Friday, 8 July 2011

Where is the compassion?

Over the years I have had many dealings with social services. They have changed since they were first put into place. The need to care for and protect the disadvantaged in society has become for some over laid with with all the trappings of power.
Governments of every colour have slowly introduced laws designed to make sure that appalling events could never be repeated.  The entire system now has become top heavy with so many rules and regs that its difficult to see the compassion which must underly it in order to make it work.
It is terrible that when ever a tragedy happens some social worker somewhere gets the blame and its often unfair that the lowlier members of the profession carry the can for those higher up in the pecking order. They are charged with the safety of children and are desperate to be seen to be taking all the measures at their disposal.
Today I was asked to sit in on a visit from social services to a family suffering a terrible loss.
The visit was brisk and was more like a warning from the local gestapo. They had power and were prepared to use it. The young couple had in their grief resorted to doing things that are not wise and possible harmful to others as well as themselves. They certainly had to be made aware of the consequences of their actions.  But today I saw no evidence of any compassion or understanding of the circumstances that drove them to it.
The law was laid down, making them more and more defensive and finally aggressive.
No one was helped. Offers were made of support...but how do you trust someone with your problems when they  first advise you that they can do dreadful things to you and that the law supports them in this?
I am horrified by what I saw this morning. The original concept of social work  seems to have turned full circle and those who were put in place to protect and help have now become  part of the problem and not the solution to it.
I am praying....
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