Friday, 29 July 2016
Must try harder...
I did a piece for ITV Channel News yesterday in response to an item the appeared on the Bailiwick Express site. I believe it wasn't used.
The original piece was childcare recruitment jersey has serious image problem
I do not doubt they are having problems recruiting, but I am sceptical to say the least about the reason given. We know other caring professions - nursing and teaching come to mind- where recruitment is also a problem. That indicates to me there is a systemic problem. Further, I have seen no evidence of a properly conducted survey on the reasons recruitment is so difficult in social work, let alone the results of any such survey.
I have one other reason why I am doubtful. It is the nature of vocational work like childcare. People who have a vocation want to make a difference . You do that by going where there is a problem or a need, as long as you feel you can change or improve things. Well Jersey has a need, and any quick online search would confirm that. It isn't a deterrent, if anything the opposite.
But my real anger is the use of that tired meme the 'Image of Jersey'. It has been used all along by those who wanted to refute the evidence of abuse in our care system, and by those who wanted to deny having a Committee of Inquiry. And it is the mindset that is at the heart of the problem., The moment someone in authority -a manger or a politician decides himself, or instructs a junior to prioritise the Image of Jersey there is a problem. The idea that it would be better to keep this quiet, not make an issue or a fuss, because it would look bad of the island, that is where the canker festers and the cover ups begin. It is the most rotten of mindsets.
I was reminded of a quote of Gandhi - first they ignore you , then they laugh at you , then they fight you , then you win. Survivors in Jersey were ignored, their claims were ridiculed, they have continued to fight, so the next step.... It may take a long time. You only have to look at time it took for campaigners at Hillsborough or North Wales to see justice (http://jerseytoday.blogspot.com/2012/11/jerseys-coming-30-year-war-what-we.html) Indeed I am coming to the conclusion it will take the passing of a generation of vested interests before the real truth gets out. Too late for far too many who suffered so much, and denying justice to many.
The piece that ITV did show: http://www.itv.com/news/channel/2016-07-28/jersey-social-worker-shortage-blamed-on-historical-abuse-claims/