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Tag Archives: Social Work

Open Letter to Loiuse Casey

***After writing this post I noticed that this years Troubled Families Conference has a session on the Role of the Social Worker. One can only hope that this is recognition and understanding of the role Social Work has played in administering this agenda. I also hope that it means the end of this need to highlight the perceived failings of the profession. However, this is still a matter I want brought to light because it needs to end.***

Those who have it don’t need to talk about it. This makes me question Louise Casey’s need to compare and use her program to bash social work. If your program and its results are as legitimate and valid as they should be, comparison to any others would be unnecessary. Yet you continue to use your speeches, where I have been in the audience, to bash social workers even after saying that it was not your intention to do so. I fear now, the government allowing you to be a part of another campaign that further tarnishes the reputation of social work will only make this worse. A true leader need not tarnish their image or credibility by condemning others. They are able to stand on their laurels and the strength of their own abilities. You may say there are exceptions but making broad negative generalizations about a profession is not only offensive it is unwise and unnecessarily damaging. I genuinely believe that, due to the systems through which society run, there will always be need for social workers. Until the world is rescued and healed from age-ism, racism, class-ism, poverty, injustice etc., there will always be a place for a skilled helping profession. There are issues, systemic and developmental, that need to be addressed. However, hinging your arguments about the authenticity of outcomes from your program on the real and perceived failings of social work is a rookie tactic. An experienced leader and professional can substantiate outcomes using the outcomes themselves. Stop attacking my profession. I am highly trained and highly committed to my profession and the populations I have served. I give my all and am not afraid to buck the system to get my clients what they need and there are many like me. We already have a public image issue; we certainly don’t need your help.

I believed in the troubled families agenda from the outset because I saw it as a return to grassroots social work. I thought it would take us back to when social workers had the time to walk clients through change as the change agents they are. I didn’t see it as a rival to social work, but recognition that we need to remember and engage our roots, working more closely with the community instead of being overwhelmed and overtaken by bureaucracy. There are many social workers out there working to make your vision a reality and it is insulting that you continue to feel the need to remind the nation of the profession’s inadequacies. I find it especially disheartening since I know for a fact that the regulating body of this program is aware that many are implementing this program in a business as usual model. That is, they aren’t doing anything new and are getting the results and funding using outcomes from already established interventions – which include social care and other programs/teams made up of social workers. This program isn’t new. It isn’t innovative and it isn’t clever. It has just given the social workers and others who are working within, the freedom and TIME they need to make the greatest impact by freeing them up from bureaucratic limitations.

Social Work is not your enemy. On the contrary, in addition to family support workers and others (and the skills they use are the root and base of what social work is about), social workers are helping to make these outcomes happen. Whatever your personal biases, recognise that some of the outcomes that make this program look good have been supported and made possible by social workers and find another way to legitimize it. Because comparing it to social work, it’s old now. It looks vindictive, which diminishes your credibility in the eyes of those who are watching and know how outcomes are really working. It paints your argument as a tool of social work opponents to further discredit the profession, and those of us with the training, skills and depth of insight are getting fed up of the sheer ignorance of it all.

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Posted by on October 20, 2014 in The Social World

 

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Good Practice in Making Referrals

This is just the list of things I find crucial in referrals, as some one who has made and was in charge of accepting them. Please feel free to share any other points you feel help in this process as well.

When thinking about making a referral it is important to:

– discussing the issues prior to the referral with the client (what are your concerns, why do you believe this referral can help, what is the stance around confidentiality, will you be asking for updates if so how much detail,)

– explaining the pros and cons of engagement with the client

– discuss timing with the client – when would it be proper to refer if now is not the time

– decide or assess the level of need and if it is a matter for referral or if consultation would suit the situation

– talk to the agency about the appropriateness of the referral and establish a working relationship for future reference if consultation is good enough

 

If the client has decided they are willing to work on the identified issue and consultation isn’t appropriate:

– be clear about what I would like the service to do for my client

–  be able to articulate the clients needs appropriately

–  have at least a minimal understanding of what the organization does

– understanding what the service you are referring to can offer

– understanding the limitations of the service you would like to refer to

– not being bullied into making a referral by managers to “cover yourself”; this helps no one – not you, not the client and not the service you are referring to

– make sure forms clearly outline what the current issues are and your recommendations (if you have any)

– make sure you let them know of any other services involved (with consent if client is voluntary)

– make sure they are aware of any statutory measures in place to which they may need to be party and understand how much of their treatment or working processes they can share

– if possible, share your own assessment as appropriate

– if participation in the service if part of an intervention or care plan, make sure they have a copy of that

 
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Posted by on October 17, 2014 in My Practice, Social Work Practice

 

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Professionals missed significant opportunities to protect murdered toddler

653This appears to be a running line across serious case reviews but it is unclear what happens once it is uttered. The one thing that is clearly done within a local authority, once a serious case review has been undertaken, is that there is a slew of either “voluntary” resignations or outright dismissals. In terms of practice however, there doesn’t appear to be a change if we are getting the same outcome/recommendation from every case review.

Of course, being me, I have some recommendations.

1- it needs to be drilled into the minds of medical staff and professionals that Safeguarding is EVERYONE’S responsibility.

This comes from a range of things from their unwillingness to report, the signing off of sick notices on the word of a parent, over reporting or escalation of details to warrant a response, unwillingness or lack of confidence in challenging parents of children with significant injuries, etc. I am sympathetic to the fact that they have a limited amount of time in which to do their exams etc. but I would challenge them with this: If this was your child being brought in by the person who you charged with their day to day care while you were working, how would you like it to be handled? Whatever their answer, that’s what you should be doing for everyone’s child. There shouldn’t be one rule for how your child is managed and how everyone else’s child is managed.

2 – professionals across the board need to become more confident in challenging parents and being more aware of the care given to children.

This includes those across housing, education, and any other public service. I have to say that I have seen partners in education really step up and are getting in right in many places but we still have work to do.

3 – this trend of blaming IT needs to STOP!

We already know there is a problem but what is being done about it. Why isn’t there a national medical database with indicators that can inform other medical professionals when an injury is suspicious, i.e. it is not discernable whether or not this is an accidental injury? Why isn’t there a system in place to alert other locla authorities to homeless families entering their area?

4 – Blame should not be the game. Change should be the game.

I don’t understand, from someone on the outside looking in, what is being done to change the way practice is being supported to ensure these things don’t continue to happen. In the case of Keanu Williams it is said that the Social Worker actually presented a “well-argued” case to have Keanu on a child protection plan but this was not taken up by conference. That is reflected in a small section. I am sure that had this Social Worker not idetified this risk it would have been on every page about how he/she failed in her duties. As a matter of fact the first line of the Community Care article says “Social workers and other professionals missed significant opportunities to protect a toddler who was murdered by his mother in Birmingham two years ago.”

Where is the recognition that a Social Worker did raise this concern and it wasn’t taken up? There is one sentence. It is not to say that there shouldn’t have been challenge or a further attempt to push the agenda (this is something that needs to be present throughout all professionals), but at least have equality in how things are reported.

There has to be themes that run through these serious case reviews and somewhere that records what these are. I am going to go on the hunt for them. I know one theme is parents who themselves have been through the care system. But there have to be others, like frequent moves etc.

Once we get the themes we can create a plan. Another theme that has run throughout is for “more joined up working.” This is just another useless phrase unfortunately. It has been talked about in circles but nothing has been done about it. How do we as professionals share the relevant information needed to protect children from abuse? How I ask?

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2014 in Social Work Practice, The Social World

 

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Adventures in Interviewing

666Many managers don’t like interviewing, whereas I love it. Enjoying it means I don’t mind volunteering to dip in for this. These are some of my experiences in the interview process of Social Workers. It has been nothing if not absolutely amusing.

My most recent set of interviews saw me being drawn in at the very last minute which I didn’t mind. One of the interviewees didn’t answer the questions or answered pieces of them then would go of on a tangent. :-/

Another interviewee spent the entire interview staring out of the window! You’re coming to me for a job and you can’t make eye contact? Sometimes I don’t believe people are conscious of their own behavior of the context. I don’t mean he candidate would glance out of the window from time to time, I mean she stared out of the window the ENTIRE time; not once did the candidate make any eye contact.

A third candidate spoke as if it were a conversation with friends in a pub. There was no semblance of professionalism in speech. It is important to make an effort and put your best foot forward during an interview. First impressions are everything because in most instances you don’t get a second chance.

I remember interviewing several months back and I was interviewing with another manager who was prompting the candidates for answers! I literally at points had to check myself because I am sure I was staring at her as though she had three heads! You can’t give them the answers! If a candidate doesn’t know the basic aspects of a Social Work position (and these were basic questions) then they don’t know and I am not scoring them for the answers where they were prompted. In essence, they were not getting the job.

I interviewed someone else that laughed or chuckled after every second sentence. It was slightly creepy. I had another candidate that stared intently; did not break eye contact in the slightest. It was unnerving. I have had people show up for interviews looking as though they were going for drinks. I have had people show up for interviews dressed as though the just that moment rolled out of bed. I have had people show up to interviews and look like they were going to cry!

Come on people, we are all adults. When you come to an interview you should be well dressed in a suit, both men and women. You should have adequately prepared for the interview. Most people will score your answers and decide from there whether or not you would be a suitable candidate, so you need to make the best impression possible. If not, then why bothering to show up. If I am interviewing you and your present with inappropriate or inadequate behavior, you will end up the subject of a critical post.

If in doubt, your local library has a host of books on preparing for interviews, interview techniques and how to combat nervousness. It is worth investing in a library card to be able to access these resources as it is better than the alternative!

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2014 in My Practice

 

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Getting it right to get it right

Assessment Prompts

Below is list of things to consider when discussing issues with families. This list is not exhaustive and you may come up with your own as you work with the family. Please remember your follow up questions to families will be based on the information provided to you and specific to that family. These are just starting points or ways to help facilitate the conversation. Always give the family a chance to tell you their story, then ask questions to get more depth.

Reason for undertaking the assessment

  • What is the referral requesting?
  • What would they like you to do?
  • Why did they refer to your service as opposed to another?

Relevant history or background:

  • Does the family have a history with your service? If so what is this? What was achieved? What wasn’t? What was the outcome?
  • Does the family have a history with other partner agencies (social care, TYSS, YOT, Community Safety, and Educational Welfare)? If so what information do they hold about the family? What insights can they offer?

Where a young person / parent has a disability or where they have specific communication needs, what actions have been taken to address this

  • Does the family need an interpreter? What language do they speak?
  • Are there mobility issues?
  • Are there learning difficulties in the family?
  • Have you made reasonable arrangements for any/ all of these?

Health

  • Are there any members of the family with a chronic illness?
  • Are there any historical illnesses in the family?
  • Is there a high prevalence for illness in the family? (Cancers, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.)
  • Is anyone on medication? What is it for? How often? Are they compliant? Who is monitoring?
  • Anyone formally diagnosed with a mental health disorder?
  • Anyone seeing a specialist? What is this for?
  • Any addictions in the family? Alcohol? Drugs? Prescription meds?
  • Anyone using substances (alcohol, drugs) regularly?
  • Anyone currently pregnant? Are they receiving pre-natal care?
  • Anyone ever have an extended period of illness? What is the status of this illness now? What was the illness?

Education

  • How many children are there in the home aged 5-19? If they have a disability up to 25?
  • Are they all registered in education? What school, college or university?
  • What is their attendance? Do they attend regularly? Are they punctual/on time?
  • Do any of the children have statements? If so, what kind of support are they receiving?
  • Have any of the children ever been excluded? If so, why and for how long?
  • Are any of the children in an alternative provision or PRU?
  • How well do parents think are they achieving? What is their attainment level?
  • Which education professionals are currently working with the family (EWO, SENCO, learning mentors, Educational psychologists, etc.)?
  • If they are year 2, 6, or year 11, what did they get on their SATs/GCSEs?
  • What were the children’s experiences in primary school?
  • What are the children’s favourite subjects?
  • What was secondary school like for each child?
  • How did children manage the transition from year 6 to year 7? What was that year like? Did you make any friends? What was their timetable? Did anything go wrong? Why/what happened?
  • If things went wrong, what would have helped? Would they have liked someone to talk to about things?
  • Are parents aware of the issues brought up by young people? If so, how did parents manage issues in school?
  • What was the parents’ experience of education? How far did they go? Were there any barriers to going further?
  • What is the parents’ view of education?

Family and Social Relationships

  • Who’s in the family home?
  • Who’s important to family function that doesn’t live in the family home?
  • Who do individuals in the family consider their support network? Are they inside or outside of the home?
  • What do individual family members think of each other?
  • What do individual family members think of the family as a whole?
  • Which members of the family have the closest relationships?
  • Which members of the family have strained relationships? Why is this? When did it begin? What precipitated it?
  • How do the parents interact with the children?
  • How do the children interact with each other?
  • How do children respond to parents?
  • What are the important non biological relationships that exist for the family? How are they involved?
  • How do the family view support from other members?
  • Do family members talk to each other?
  • Are family members able to say positive things about each other?
  • How often do the family spend time with each other?

Social presentation

  • Do the family know their neighbours?
  • Do they have relationships with their neighbours? Is this positive or negative? Why?
  • Do they use services in the neighbourhood? Which ones? How are their relationships with the providers of these services?
  • Do they like their neighbourhood? If not why? If so why?
  • Has anyone in the family committed an offense? If so what offense? What was the outcome?
  • Is anyone in the family involved in gang activity? If so which gang? What do they get from this? Why is this important for them?
  • Has anyone been engaging in anti-social behaviour? If so what happened? What was the outcome?
  • Has there been a lack of engagement with services in the past? What is the family’s explanation of this? What did they get out of the service? What did they want from the service that they didn’t get?
  • How does the family present to you? Closed? Open? Ambivalent? What is the family’s explanation of this?

Self-Care skills

  • How do the family present? Do they appear to be clean, groomed? What do you see, physically, when you look at them?
  • How is the family home? Is it neat? Is it tidy? What did you see when you went to the home?
  • How are the children in the home? How often do they bathe? How often are chores done? Who is responsible for which chores?
  • Was there a smell present in the house? Where was this coming from?
  • Were there things in the home that needed to be repaired? What were these? What have the family said they are doing about this?
  • Is there furniture in the home? How are these being cared for? What do they look like?

Parents’ / carers’ attributes

  • How do the parents feel about being parents? Were pregnancies planned? What were the circumstances of the children’s births? Was it a happy occasion or was there tension or strain in relationships (with family or partners) due to pregnancy?
  • What did parents know about babies and children when they got pregnant?
  • Did they want children?
  • What was it like being pregnant? Giving birth? Holding the baby for the first time?
  • Are the parents married?
  • Do they both live in the home? If not, which parent is the primary care?
  • Are parental duties shared? If so, how? If not, what are the feelings about this?
  • How are parents/carers managing the home? Are there boundaries in place? How are these enforced? Are the children responding to the boundaries? Are some responding and not others? Why is this?
  • Are there issues affecting the parents’ ability to completely engage as head of the household? (physical illness; mental illness; physical disability; learning disability; sensory impairment; period in care; period in care during childhood; experience of being abused; experience of being abused as a child; known history of abuse; known history of abuse of children; substance/alcohol misuse; domestic violence; known history of violence) How long have they been issues? What has been tried to help manage the issue? What’s helped in the past? What hasn’t helped?
  • How old were parents when the children were born? Was this during a period of developmental transition? What developmental activities did they miss out on due to pregnancy/parenting? How does this impact their parenting?
  • If there are multiple children in the home, how was each pregnancy different? What did they do differently with each child? What did they learn as they continued to parent?
  • How much do the parents know about their children and their children’s activities?
  • What are the rules in the home? How well are these adhered to? Why?
  • What kind of discipline is used in the home? Who is the primary disciplinarian?
  • How involved are the parents with their children’s education? Do they know their children’s timetable or what time they start? Helping with homework? Going to parents’ evenings? What is their relationship like with their children’s teachers?
  • Do parents know their children’s friends? How do they feel about their children’s friends? Has there ever been a need for parents to intervene to end friendships due to negative influences? How was this handled? How was it received?
  • Do parents know their children’s friends parents? What is their relationship like?
  • What is the parents’ view of their children? Positive? Negative? Why?
  • What do the parents think is the potential of each of their children? What do they see as their role in helping their children reach this potential?
  • What do parents see as their role in the lives of their children overall?
  • Are there relationship difficulties between parents and children? When did this start? How do parents and children explain this?
  • Are there historical difficulties in parent/child relationships? What helped improve these?
  • What do they enjoy about being parents?
  • What do they find particularly challenging about being parents?
  • How do parents rate their own parenting ability? Why?
  • How do the children rate their parents parenting ability? Why?
  • What would help make these ratings higher for each?
  • What kind of parent would they like to be? What would help them achieve this, realistically?

Identity

  • How do the family see themselves as a whole? Good? Needing improvement? Why?
  • How do individual family members see themselves?
  • What ethnicity is the family? How do they identify themselves?
  • What traditions do they have?
  • What do they feel is important about their culture?
  • Are they religious? What is their religion? How often do they attend services? Are they active in their religious institution? What religious traditions do they have?
  • What is the family’s immigration status? Does everyone in the family have status? What is being done about this if not?
  • How do the family think they are seen by members of their local community? Their religious community? Their broader family? Their friends?

Family history

  • What has led the family to being referred to the service?
  • What do they see as the significant events in their lives? How have these events impacted them as a family and individual members of the family?
  • What do the family think they can do better? Why?
  • What kind of family would they like to be? Why?
  • What would they change about their past if they could? Why?
  • How are they different now than they were 2 years ago? 5 years ago?
  • What issues have they had in the past that they have successfully managed? What helped?
  • What issues have they had in the past that continue to be issues? What have they tried? What would they be willing to try?

Family and environmental factors

  • Where do the family live? What kind of accommodation? Rented or owned? Private, council or housing association? Are there rent arrears? How much? How long has it been going on? What is being done about it? Are they going to be evicted?
  • Who in the home is employed? What do they do? How much do they make? Would they like to work toward a promotion? Would they like to be doing something else? Have they looked into changing careers? For those not working, what would they like to do? What have they done to forward this goal? What would help them take steps toward work?
  • How much money is coming into the family home? Are they on benefits? If so how much do they get and how often? Is there still a need after they receive their benefits? Is anyone in the home unemployed and looking for work? What kind of work? Do they need extra training?
  • Is the family engaged with any other services? Which services? What are they helping with? Does the family think the services are making an impact? What could be better? What is working?

Views of the family

  • What would the family like to change?
  • What do the family see as the major issues within the family?
  • What do the family feel are their strengths?
  • What would they like to start changing first?
  • What are they able to do for themselves?
  • What areas will they need support in addressing?
  • What do they want from you?
  • Do they believe you can have an impact on their situation? How and why?
  • In a perfect world, what would their family look like?
  • Based on their previous ratings as parents, from the parents perspective how can that rating be improved?
  • From the children’s perspective, how could their parents improve?
  • What would the children like to be different in the family? Why? How do they see this happening?

Views of the professionals

  • How long have they worked with the family?
  • What service did/do they provide?
  • How would they describe their relationship with the family?
  • What were their impressions of the family as a whole? Individual members?
  • Who did they see as influential members of the family?
  • Were there any members that appeared to be divisive? How so? What did they do? What didn’t they do?
  • Did they encounter any resistance? Why was this? Was it challenged? How?
  • If they are no longer working with the family, why did service come to an end? What were the outcomes of their interventions? Were there any recommendations for further work?
  • Did they make any referrals on behalf of the family? (If they did and the family did not engage this should be discussed with the family to find out why not)

Analysis

  • What long term impact would the current situation have if it were allowed to continue (= risks)?
  • What are the mitigating factors, i.e. – those things that make the risks less worrying (= strengths)?
  • Are there any gaps? What risks remain once the strengths/mitigating factors have been identified?
  • This information will lead you to the services that might be able to assist the client and mitigate the remaining risks. Having this information will inform your plan.
 
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Posted by on September 15, 2014 in Social Work

 

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Social Work and Family systems

667I am going to start this off by saying, if you are a social worker, none of this should be new or revolutionary. I think we need to start seeing people as part of larger systems that are interconnected because very rarely are our clients existing in isolation. Having said that SCIE (Social Care Institute for Excellence) says:

The Think Family agenda recognises and promotes the importance of a whole-family approach which is built on the principles of ‘Reaching out: think family’ (18):

  • No wrong door – contact with any service offers an open door into a system of joined-up support. This is based on more coordination between adult and children’s services.
  • Looking at the whole family – services working with both adults and children take into account family circumstances and responsibilities. For example, an alcohol treatment service combines treatment with parenting classes while supervised childcare is provided for the children.
  • Providing support tailored to need – working with families to agree a package of support best suited to their particular situation.
  • Building on family strengths – practitioners work in partnerships with families recognising and promoting resilience and helping them to build their capabilities. For example, family group conferencing is used to empower a family to negotiate their own solution to a problem.

There are many things we need to consider when we are looking at assessing children who are exhibiting a need. I purposely didn’t say children in need as this refers to a specific population and I believe the following could be applied when conducting an assessment with any child and family. As I have said in other posts, understanding the context in which a child lives is critically to effecting lasting change.

This is what I refer to as Familial Interdependence (my term, if you use it quote me): By including the needs of the adults and other children in the home in our assessments and interventions, we are recognising the interdependence and inter-relatedness of the family and its circumstances.

No member of a family operates in isolation. The behaviour or circumstances of an individual member is going to have an impact on other members. This is the foundation of a family working.

We recognize and acknowledge the impact of unemployment on parents’ ability to be completely mentally and emotionally available to their children and each other. We recognise the impact of youth offending on the other children in the home and parents’ ability to continue to parent effectively while managing the behaviour of the offender. We recognise how all of these or other social issues may be impacting on parents’ ability to ensure their child(ren) are attending school regularly and on time to be counted.

Working with the entire family does not represent a shift in how we view children or how we work with them. It represents a shift in how we view the impact of the entire family’s circumstances on the child (ren), their ability to function and their ability to develop in their current environment.

In the current economic climate we are seeing a change in the way social care workers are expected to work. One view is a return to a time where social care staff were undertaking generic working. Social Workers, support workers, family workers – all worked with children and adults. In an age of cost saving, we are all looking to do more for less. All current work and work that is to be undertaken in the near future has to be sustainable and able to meet the needs of families. It needs to have built in processes to ensure that it can withstand proposed cuts so as not to disrupt service delivery and the positive outcomes stability can yield.

Services overall need to understand and appreciate these facts early on and build their system of working with the family around the current staff instead of creating new structures. Social Workers need to be taught the skills to be a sustainable workforce that would also provide a continuity of service and familiarity to clients from the outset which is why we need to ensure that reforms to social work education should be robust and responsive to the needs on the ground.

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2014 in Social Work Practice

 

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I have a responsibility to Black America…

As a Social Worker, I am committed to social justice. However, as I have always been on the frontline doing day to day work with individuals and families, I left political intervention and macro social work to others. I have spent too much time thinking and feeling that someone would come along and help improve the state of Black America. I will not stay silent any longer. We have spent too much time having the same conversations ending with the same list of demands that will never be achieved; and they won’t be achieved because they are unrealistic. As a 33 year old woman of color, I have heard these demands but I am more concerned with creating our system of justice than I am with getting others to amend theirs to suit the needs of my community. The Black community in America needs to:

  • Stop believing anyone owes us anything. If this is true for individuals trying to succeed in a chosen career, why isn’t it true of a community? How many oppressed peoples sit back waiting for their oppressors to correct the system of oppression they created for their own benefit? I am aware that the government promised 40 acres and a mule. I have read that this was passed but subsequently repealed. What I am not clear on is why we continue to expect people who don’t even see us as human beings to honor a promise that was quickly repealed? It gave with one hand and took it back with the other. Have these demands for a repealed “promise” prove productive or prosperous for us? No. What it has done is keep us locked into poverty and a slave mentality. It is no longer a valid argument and we do ourselves no justice trying to change a system built to deny. We need to move on and forward.
  • Stop addressing each other as n***ers or any variation of the word. The argument is that by using it we take the power away from the word. The truth is that argument is a blatant lie. What we’ve done is give others not only permission but license to use that diminutive word without any context to its damaging nature. The truth is, I doubt anyone who uses this word (besides those who aren’t people of color) would feel so confident as to walk away from a Caucasian person using this word. The truth is, if they heard this shouted when they were out on their own in the middle of Mississippi, they wouldn’t bother sticking around for an explanation. As long as the word precedes an attack on my person, either physically or verbally, it is unacceptable. Period. We need to stop using the word and stop accepting it from others. We are better than that.
  • Establish a national Black Caucus. I know there is a congressional caucus that is looking at the representing the interests of the African American community however, I am proposing an expansion or a separate entity. The remit would be calling our prominent figures that are doing things that are counterproductive to change, prosperity and/or progression within the community. We would manage public relations of national community issues – sending representatives to rally locals and improve media portrayal of the community. We would prepare local political candidates to represent the community and create local caucuses to help them address the issues prevalent in their own communities. It would be a coming together of local and national leaders.
  • Stop believing violence is the answer. Stop threatening violence and learn to address community issues with strategic action. Violence and attacks only perpetuate the stereotype that we are “animals” in need of containment and control.
  • Local lobby for fair and appropriate representation in communities where we are the majority. We need to work with our young people to help them understand and get into politics. We need to support our own who want to get into politics. We need to support those with track records of supporting or being involved in initiatives that address local concerns. We need to understand politics and the dynamics of representation on a larger scale.
  • Get our young people involved. We need to get our economists, political science majors, policy makers involved in local government early. Create local internships and fellowships etc so they are talking, strategizing and creating actions plans to move forward locally.
  • Take notes from other communities on building and circulating wealth within the community. We continue to need educating on finance. Not only on the use of money, credit and the like, but also on investments, financial planning, equity and other issues. We need to build up the work ethic and sense of community/communal assistance. We need to own more and to be educated on how to do this so that we hold on to it. We need to know more about possible tax breaks, write offs and rebates for volunteer work, pro-bono work etc.
  • Take responsibility for our own wealth and prosperity. We need to stop relying on “others” to move our community forward on a local level. There are many national programs looking at the bigger picture but we need to empower the “impoverished” so they learn to help themselves. Stop being so comfortable with “others” buying in our neighborhoods when we own nothing. Stop blaming anyone accept ourselves for our lack of progress because in truth we haven’t done all we can do. Start accepting the responsibility to ourselves, to each other and to our communities.
  • Teach and accept social responsibility. We need to help our children and young people with work experience in their own neighborhoods first and foremost, encourage volunteerism from a young age as a means of community building, developing social skills and local pride, and developing employable skills. We need to make local investments in restorative justice and reparations to discourage crime and rebuild what has been broken. We need to, as adults, model this behaviour for our children and volunteer to help each other and each other’s children.
  • Understand that if we want change we have to create it. We can’t depend on our oppressors to help us progress. No one will give us anything we haven’t taken. Discussions are important but only as predecessors to action which will facilitate change.
 
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Posted by on September 10, 2014 in Race

 

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