When a progressive model of community based care looses its values, in the name of VALUE

British experience shared by Alex Fox, with the impacts of the  use of “lowest bidder” on client community based care.

… This was not what was envisaged by disabled people and their families who developed personalisation, which was the idea that people would plan the most effective care and support when they were in control of an individual planning process which started with what a good life looked like, not with a list of low-cost services. Planning creatively in this way enables people to make best use of their own capacity and of the family and community resources available to them. That also usually results in the most independence and lowest overall cost to the state, whereas narrow price-focused processes bring missed opportunities for independence, or lead to family care breaking down. But instead of people planning a life, and then choosing the support they need to live it, care providers now compete for the individual, and an algorithm makes the choice. …

see the article herehttps://alexfoxblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/14/reverse-auctions/


Policy Partnerships within government itself, ingredients for “buy-in”

The Centre for Urban Studies via http://stmichaelshospitalresearch.ca/research-programs/urban-health-solutions/our-projects/building-healthy-policy-and-practices/increasing-collaboration-within-governments-to-improve-population-health-and-equity/  supports linking of policy to practice. One example of their efforts focus’ specifically on policy development within government itself, providing this paper below.  

Using Win-Win Strategies to Implement Health in All Policies: A Cross-Case Analysishttp://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0147003

  • Agnes Molnar,
  • Emilie Renahy,
  • Patricia O’Campo,
  • Carles Muntaner,
  • Alix Freiler,
  • Ketan Shankardass


Our results yielded no support for the use of awareness-raising or directive strategies as standalone approaches for engaging partners to implement HiAP. However, we found strong evidence that mechanisms related to “win-win” strategies facilitated implementation by increasing perceived acceptability (or buy-in) and feasibility of HiAP implementation across sectors. Win-win strategies were facilitated by mechanisms related to several activities, including: the development of a shared language to facilitate communication between actors from different sectors; integrating health into other policy agendas (eg., sustainability) and use of dual outcomes to appeal to the interests of diverse policy sectors; use of scientific evidence to demonstrate the effectiveness of HiAP; and using health impact assessment to make policy coordination for public health outcomes more feasible and to give credibility to policies being developed by diverse policy sectors. …

Narratives of Social Workers involvement in social control in mental health yet wrestling with “the system”

This article provides a view of how the British mental health system framed social work practice under their mental health law. 


The paper explores the notion of ‘dirty work’ in relation to the newly created role of the Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP). An AMHP undertakes various duties set out in the 1983 Mental Health Act, as amended by the 2007 Act, in relation to assessments to make applications for compulsory admission to psychiatric hospital. It has been argued that undertaking this social control function is ‘dirty work’. However, the findings from a study of social work AMHPs in England suggest that the picture is more complex. Extracts from narrative interviews are analysed using dialogical narrative analysis. Rather than being designated as dirty work, AMHP duty was presented as prestigious and as advanced social work. However, through their storytelling, the social workers clearly delineated the aspects of AMHP work that they did designate as dirty, specifically the lack of beds, the complexities of co-ordination and the emotional labour which is an inherent part of the work.

The British Journal of Social Work, Volume 46, Issue 3, 1 April 2016, Pages 703–718,https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcv009
Published: 26 February 2015

Survey on job satisfaction and salaries for all social workers in Ontario

From https://www.oasw.org;   

All social workers in Ontario welcomed to participate.

Important Survey For  Social Workers


The Ontario Association of Social Workers (OASW) is conducting a province-wide online survey to gather information about current social work salaries and job satisfaction across sectors of practice in Ontario. To ensure that the most comprehensive data is collected, members can play a crucial role by both participating and circulating the survey link through your various networks. You do not need to be a member of OASW to participate.


The aggregated results will provide current and up-to-date information regarding the employment experience of social workers across all practice settings in Ontario which will assist OASW in advocacy efforts with government to address disparities in social work salaries.


All responses will remain anonymous.  Respondents who complete the survey will be invited to enter a separate prize draw for four $25 Indigo gift cards.


1) Complete the survey now: 



2) Forward this message to your social work colleagues & networks anywhere in Ontario


Approximate time to complete the survey: 13 minutes.


Thinking, living, struggling with how activists TALK social change

A useful and rare discussion, led by Steve Paikin https://tvo.org/programs/the-agenda-with-steve-paikin/ , and the guests who clearly are living it.  I would have re-titled it: Anger, Empathy and Activism for Change. I found midway the interview got a little lost in campus freedom of speech issue, but hang in as brought back to thinking, living, struggling with how we try to talk of social change.

See video here: https://tvo.org/video/programs/the-agenda-with-steve-paikin/activism-allyship-and-making-change

Links to the interviewee’s web pages.




Central Seven: a collaboration of Community Support Service agencies serving Central Ottawa — Presentation

From SWAG, Sue Walker ED of Old Forge http://oldeforge.ca/ will present their model

Navigating programs and services for older adults and adults with disabilities, caregivers and family members of seniors can be challenging. To assist in this manner, Sue Walker will present on each agency, what services are offered and how to access Community Support Services (CSS). She will talk about the magnitude of the positive impact CSS has on improving the lives of those wishing to age at home safely and with dignity. She will answer questions about catchment areas, eligibility, funding models and future investments planned for the sector.

Social Work in Aging and Gerontology (SWAG)

Thursday November 23, 3:30 PM to 5PM

Colonel By Retirement Residence

43 Aylmer Avenue (Parallel to Sunnyside near Bank Street)

A brief self questionnaire to encourage us to reflect and assess as individuals within yea old system

I’ve been following the research of Judy Foster – who has been a leader in England on social work role in mental health.  She takes both a psychodynamic and systems approach and has been involved at leadership levels of training for the practice end of mental health for decades.

She later shifted focus to research and a phd thesis which incorporates the everyday experience of: individual social workers within team as well as the context of the organization and its position in responding to government policy in the broader systems of care. Foster, Judy (2009) Thinking on the Front Line: Why some social work teams struggle and others thrive.

She also wrote a book on this https://www.amazon.com/Building-Effective-Social-Work-Teams/dp/1472480821 

See more about the actual thesis here: http://drjudyfoster.blogspot.ca/  


I thought, the above self questionnaire with its questions on the 5 factors that contribute to effective social work teams, will encourage us to reflect and assess as individuals within yea old system.