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Extra resources for Crisis Intervention in Social Services
In an emergency case conference which includes divisional management representatives, and the present and former social workers, the decision is made to remove the baby, on the grounds that the filthy conditions create an unacceptable health hazard. One may ask here how such a decision could be made in the light of opinion by such an eminent authority as the paediatrician, who clearly was against removal? The answer is simple: the influence of a paediatrician based in a hospital thirty miles away and coming into contact with the area office perhaps once in six months, is only a fraction of that exercised by the local GPs, health visitors, and midwives, who are in contact with our office virtually every day.
He was big and strong and crude, and I held up my hand in a gesture of total submissiveness, and apologised if I was calling at an inconvenient time. I quickly retreated. Some time after, I met my predecessor for this particular case. He told me he had treated this family abominablyunintentionally of course. There was no explicit mention of this in the file, but a more careful reading revealed the sources of his admission , and clearly exposed the dangerously deteriorating relationship between them.
Few of us have escaped the dangerous indoctrination which Bott refers to, which allowed us in the early stages of our careers to respond to the psychiatric emergency with more idealism than sense. There is a need for a similar reawakening in other plea-for-removal spheres more familiar to social workers, for instance, the unmanageable adolescent living with step-parent(s); the confused elderly person living alone. Again one must begin by dispelling the myth which may have its origins in training, social work publications, or in the minds of prize-winning dramatists, the myth that every teenager and elderly person at the centre of the crisis is a victim being hounded out of their homes by stupid intolerant and cruel people.