, 2011

Having recently completed Shine – a marathon walk through London during the night I was indeed impressed to learn of a 100 year old man who recently completed a marathon in (what I truly believe to be) a very respectable 8 hours.  I say respectable because I too took that length of time to complete the challenge and I am half his age!!  When I compare my brother-in-law’s immensely impressive 2 hours and 57 seconds completion time of the Chester marathon rather than shrink back in defeat it spurs me on to think about improving on my fitness levels to get my body in shape and prepared for the many years ahead – we are an ageing population and we are all going to be living and working well into ‘old age’ is my thinking.

There has been some interesting news coverage involving the older generation recently not least of all the slot on This Morning considering sexual relationships between older people.   The show, having previously adopted a reputation for being a bit too racy for a morning programme, featured sex aids and a couple demonstrating sexual positions suited to those over 60! Apparently there have been many complaints about the segment, the time of day at which the show was shown and viewers not happy to see sexual positions being acted out on their TV screen by an couple of pensioners!  Rather than wish to be shielded from what our elders are up to I wonder why we are so reluctant to embrace it?

I watched the recent Pride of Britain awards and was (as always) pleased to see a number of older people getting recognition for their achievements, whether it be for beating a gang of bank robbers with their shopping bag, wing walking or raising in excess of 100 million pounds for charity.   When I watch it makes me feel proud of what these older people have achieved but once again spurred on to thinking about the potential of the generations that have brought us to where we are today.


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