At the deeply focused Frontline Summer Institute Opening Ceremony last night one of the statements I made on stage to 100 trainee social workers, was “Social services should be so good that parents want their children to go into care”. Maybe I should have said “Children’s services should be so good that middle class or well-to-do parents want their children to go into care” but the sentiment is the same. It caused a disturbed ripple on twitter.
@FabFitzy tweeted “Lemn you just lost a fan!!!” bc @444blackcat8h tweeted “what is that supposed to mean? Seriously did you run it through your head first?” Natasha @NotSureJustYet6h tweeted “I would never aspire for parents to think their children better off with the state than with them.”
I did run it through my head first. The last place I said it was in parliament. I began the statement “Children’s services should be so good that…” . In my mind the need for children’s services – or a social worker – isn’t an indictment of our society. It’s an opportunity for society to be its best. My statement is meant to challenge and to provoke the self fulfilling prophecy that social services/children’s services/ is the worst place to be. Director of Children Services for Sefton Colin Pettigrew (Colin Pettigrew @YourDCSSefton ) brought proceedings to a close with his tweet “My litmus test…would that Children Home be good enough for my child?”