Old school social worker speaks out …

I was a social worker for 34 years, and back then a good service was guaranteed.  Concerns were addressed, and referrals actioned in a few days, people were helped.

Now it takes months instead of what should be days to deal with situations.  I am ashamed of social services now, compared to what it was.  It was good and now it is disgraceful in my opinion.  Peoples’ rates seem to be being spent in areas of less population the most it seems, but large areas like Basildon don’t seem to get as much.

Basildon should have broken away from Essex County Council like Thurrock and Southend have done and you would have your own social services and it would be superior.  It is sad to see what was once a really great service, where I was proud of the organisation, now failing in every aspect.  I’ve had numerous arguments with them even about my wife’s care.

When my wife was dying I had to fight like mad to finally get some 24 hour care and got MacMillan nurses, who were good.  But because my wife didn’t die in the “stipulated” timeframe, they were going to take the care out!   The GP and family were mad and I was ashamed of social services, who finally after making us fight at this time.  They decided to gave her 2 more weeks care and then she died within this time.

We had a case conference in my house and the senior social worker who chaired it was uncaring and unfeeling in her atttitude.  It was unbelievable.  I have chaired many such meetings in my time and I don’t know what is the matter with them.  I stood up to social services admin people and fought for what was right and all social workers in those day did.  What is wrong?  Are they recruiting the wrong types of person?  Should they have more expereince on the “shop floor”?  Middle class backgrounds don’t help – there is no knowledge of vulnerable people – is it that?


You need some experience in life to be a social worker.  I don’t go to them for anything now.  It is not worth my time and while.  When I used to work and go out to people I just helped them and I “saw” their circumstances and made decisions based on their need, what I saw they needed.  When I was working for Essex County Council, I saw they could be vindictive in my opinion.  It is hard for whistleblowers to come forward, people don’t realise this.


Social workers are meant to be a caring profession.  If social workers themselves are scared to complain that says it all.  In my many years working I saw so much good done.  It doesn’t have to be the way it is today.


Society is being brainwashed in saying “don’t look after your neighbour, look after yourself and don’t care about anyone else”.


Things That Need Improving:

  1. Referral methods - social workers need to be out to the client within a week.
  2. Attitude of social workers need to change and they need to realise clients have paid their salaries for years.
  3. Social work once again needs to become a "caring" profession.




Wickford and Basildon Area

Date Experience Happened



Social Services