November 16th, 2008

Of Exel Spreadsheets

Posted in Other Stuff by 200

Tick-boxes, targets & graphs. No, not the modern police force this time but Haringay Council’s Child Protection Department.

I didn’t expect the senior executive to apologise regarding the death of Baby-P, after all, nobody in authority apologises for anything because an apology can be construed as an admission of guilt, but it was very interesting to see the little graphs & charts presented by Sharon Shoesmith to learn how good her department is despite mounting evidence to the contrary.

I had a case of ‘been there, done that’ on reading ex-Haringay social worker, Nevres Kermal’s story in the paper today.

This is a social worker who claims she tried to blow the whistle on Haringay’s social services department’s woeful practices in protecting children.

Ms Kermal claims she warned bosses & government ministers about poor practices in her department, but was ignored & subsequently targeted by those same bosses.

Complaints of being overworked & understaffed must ring bells in any public authority throughout the land these days. Money being mis-spent on team building trips abroad & tea parties for staff. Nothing new there.

Ms Kermal claims that when she brought matters to the attention of her managers they became hostile towards her. She says she outlined cases of neglect & abuse being ignored by social workers direct to Ms Shoesmith herself but was basically ignored.

She says as a direct result of her efforts to put matters right her managers instigated a series of trumped up charges against her resulting in her being investigated for an allegation of assaulting a teenager & further for being an unfit mother herself.

One could argue that these are merely the ramblings of a slighted worker who ended up being sacked by her department & is trying to get her own back. Given that there will now be 3 separate enquiries into the sad case of the death of Baby-P I guess time will reveal whether Ms Kermal speaks with forked tongue or not.

But I have seen similar situations within the police which clearly mirrors what Ms Kermal alleges to have happened at Haringay. Managers don’t like it when their boat is rocked. Rather than sort out the matters being brought to their attention, they take any criticism as a personal attack & do anything to get their retaliation in first. They can be particularly vindictive hen their little empire is under attack.

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5 comments

  1. john says:

    That is a characteristic of all managers now, not just public service managers. There is something peculiar about the selection process for managers, the ones who should never in a million years EVER be put in charge of ANYTHING always seem to be the ones put in charge. Most would have a hard time finding their way out of a paper bag. It seems the only place to go, after licking a multitude of arses, is up.

    November 17th, 2008 at 01:27

  2. Tony F says:

    It’s a case as all ways; not what you know, but who you know. All well and good until the wheels come off.

    November 17th, 2008 at 17:58

  3. insomnia says:

    stories like this really aggravate me.

    November 17th, 2008 at 18:18

  4. NARPO_grumps says:

    200 weeks – so true about the same problem within. I was directly involved in a similar instance some time ago. I was in a senior rank in a specialist department when one of the most reliable junior ranking officers in the department one could ever wish for came to me with a complaint about one of my same ranking colleagues. They had been at an incident when the junior rank witnessed the senior officer carry out actions which i have seen public order arrests for less evidence on the reality tv programmes around now. Members of the public involved had also made complaint about the senior officer. I had a long discussion about it and the possible outcomes, but the junior rank stuck to his guns. I reported it to a higher ranking officer and a formal investigation did take place. Conclusion, advice given to senior rank who was moved geographically in the same role. My junior officer was moved to a uniform post some distance away (they could not have both officers in the same department). This move was into a role not performed for almost 10 years, itself a uniform specialism though still classed as uniform post, and no training was given at all. this had serious consequences for the junior officer’s health and career. Who in their right mind would want to be a whistleblower when this happens!

    November 17th, 2008 at 18:21

  5. MarkUK says:

    John’s right.

    A survey a few years ago (private sector, but why should it be any different in the public sector) a survey showed that a substantial proportion of senior managers had some symptoms of psychopathic behaviour. A fair proportion of these would have been definitely diagnosed as psychopaths in other circumstances. http://jobsadvice.guardian.co.uk/officehours/story/0,,1313261,00.html

    November 17th, 2008 at 23:33

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