While Social Care is, traditionally, a somewhat under resourced and embattled service, all the elements are in place for health and social care jobs to foster a revolution that could transform the service.
The Government is looking to inspire an entrepreneurial spirit in Social Work, with those closest to the coal face the best qualified to find the creative solutions it needs to face the new challenges of an aging population.
One example of this stimulus is Deloitte partnering with the Department of Education to invest £100 million in Children’s Social care. It’s intended as a seed fund for revolutionary new projects that deliver better outcomes for children in ways we’ve not seen before. It’s hoped that this will harness some of the ‘start up’ culture the private sector has become suffused with, with new businesses springing up on a small scale and working mind opening technology to change the way things are done.
The outlook is positive enough for Social Care to be called a hidden engine of economic growth: it contributes more than £14 billion to the economy every year. Deploying this tactically could have a transformative effect on regions of the country suffering the effects of an the international economic downturn that has been affecting us since the US banking crisis in 2008.
Proposals like Localise West Midlands suggest targeting funding in the areas that need it most using schemes like the national Deloitte one described above: allowing people with new ideas to pitch for funding. It takes as it’s model the Community Catalysts micro-enterprise scheme in Somerset which has provided for support for more than 160 schemes in the area.
The strength of this approach is that it allows people to propose solutions that are unique and specific to the area they live in, empowering the local community to serve needs that may be missed by more distant oversight. It’s also a chance to reinvigorate the people involved in social work: it’s a demanding profession, and allowing people who are at the risk of burning out the chance to pitch for a new scheme of their own invention will help to keep them engaged and happy, and harness a vast institutional knowledge and hunger for change that doesn’t currently have a productive outlet.
This explosion of innovation and energy in the social care sector means that it’s one of the most exciting public bodies to work in: someone beginning their training now knows that they will have a job that will continue to inspire and challenge them for their entire career.