Friday, 16 July 2010

A Brush with Authority

Once upon a time about a year ago at a care home for teenagers I had another run in with a disaffected youth or unsocialised brat as I prefer to call them. Which terminology you use will depend on where you live and what your life experience is. If you suffer from middle class guilt and live very far away from such youths in a nice neighbourhood you may probably make excuses for them based on the slight understanding of social problems you have acquired from the Society section in the Guardian (which despite my criticism often has very good articles). However, if you live next door to such feral youths in a working class, underclass or even a lower middle class estate you will probably use less politically correct terms to describe such teenagers. You will also possess a more realistic understanding of the remedies that need to be taken to deal with anti-social youths.

Anyway, back to the care home, I use the word care loosely, I dont see how allowing children to grow up free from boundaries, discipline and effective authority is any form of care. Just after I had made three separate lunches for the teenagers there I asked them to help me clean up. The two girls just ignored me as they sat transfixed in front of some insipid music channel, I am also using the word music loosely, noise would be more apt. The third teenager, Wayne, 14, a small skinny lad took offence to being asked to assist in household duties.

"We don't fucking do cleaning up, we are not skivvies, that's the staff's job," he smirked, hoping to get a confrontational reaction.

I just ignored his comments and didn't bother trying to convince him to the merits of contributing something to the small community in which he lived. I had tried this earlier and it hadn't worked. It was time to just admit defeat. I carried on cleaning whilst Wayne went outside and smoked a cigarette next to a staff member who was also having a nicotine break. Needless to say this is highly unprofessional but very common. In fact, Wayne should have been at school but he refused to go that day. In fact, he often refuses to go.

When he came back in to the kitchen where I was finishing off my cleaning he started to complain about being bored.

"Well, perhaps if you had gone to school you wouldn't be so bored," I remarked.

"Oh shut the fuck up Winston. I hate school, its full of pricks telling you what to do. I just want to head to town and get stoned with my mates."

A few seconds later he picked up the broom and started spinning it around. It almost hit me so I asked him to be careful and stop fooling around. Instead, he shoved the bristles of the dirty broom in to my face. Not a nice experience I can tell you. I took a few paces back and again Wayne lunged the brush towards my face. Only this time I wasnt going to passively accept his bullshit behaviour. As the brush came towards me, I grabbed it by the handle.

"Listen Wayne. Im not going to stand here idly whilst you try to humiliate me with that brush. It's just not going to happen. Im a good ten inches taller than you and several stone heavier as well as extremely physically fit so it will take you some effort to get me to relinquish my grip on this brush and if you get too violent about it I will not hesitate in restraining you."

My little speech was like a red rag to a bull. Teenage boys like Wayne rarely encounter male authority figures, any males in authority they do encounter are usually emasculated figures who have been indoctrinated in the mantras of the ultra-liberal apologist brigade for anti-social behaviour. Therefore, when the likes of Wayne encounter the likes of myself it becomes a power struggle as they are usually used to getting their way.

Wayne spent a good ten minutes with all his might trying to pull the brush from my grip. He was livid with anger, but at no point did he lash out violently which surprised me as these power struggles often escalate. However, the battle for the brush was quiet physical and agressive as he pulled and swung me around the kitchen with all his might, but to no avail. In the words of the reformed bigot the Reverend Ian Paisley there would be "no surrender, never, never, never!"

Eventually Wayne tired himself out, he had to admit defeat, so he let go of the brush and I locked it in the office. For the next view hours he swore and glared at me every time I passed him by in the lounge. He was seathing that he wasn't able to exercise power over me in the form of humiliation.

A while later I was in the office doing some paperwork when there was a knock on the door. Foolishly I opened it fully as opposed to using the partial lock and as soon as I had done so Wayne had thrown the dirty water left in the mop bucket all over me. I stood there dripping wet and Wayne wandered off laughing as he went. In his mind the balance of power had been restored.

However, before you judge poor Wayne too harshly, as I mistakenly did, perhaps you should consider the theory that he has no control over his behaviour as he is suffering from a psychological condition (actually it is those in his company that are suffering) known as conduct disorder or was it oppositional defiant disorder or even school refusal disorder. Here's an interesting piece from the Telegraph on these conditions.

I considered the theory that Wayne was 'suffering' from conduct disorder and then I immediately dismissed it as the nonsense that it is. Instead I judged him to be the feral brute that he is at this point in his life. Hopefully, this may change at some point in the future. With the right guidance, discipline and boundaries (the things he doesn't get in 'care') Wayne could actually make something of his life. I spent a few weeks working with him and in the times he wasnt pretending to be a hard and tough yob there emerged a teenager with an excessively curious mind with regards to History and Geography and whose vocabulary was much more advanced than many of his peers. This inquisitiveness along with the ability to retain and recite factual information indicated the signs of intelligent life beneath the feral exterior. It's an awful shame that none of the services that have been involved in his life to date have been able to assist Wayne in developing his potential.

37 comments:

the fly in the web said...

No, they're too busy regarding him as an abstract 'problem' to do him the courtesy of regarding him as a human being dearly in need of help...proper help.
Nowhere does there seem to me to be any notion of helping these youngsters to extract themselves from their miserable backgrounds by any effective means.
But then, the middle class and upwards have never wanted to admit that those born to families lower down the food chain have any talent or potential...to admit as such undermines their claims to the good things in life as being justified by their own 'talent'...so the Waynes are left to rot and to wreck the lives of others.

Oswald Bastable said...

Whatever the cause, they are now suffering from a condition known as 'Excessive blood oxygenation'

The cure is a rope around the neck and a short drop from a scaffold...

Lilyofthefield said...

I read the article. I agree that his early experiences have helped shape his brain and his responses, and that current hormonal influences don't help. But there is still plenty of opportunity from early years onward to clout it out of him. Worked for generations.

Boy on a bike said...

If he has an uncontrollable, untreatable mental condition, maybe the answer is to lock him up in a mental institution?

I am dying to try that line of argument on someone from the "it's not their fault" brigade.

Anonymous said...

Winston, how did you manage to stop yourself beating the shit out of the little toerag? It's probably just as well you did, as you live in the real world, one of consequences - unlike your "clients" (if I can use that odious word) who live in some sort of fantasy world of unlimited aggression and ego displays.

Rod said...

Beating him up or threatening him won't help. You've really only got three options. Befriend him, forget him or kill him.

MTG said...

Recent events reveal the deep hostility of a minority towards Gestapo methods. Successive governments have shamefully allowed the proliferation of bullies within public services, notably police. We have shamefully stood by, tutting here and there.

There will be no formal announcement of the inevitable police cleansing. The Chief Constable shielding Gadget will name the traitor before David Cameron has no alternative but to skewer both. Either way, it will begin closure of the UK's maverick police blogs and herald the creation of the working relationship between police and public, expected within a democracy.

Every rogue police officer who abused position in any way, or assisted corrupt colleagues to evade justice, or stirred hatred anonymously, will be identified. UK Citizens have the moral right to this information and every moral right to reject by any means if necessary, a State Police growing ever more maniacal.

Mark said...

Great blog. Just found it.

Feral; yes, that describes them well. There is an estate near us that is home to many third generation unemployed. What I notice when I visit there is not so much a gangland mentally as endemic low level crime, everything from nicking milk to never insuring a car to no respect and no ideas.

We all know that good parental care requires rules and boundaries as much as love and support. Sounds as though the system fails at both

Ulla said...

Have you seen this? The critics apparently have no idea what is going on in those 'facilities'
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1295669/Child-prisons-Disturbing-secret-manual-reveals-brutal-methods-used-youth-offenders.html

Julie said...

I honestly don't know how you kept your hands from his neck and your mind from despair because I wouldn't have avoided either. The job must be truly soul destroying.
His behaviour was truly that of an adult sized toddler.
We can only hope that the Wayne's of this world eventually meet someone bigger and uglier with even less aggression control.

Anonymous said...

Winston, as someone new to the field I am struck by the difference in power structure and how it affects the home. When I grew up my parents ruled the roost and I had to do as told or get out. In care homes - the teens have the power and staff don't and this is what creates the problem. We can't say, "as long as you live in my house you follow my rules" and if they don't they have to leave. This is the hardest job of parenting - being hated by your children.

Anonymous said...

This is what happens when families are routinely denied fathers by the horrendous Family Court.

C.Bear said...

After recently stumbling upon your blog I have enjoyed each and everyone of your posts, you obviously have incredibly good patience, as I am sure most of your colleagues do too, I have had little experience of working with 'yoofs' but am unsurprised to hear that both our experiences are similar, and the solution is simple. Each of your posts refer to the need for boundaries and the basic right to say to these kids that they can't always have their own way, I would be interested to hear your thoughts into why this basic concept has yet to catch on in the world of social care. All the best

Anonymous said...

The reason that the 'social care' system for young people is so riddled with appeasement is that it is motivated by middle class guilt. 'We have so much, they have so little. How can we deny them anything or enforce discipline when they are the 'victims' of society?' The irony of course is that this approach makes things worse, not better for those in 'care'. Although it does act as a sop to 'our' guilt, and confirms our secret belief that the way 'they' are is their 'nature' and nothing will change it.....

WinstonSmith33 said...

THE COMMENT BELOW WAS LEFT BY AN ANONYMOUS AUTHOR. FOR SOME REASON IT WOULDNT PUBLISH BUT I THINK HER OR HIS POINTS ARE SPOT ON SO IVE COPIED AND PASTED THEM BELOW.


The reason that the 'social care' system for young people is so riddled with appeasement is that it is motivated by middle class guilt. 'We have so much, they have so little. How can we deny them anything or enforce discipline when they are the 'victims' of society?' The irony of course is that this approach makes things worse, not better for those in 'care'. Although it does act as a sop to 'our' guilt, and confirms our secret belief that the way 'they' are is their 'nature' and nothing will change it.....

Mr. Divine said...

Yes you've mentioned the problem many times Winston but the key question is, 'How do you apply what is needed?'

The system will not stand for physical contact. Yet physical force or potential force is ultimately the determiner of what happens. Is it possible to change the system, that is it possible for the system to allow physical force against your clients? I doubt that will happen as there are too many people covering their legal backsides and who are uncomfortable with physical contact.

So what are you are going to do? I still Brat camps in the States is the way to go. You can keep on moaning forever in this vein or yo can try to do something about it. What's it going to be?

Anonymous said...

Has it ever occurred to you Winston, that for the nice middle class people at the top of the system, who base their entire career, salary, and pension on the difficulties of dealing with so many "challenging" scrotes, the very idea of bringing in effective measures to set those youngsters on a new path, would be toxic?

The disciplined approach might percolate down into the the younger age groups. It might even be possible to turn kids around at a much earlier age, and set them up for success, instead of failure, and ultimately prison.

How do you maintain a state sector with all those heads of children's services, getting all those big salaries, if you have already rescued 70% of their clientele Winston?

You naughty naughty subversive Winston you....

Anonymous said...

i work as a community caretaker and in my 8 years of service i've been threatened, attacked, called out, footballs kicked at my head,young girls exposing themselves, and on one occasion shot in the leg (2 tours of bosnia and i get shot at home) by these little mis understood darlings on one occasion i was asked by a female member of staff to remove one unruly 15 year old the next thing i knew a window in my car was smashed and this little scroat was coming at me so i took him down result he's escorted off site, i'm suspended for 3 months, it costs me a hundred quid for a new window, and according to the governors i'm not allowed to defend myself and have to call the police "hang on lads im just going to make a call please don't hurt me till i've hung up" yeah right

WinstonSmith33 said...

@Mr Divine,

I am afraid that all I can do is moan about the system in that I am not a government minister nor do I work in social policy. Perhaps I will become involved in politics and try and affect change.

Whilst I agree with brat camps for some teenagers there also needs to be a balance. Yes as I have said many times before discipline and boundaries are essential in raising healthy functional children. However, in some cases, not all, the teenager in care has been damaged within a highly dysfunctional environment and therefore any effective care programme would also comprise of some therapeautic element.

I balk at the use of physical force as a form of discipline but when a young person becomes violent a minimal and regulated use of force should be allowed to instil boundaries and consequences so that the young person learns they can not use violence to intimidate others. However, as Ive said before this should only be an option in extreme circumstances and should be limited, minimal and highly regulated. I wouldnt agree with adults being able to use violence against teenagers in the manner this was allowed in the past and which some adult authority figures abused and did untold damage to people.

Napoleon K. said...

Could you not just phone the police every time you are attacked, as you have a right to go through your working day peacefully without fear and intimidation.

Do you not have a union to safeguard your working conditions?

If every type of social care/residential care worker in the coutnry did this (hundreds of attacks a day, I presume) eventually the higher up management would be so bogged down dealing with the police paper work and loss of working hours that they would have to adopt a zero tolerance approach to the youngsters acting violently.

At the end of the day these youths are victims of society, or at least their their own family background- but the system seems to keeping them in this situation.

Julie said...

I remember watching BBC3's 'The House of Tiny Tearaways' where young children who had tantrums were held firmly on their parent's knee, restrained but unharmed, and then ignored until they calmed down and apologised. Sometimes this took quite a few minutes, but it worked in the end.
It's a pity something similar can't be done on those who really are now too big for this kind of simple restraint.
I know the idea that someone else is in charge and has power over you is a bitter pill to swallow
-whether you are a toddler or a teenager- but that's life. As an adult you have to accept that other people (employer, landlord, the police etc) are in some ways going to be able to restrict what you can say and do. To deny these kids the chance to learn that only further disables them for adult life.

WinstonSmith33 said...

Hi Napoleon K.

First of all in most of the care homes I worked at the management were opposed to staff ringing the police as they didnt wish to criminalise the young person. However, when management were not on site the police would sometimes be telephoned for serious incidents. That said the police were often not too happy to have to come to the homes and would often criticise us for not keeping the kids under control. The kids didnt fear the police anyway and some of them would even be quite rude to them.

I agree that these young people are victims of a society that fails to instil in them the norms and values to regulate their behaviour. Many apologists say that it is too late on account of their early experiences. I refute this idea for several reasons.

1) Many kids in care despite awful backgrounds overcome their earlier experiences and of course whilst they might display some degree of minimal problematic behaviour, like most teenagers, they go on to be functional members of society.

2) If you continually excuse a young persons bad behaviour because of his or her earlier experiences or because of some invented medical condition like Conduct disorder you are tacitly imparting the message to them that this is what you expect of them and therefore they will live up to this expectation. However, with therapy, where it is needed for those coming from extreme dysfunction, as well as effective and just discipline and boundaries and consequences then that teenager will become a functional member of society that is able to regulate their behaviour and emotions.

3)Seeing as many teenagers in care have been there since they were small children then surely to constantly blame that childs earlier experiences is pointing the finger in the wrong direction if you want to understand why they are displaying extreme problematic behaviour. Surely at least one finger should also be pointing at the care system which has failed to effectively socialise the teenager.

Anonymous said...

Hi Winston,

Long time lurker, first time poster:

This is a great blog! I'm in my forties and did most of my growing in the seventies - saner times!

At home; Mum and Dad ruled - no arguments! At school the teachers were in charge, and on the streets; a highly visable responsive police 'force.'

These days thanks to namby pamby liberial ideology - the kids rule!

You and others have already identified the point that the root of all this lies in middle class guilt!

Upper middle class professionals with no experience of life, or more often than not - reality, secure in their bunkers of middle class housing, schools and jobs.

The point I found most interesting was at the begining of your post, where you identified feral youths, not just from the Under class, or Working Class, but also lower middle class kids too.

This is something I've also noticed. It's not just the yobs from the council estates or rented terrace houses who cause problems, but kids with both parents still together, both working in reasonable jobs, and living in a three bed semi - what the hell is going on!?

I've often remarked to friends that the only section of society where you will find morals and some decency is the narrow strata of the middle-middle classes; the lower middle classes often being drawn from the ranks of the working classes, and believing that spoiling their kids with material wealth makes them middle class, whilst bandoning discipline in the process.

I know this sounds very class obessed, but I'm just a working class guy who earns less than £20,000 a year, with a mortgage on our terrace house.

The fact is that liberial ideology not only holds sway over our public institutions, but now infects the homes of weak willed parents who believe that discipline is bullying, and smacking is abuse.

Our little girl is six and we set her boundries and enforce good manners and respect.

She gets plenty of love and affection from myself and her Mum, but we're not afraid to discipline her for bad behaviour, and that includes a good old fashioned scolding, being sent to her room, and (shock, horror) being smacked if we thinks it's appropriate!

The results speak for themselves - she is polite, caring, considerate and well-mannered. More importantly she knows right from wrong.

I'm not saying we are perfect parents, or that our little girl is an angel - but on the whole she's is turning out right because we both take the time and trouble to teach her right from wrong - it's not hard for goodness shake!

Finally Winston - you deserve a medal for putting up with all that crap!

Anonymous said...

Hi Winston,

Long time lurker, first time poster:

This is a great blog! I'm in my forties and did most of my growing in the seventies - saner times!

At home; Mum and Dad ruled - no arguments! At school the teachers were in charge, and on the streets; a highly visable responsive police 'force.'

These days thanks to namby pamby liberial ideology - the kids rule!

You and others have already identified the point that the root of all this lies in middle class guilt!

Upper middle class professionals with no experience of life, or more often than not - reality, secure in their bunkers of middle class housing, schools and jobs.

The point I found most interesting was at the begining of your post, where you identified feral youths, not just from the Under class, or Working Class, but also lower middle class kids too.

This is something I've also noticed. It's not just the yobs from the council estates or rented terrace houses who cause problems, but kids with both parents still together, both working in reasonable jobs, and living in a three bed semi - what the hell is going on!?

I've often remarked to friends that the only section of society where you will find morals and some decency is the narrow strata of the middle-middle classes; the lower middle classes often being drawn from the ranks of the working classes, and believing that spoiling their kids with material wealth makes them middle class, whilst bandoning discipline in the process.

I know this sounds very class obessed, but I'm just a working class guy who earns less than £20,000 a year, with a mortgage on our terrace house.

The fact is that liberial ideology not only holds sway over our public institutions, but now infects the homes of weak willed parents who believe that discipline is bullying, and smacking is abuse.

Our little girl is six and we set her boundries and enforce good manners and respect.

She gets plenty of love and affection from myself and her Mum, but we're not afraid to discipline her for bad behaviour, and that includes a good old fashioned scolding, being sent to her room, and (shock, horror) being smacked if we thinks it's appropriate!

The results speak for themselves - she is polite, caring, considerate and well-mannered. More importantly she knows right from wrong.

I'm not saying we are perfect parents, or that our little girl is an angel - but on the whole she's is turning out right because we both take the time and trouble to teach her right from wrong - it's not hard for goodness shake!

Finally Winston - you deserve a medal for putting up with all that crap!

WinstonSmith33 said...

Thank you all for your comments. There were a few I was sent that I couldnt publish. Please keep swearing to a minimum especially the C word as some people get quite offended by that one. Im all for a bit of swearing in the right context. Some of my anecdotes would make no sense if I substituted a Wayne or Waynetta's expletives with "damn blast it", "bloody" and "tiddleywinks". However, in the interests of decent taste and in the spirit of debate please keep swearing to a minimum.

I would just like to clarify one thing in relation to people trying to pidgeon hole me as a right wing reactionary. I believe this occurs because I am higly critical of what I perceive to be ultra liberal ideology that permeates most aspects of social and educational policy in Britain. Whilst critical of this ultra liberal ideology I still consider myself to be a liberal. In many areas I would define myself as being on the liberal right however in some areas I would be on the liberal left and in other areas shock horror I hold Conservative views such as in dealing with crime and anti-social behaviour.

I am very liberal in my views on women and gay rights and I believe strongly in a and secular republican state. Despite criticism of the welfare state I don not believe in abandoning it just in modifying it so that it no longer encourages and perpetuates an underclass that traps people in moral and aspirational poverty. I am also highly critical of the inequalities that have been allowed to take root in Britain over the last two decades. As you can see from the blogs and writers I follow I keep an open mind on many issues and read widely across the political spectrum before making my mind up on a subject.

Anonymous said...

Whenever a step change is needed in our society, to deal with a persistent problem, there is an uproar, usually from the hard left, about the measures being "oppressive" and potentially punishing significant numbers of people.

But they never take into account the effects of feedback. Feedback is a naturally occurring effect. If you step up the punishment of, say, burglary, for a while you will have lots of folk in prison. But feedback means that you will get fewer people prepared to go out burgling, so ultimately the prison population levels back down, with the level of burglary much reduced.
Your youngsters had no need to consider the cost/benefit analysis of their behaviour, because the cost was always zero.
Not your fault Winston. But it's a cruel and abusive way of bringing them up. When the cotton wool is removed, they will be fit for nothing but prison, or a violent and untimely death.

Anonymous said...

Winston,

You've hit the nail on the head with your last comments; liberials vilify anyone who is critical of their ideals or policies - tough!

We live in a democracy - if their stock reply to brand any dissenting voices as 'Right Wing' (that's a compliment in my book -especially coming from them!) rather than deffend their position, then clearly they don't have a valid argument!

Wear that 'insult' (sic) with pride!!

Finally; a little example of how wonderous the wolly, non-judgmental policies of the left are:

Travelling by public transport is a nightmare at the best of times, but it is made worse if you happen to be caught up with a bunch of senior school kids on their way home from school!

A fair percentage (about 70% in my experience) behave like animals - no hyperbole intended!

Their uniforms (sic) look a mess; the girls have coloured fluffy hairclips in their hair, their skirts are half-way up their thighs, and both boys and girls way their ties about mid-chest level with with their top three shirt buttons unfastened. I've even seen coloured hair and piercings.

I've seen them walk through the local school gates and passed teachers dressed like this; what's the message here? Well apart from the need to sack a clearly weak, liberial,lilly-livered Head, the clear fact is the kids are in charge of the school, and clearly run amock inside the classroom.

This behaviour obviously continues once outside:

So, there I am sitting on one of those small mini-bus type buses; a few mintues earlier a group of loud, crass, school girls of about fourteen years of age had just barged through the orderly queue of middle-aged people waiting to get on the bus, and now sat at the back of the buss.

We are then treated a foul-mouthed description of their sex lives!

I apologise for what follows next, but this is what was said verbatum; if you are easily offended do not read any further:

One of the girls in loud voice (the rest of the bus heard every word) turns to her four friends and says (remarking on a lad she is pressumably seeing - I won't justify him with the title 'boyfriend'):

"Yeah!'E says e's wanted to give me one fer ages! 'E says 'e wants to up me legs, and stick it up me -good 'un 'ard!"

She and her friends fell about laughing!

It was enough to make me want to vomit! I felt physically sick at what I was hearing!

Again, I apologise for these coments, but that's what I heard.

Aside from the obvious fact that these girls were too young to be even having a 'sex-life' was the disturbing fact that the boys they slept with regarded them with so little respect, and that the girls themselves obvioulsy had no self-respect or self worth!

Even as a single youngman back in the 80s (hardly a prudish era!) I never talked to my mates about girls I fancied in such a vile manner!

Worryingly this behaver is not uncommon; I've witnessed this sort of thing on plently of previous occasions - these are children for God's sake! What sort of adults are they going to be, and heaven help us all - what sort of parents!

the fly in the web said...

I can't imagine how anyone could take you for a right wing reactionary.

You are properly concerned about a situation swept under the carpet.

Shane Pleasance said...

The nation is blessed to have you doing what you can.

I left UK in 98. Still not considering coming back,

Anonymous said...

Serious guff. Your account of things, your fans response. All of it guff. As I've said before you could try pearl diving off of Wigan Pier, after all you're due some rest and recuperation.

WinstonSmith33 said...

@Anonymous above,

My account of things that happened to me is not 'guff'. I think you perhaps disagree with perhaps the causes and remedies for the problems of which I write.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 28 July 13:35:

The only 'guff' here is your last post: As someone who works in the public sector, and is also married to a nurse, the complainnts of Winston, Inspector Gadget et al all ring true:

I've been forced to watch from a work prospective how the public sector has been twisted out of shape and morals, and consquences for bad behaviour have been all but abandoned.

My personal experiences outside of work saddly confirm this too, as I've witnessed more loutish behaviour in the last ten years, than I did in the thirty or so that proceeded them.

The problem with individuals like yourself is that you hate anyone disagreeing with your narrow-minded world view, and in particular you can't abide it from informed, intelligent people like Winston who a) know what they're talking about, and b) have the morals and courage to try do someting about it!

You keep bloging Winston; we desperately need people like you to tell us what's really happening in this country!

Gitane said...

Winston you're a liar.

WinstonSmith33 said...

@Gitane

Thanks for the constructive criticism and engaging in a civil debate.

I only wish that what I write of were untrue it is a tragedy that these stories are true and indicative of the social malaise we are surrounded by. Feel frue to contribute more unsubstantiated and spurious accusations if that is the way in which you deny reality.

Anonymous said...

I have worked in Social service for the best part of fifteen years. The fiction that Winston peddles to you all is that in community based services there is no discipline offered to youngsters in care. This is rubbish. I have worked in residential, outreach and tenancy support and with all my employers there has always been plenty of tools available to me to empower me in my relationship with clients. Its easy to tell horror stories. We only get Winstons side of the story of course. Peppered throughout with some pretty shameful descriptive language showing a disturbingly aggressive attitude towards his clients. Some of the exchanges which are described are almost text book examples of how to passively encourage an aggressive response from a client. Winston is obviously oblivious to this. If one thing is clear form this blog it is the dire problem of lack of training. I think Winston should try retraining as a pizza delivery boy. Oh and for those respondents to Winston's blog who seem to think that withdrawing social security and social services is a way to deal with abusive people, where do you think abusers will go to get resources (financial or otherwise) to replace benefits, a job? No they will go and exploit the poor guy down the street with a learning disability or the vulnerable member of their own family or just anybody who happens to have the misfortune to pass their way. I have to deal with every kind of abuser you can imagine but I also have clients who are extremely vulnerable to abuse, I know that a large part of my work with the abusers I meet is not to pamper them or wrap them up in cotton wool its actually to bring stability into their lives and so reduce the levels of damage they may cause others. Frankly if all the places Winston claims to work in are as lax in their approach to discipline due to adherence to some absurdly exaggerated liberal ethos, then they would have been closed down by the Care Commission ages ago. Many readers may not know that any social service has to be inspected at least yearly and at such inspections staff can speak in confidence to the inspector. If any inspector was told about the incidents which Winston regularly reports as seemingly daily practise then its unlikely the service would be able to continue.

Anonymous said...

I have worked in Social service for the best part of fifteen years. The fiction that Winston peddles to you all is that in community based services there is no discipline offered to youngsters in care. This is rubbish. I have worked in residential, outreach and tenancy support and with all my employers there has always been plenty of tools available to me to empower me in my relationship with clients. Its easy to tell horror stories. We only get Winstons side of the story of course. Peppered throughout with some pretty shameful descriptive language showing a disturbingly aggressive attitude towards his clients. Some of the exchanges which are described are almost text book examples of how to passively encourage an aggressive response from a client.

Anonymous said...

Winston is obviously oblivious to this. If one thing is clear form this blog it is the dire problem of lack of training. I think Winston should try retraining as a pizza delivery boy. Oh and for those respondents to Winston's blog who seem to think that withdrawing social security and social services is a way to deal with abusive people, where do you think abusers will go to get resources (financial or otherwise) to replace benefits, a job? No they will go and exploit the poor guy down the street with a learning disability or the vulnerable member of their own family or just anybody who happens to have the misfortune to pass their way. I have to deal with every kind of abuser you can imagine but I also have clients who are extremely vulnerable to abuse, I know that a large part of my work with the abusers I meet is not to pamper them or wrap them up in cotton wool its actually to bring stability into their lives and so reduce the levels of damage they may cause others. Frankly if all the places Winston claims to work in are as lax in their approach to discipline due to adherence to some absurdly exaggerated liberal ethos, then they would have been closed down by the Care Commission ages ago. Many readers may not know that any social service has to be inspected at least yearly and at such inspections staff can speak in confidence to the inspector. If any inspector was told about the incidents which Winston regularly reports as seemingly daily practise then its unlikely the service would be able to continue.