I listened with interest to Lyndal Greenslade’s podcast and read the related paper with a mix of excitement and concern (Greenslade, McAuliffe, & Chenoweth, 2014; Podsocs, 2014). Both of these items were kindly posted on this website by Liz Beddoe. The podcast and paper described radical ways in which social workers in Australia work covertly to the advantage of their clients. For example, turning a blind eye to behaviour that was contrary to care plans, in order to avoid a more arbitrary use of power by other professionals. This covert activism must be considered in the context of the social workers’ ‘deep critical reflection’ on their practice, and an organisational climate experienced as being increasingly hostile to the professional values held by social workers.
In light of the New Zealand governments call to review Child, Youth and Family, Paora Moyle offers a Māori practitioners perspective on the CYF review and the continuing relevance of the document Puao-te-ata-tu (Daybreak).
On April 1 the Minister of Social Development Anne Tolley announced that an independent review, led by Paula Rebstock, would develop a business case for a “new operating model to modernise CYF, enhance its governance and assurance, and will have a wide-ranging brief to consider all aspects of CYF operations”. With not one shred of evidence presented, as is frequently the case in this current regime, Minister Tolley opined: “New Zealand used to be a world leader in the field of child protection, but I believe we are now eight to ten years behind in our thinking”. In the follow up the next day, the mainstream media failed to find any expert opinion other than the usual suspects.
In episode 71 of Podsocs (podcasts for social workers) Patricia Fronek interviews Lyndal Greenslade on the topic of Closet activists and covert workplace activities.
You can access a free copy of Lyndal’s recent paper: Social Workers’ Experiences of Covert Workplace Activism.
For more on the history, and recent renaissance, of radical social work see the page on the history of social work website.