Invest in Relationships

What an honour and privilege it is to be made SCA President for 2010-11.

As a member of SCA and being involved in various committees, I have made many friends and developed relationships which have informed my practice and developed my skills.

In social care the basis of all we do depends on relationships – our relationships with those who use our services, carers and families, staff, other social care agencies, inspecting and commissioning bodies and so on.

Relationships take many forms – organisational, interpersonal and group. Every relationship is different and unique. Relationships are important because they can influence a broad range of outcomes, but they are also significant in and of themselves and no ‘one size fits all’ can be prescribed.

The Salvation Army recently produced a report called The Seeds of Exclusion which looked at the main causes leading to homelessness. The results showed emphatically that the main causes of homelessness were not addictions, mental health breakdown or poverty. Although these are part of the picture, the single main cause of homelessness was relationship breakdown.

Relationships shape us. Sir Jonathan Sacks, the Chief Rabbi, once said, “It is the quality of our relationships that, more than anything else, determines our happiness, fulfilment and the sense of a life well lived”.

If we are to support those in our services to have a “sense of a life well lived” then our main business needs to be relationships. Relationships need to be the building blocks of our support and care delivery.

That is the reason I have taken Relationships as my presidential theme for 2010-11.  As I travel throughout the country this year visiting various projects I will be encouraging all who work in social care to “Invest in Relationships”.

Developing relationships is what SCA has always been about. It is through relationships that people’s needs are met. SCA has just celebrated its sixtieth anniversary and building on this wonderful foundation I believe there are various needs that SCA can help meet.

As an organisation there is a need to

  • adapt to the changes occurring in social care
  • support and encourage best practice
  • be at the forefront of practice development
  • respond to national consultation documents
  • be in a position to influence decision making/makers and have input into social policies
  • support practitioners in adapting to new ways of working
  • help develop a skilled workforce through continuous learning and professional development
  • support service delivery in times of financial constraint
  • develop relationships and promote partnership working with other agencies

Relationships are at the heart of the value base that underpins all that SCA does in promoting the respect for and the worth and dignity of all service users who use our services.

I urge all of you to “Invest in Relationships” in whatever part of social care you work in.

Nancy Hamilton took up office as President of the Social Care Association at the Annual Seminar; she works for the Salvation Army as a Compliance and Monitoring Officer.

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