> When I attended to Jobcentre to sign-on last week, I was handed a form, told to fill it in and hand it to whoever signed me on. Reading through it (always read these things before filling them in) I began to suspect that all may not have been as it seems at first glance.
I’ll take you through it….
DO YOU THINK YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO PEOPLE’S LIVES ?
PERSONAL AND PRACTICAL SUPPORT IS WHAT SOCIAL CARE IS ABOUT
In 2009 there were around 1.75 million paid jobs in adult social care, employing 1.6 million people. Its getting bigger. Adult social care continues to grow and its estimated that by 2025 social care may need up to 2.6 million workers to fill over 3 million paid jobs. We have training and jobs NOW.
> So, the first figures are from before the recession started, and the others are a guess at what things might be like in 11 years time (consider where you were in 2003 – did you think things could possibly get as bad as they are in 11 years time ? These figures are just wild guesses really).
Where will these jobs be, if they actually happen ? They obviously wont all be in the North East. Will any of them ? I don’t see a great demand in the current vacancies.
By volunteering to complete this form, you can help us to develop training – and help us to help you into work.
> Note the word volunteering – I was not told it was voluntary, in fact I was given the impression that I had to complete it.
Has anyone in the Jobcentre given you any information about Social Care ? Yes/No
Would you consider a career in Social Care ? Yes/No
If you have answered No, please explain why you would not consider this.
> Alarm bells ring ! Why should you have to explain ?
Social Care covers a very wide range of jobs – would you like to know more about the opportunities available ? Yes/No
Would you be interested in attending an Information Session about current Training and jobs available to you ? Yes/No
Would you like to discuss this further with your Work Coach ? Yes/No
Would you like more information emailed to you ? Yes/No
Do you have an existing DBS (CRB) check ? Yes/No
Nat Ins Number
Age range 18-24, 25-49, 50+
> Then comes some small print – very small print in this case…
The information we collect about you and how we use it depends mainly on the reason for your business with us. But we may use it for any of the Department’s purposes, which include – social security benefits and allowances, child support, employment and training, private pensions policy, and retirement planning.
We may get information from others to check the information you give to us and to improve our services. We may give information to other organizations as the law allows, for example to safeguard against crime.
To find out more about how we use information , visit our website http://www.dwp.gov.uk/privacypolicy or contact any of our offices.
Office use only – Interview with JCP Work coach arranged – date
> So there we are – what should we make of this ? Perhaps I’m just getting paranoid ?
On the other hand…
The most worrying question is why you should have to justify not persuing work in the Social Care sector.
Given the potential opportunities for various kinds of abuse, shouldn’t you also have to state why you did want to take this route ?
Once this piece of paper is in the system, it will inevitably wind up in the paws of your friendly Advisor – sorry, Work Coach – the same person who, in order to hit their targets, will be looking for any excuse to sanction you. And if you’ve declined this route, they might well try to twist things – refusing offers of work, refusing training, etc.
The other thing that occurs to me is that this might be a backdoor Workfare recruitment ploy. You actually might want training and a career in Social Care… what you might get is 6 months unpaid labour, mopping floors and emptying chamber pots for the greater profits of private enterprise.
As the form itself says – Social Care covers a very wide range of jobs. And who decides what falls within that range ? Guess (and it won’t be you…)
So all in all, I decided not to participate – the form itself suggests it’s voluntary. In the event, though, nobody asked me for the completed form anyway.
In the event of this happening again next time I sign, I shall decline immediately.
One other thing – the form does not carry a DWP identification code, which suggests this is not an official DWP document.
Is this just a local inititive or are these forms being handed out all over the country ? Anyone else had one ?
Every MP should go through a criminal check to ensure they are fit to work with children, the Commons has been told.
North East MP Helen Goodman called for MPs to go through the same sorts of checks as teachers or youth workers.
She was speaking as Home Secretary Theresa May announced two inquiries into historic claims of child abuse.
Mrs May said Government would set up an independent inquiry panel of experts in the law and child protection to consider whether public bodies have done enough to protect children from sexual abuse.
She said: “In recent years, we have seen appalling cases of organised and persistent child sex abuse. This includes abuse by celebrities like Jimmy Savile and Rolf Harris, as well as the systematic abuse of vulnerable girls in Derby, Rochdale, Oxford and other towns and cities. Some of these cases have exposed a failure by public bodies to take their duty of care seriously and some have shown that the organisations responsible for protecting children from abuse – including the police, social services and schools – have failed to work together properly.”
She added: “The Government will establish an independent inquiry panel of experts in the law and child protection to consider whether public bodies – and other non-state institutions – have taken seriously their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse.”
The inquiry would be a non-statutory panel inquiry, similar to the Hillsbrough inquiry which reported back in 2012.
At the same time, Peter Wanless, the chief executive of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, will lead a review into information provided to the Home Office about child abuse allegations.
It will look at claims that the Home Office failed to act on allegations of abuse provided to the department by the late Geoffrey Dickens, who was an MP from 1979 to 1995.
Speaking in the Commons, Mrs Goodman, MP for Bishop Auckland, said MPs often worked with children and should undergo Criminal Records Bureau checks, known as CRB or DBS checks, to ensure they are not a threat.
She said: “In the course of doing constituency case work, every member of this house will come across vulnerable adults and children. Does the Home Secretary agree with me that Members of Parliament and caseworkers should undergo CRB checks?
“We’ve legislated for this for everybody else in similar positions of responsibilty. Isn’t it time that we did so in this House too?”
Mrs May said this was an issue the inquiry could consider.
North West Durham MP Pat Glass asked for assurances that the inquiry would be able to look at files held by the police or security services.
The announcement in the House of Commons came after Prime Minister David Cameron promised to leave “no stone unturned” in seeking the truth about widespread allegations of a paedophile ring with links to the establishment in the 1980s.
A series of allegations have emerged that Rochdale Liberal MP Cyril Smith, who died in 2010, abused vulnerable children.
An inquiry last month reported horrific abuse by television celebrity Jimmy Savile at Leeds General Infirmary and London hospital Broadmoor.
The Government’s inquiry could be converted into a full public inquiry if its chairman feels it is necessary.
Source – Newcastle Journal, 07 July 2014