Friday 22 March 2019
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Without a destination guidance is useless

Care managers are as much overwhelmed by guidance as they are by bureaucracy. It’s not that the guidance itself is bad, much of it can be extremely helpful; indeed, not all of the bureaucracy is unnecessary. The problem is that managers of care services can lose their way because they’ve forgotten their destination and they’ve been diverted from their core task by trying to meet the expectations of those whose job it is to support the core task rather than to
make their own speciality the priority for care managers.

The priority for care managers is providing the best possible CARE - not pleasing the regulator, or meeting other people’s targets, or providing work for the countless institutions and organisations that are meant to be supporting them. It is of course true that in order to provide the best possible care you need their support and you need the regulator’s licence to care. You also need to use the abundance of guidance there is on offer. But if you make it your job to manage by following the instructions of those who do not have the direct responsibility of care and have their own different priorities, you will very soon lose your way.

Care managers need to have a strong sense of their own core task and have the confidence to pursue that task without being distracted, diverted, undermined, or blocked by all the other interests that surround and feed off social care.

The Association of Care Managers (ACM) puts the needs, rights and wellbeing of those we care for first

and . . .

champions high standards of management to achieve the best possible care

supports and informs managers of direct social care services (care homes, day care, domiciliary care etc.)

encourages managers to lead care teams with imagination and flair, and to put caring relationships at the core of good social care practice

gives access for members to a comprehensive range of expert advice and guidance (including free telephone/e-mail contact) and to a library of articles and papers

promotes the recognition of care managers as a profession, and defends the profession from being overwhelmed by bureaucratic demands that detract from providing real care

welcomes the effective inspection of care services, concentrating on the rights, safety and wellbeing of those who use the services.

represents the profession with government and other policy making bodies to guide the direction of social care policy

promotes, disseminates and advances ideas, innovation and learning in social care management

contributes to education, training, research and theory in social care and its management

brings members together to learn from and support each other, and to learn from practitioners, academics, authors and other leading figures in social care

works in partnership with other organisations to improve and develop social care services and practice

provides members with an annual membership document designed for display to certify that the named member will “put the needs, rights and wellbeing of those we care for first”

and ACM never defends bad practice

The administration and membership services of ACM have recently been transferred to Hawker Publications (the publisher of Caring Times and The Journal of Dementia Care) and ACM will be open again to membership applications soon. ACM owes a debt of gratitude to Steve Bishop for founding the organisation and supporting it to this point.

John Burton
December 2010