3 years since I bothered my arse to write a blog. I've drafted a few, then got bored, or got tangled up with a misguided view that song titles have all of the answers, the title of this blog is an obscure Paul Brady song, about immigrants, outsiders, there's a YouTube link at the end, so please stick with it.
If you want to get to the best bit of this blog straight away, go to the last YouTube link, and scroll along to 4 mins 20 and you'll see Van Morrison doing what can only be described as 'high kicks' whilst wearing a burgundy, sparkling play suit.
Anyway, I've always thought I was the kind of person who had the possibility, with allies, to transform care. Then the government set up a whole programme called Transforming Care, so I put my feet up and relaxed. No need for me. 'Sit back and polish your arrogance,' I said to myself.
Then I got dragged in, and NOTHING MUCH HAS CHANGED. Not even a little bit, then I remembered that during the sultry heat of 'Putting People First' we were meant to have undergone a Total Transformation...I honestly mean no disrespect to people who have been working tirelessly to transform things, you will be, and have been much better at it than me.
In my defence, let me remind you I have spent considerable time polishing my arrogance.
Anyway, I've started working with people in Assessment and Treatment Units - doing good old fashioned PERSONCENTREDPLANNINGINDIVIDUALSERVICEDESIGNLIFEPLANNINGINDIVIDUALLIFEPLANNINGPOSITIVELIFEPLANNINGBEHAVIOURPOSITIVESUPPORTPCPILDISDPBS. That sort of thing.
Listening deeply, searching for capacities, seeking connections and not taking 'no' for an answer. So here's the punchline, while working with a young woman who wanted to live by herself because she's sick of sharing and wants to try and make a go of turning her talent for upcyling into a small business. Wants to TRY. Not be the Chief Executive of a FTSE 100 upcyling empire, just try and sell a few tables, see where that goes.
At her CTR (I can't be bothered to remember what that stands for) we were all informed that she had done some 'Therapeutic' work on the ward around 'Setting Realistic Goals' the attendees nodded sagely, 'ooh that's good' 'yeah lower your sights' 'you don't want people like that Tim raising your expectations' I've since heard the 'setting realistic goals' therapy a couple of times, so it must be real, to my shame I haven't challenged it, I said I was arrogant - not effective.
Yeah, that Tim, gently encouraging people to have small dreams for an ordinary life. It was the same old story when I first started doing this work, and probably the same for people doing it long before me... 'all you are doing with that Person Centred Planning is raising expectations' what a great and necessary role, raising expectations. Encouraging the 'outsiders' to expect the same as we all take for granted. The cartoon accompanying this incoherent drivel is an update of an original I made in 2001, when Valuing People came along and I stood accused of 'raising expectations'. Well here I stand again...wearing my badge with pride.
As Eleanor Roosevelt probably once said, 'Aim for the shit, even if you miss you'll land among the shit'
For my next Tale from Serviceland, in about 3 years time, I'll write some drivel about a really funny cartoon I did about a caravan, safe in the knowledge that people don't read the words, they just steal the pictures...if only I could think of a song title.