‘I didn’t come into social work for this!’ Managerialism , Modernisation and Alternative Futures. Iain Ferguson University of Stirling and Social Work Action Network. Miss Earth 2010 – a ‘modern’ beauty contest?.
‘I didn’t come into social work for this!’ Managerialism, Modernisation and Alternative Futures
University of Stirling
Social Work Action Network
‘Modernising the traditional focus of the "beauty pageant" and bringing beauty contests firmly into the 21st century, the main focus of the event is to empower the entrants to focus on and promote environmental awareness. During their participation, the girls plant trees, raise funds for their own chosen charities, attend environmental activities, act as spokeswomen for environmental thoughts and educate people on green issues, in particular the three Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle)’. (Press Release, Miss Earth 2010)
‘There is a sense of liberation that we are going to empower public sector professionals to undertake the reform’, Philip Hammond, Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, (The Guardian , 25th July)
‘The idea that managers should be in control of public organisations and that they should run these organisations in line with business principles and concerns (Evans, 2009).
"Being a care manager is very different from being a social worker as I had always thought of it. Care management is all about budgets and paperwork and the financial implications for the authority, whereas social work is about people. That’s the crucial difference.“ (Jones, 2004)
‘The focus of social work has become entirely procedural and the meaning of the work has been lost. The needs of children have become secondary to the needs of agencies protecting them. The contents of assessment appear insignificant as agencies are far more concerned about whether they are completed on time’ (Cited in UNISON, 2009)
The case of Baby ‘P’
Prioritisation of management skills over therapeutic skills
Reduction of complex issues of relationship, personal biography and structural poverty to tick- box computerised assessments
Elevation of centralised targets over addressing urgent human need
‘What works?’ doesn’t work