Friday, December 2, 2011

The Blame Game

I don't know what it is about social work, but many times when something goes wrong with a client and their situation, it feels that instead of working together to address and solve the problem, many helping professionals put a lot more energy into looking to blame someone on the team for what went haywire.

Related to this, frequently human service workers get all defensive and take on the stance that "it's not my job" or "Sorry, but that's your issue now" or "we can't help because this is XYZ system".

I guess this goes to show that we as "professionals" really are not all that different from many of the people we serve who often want to blame us for every single thing that is messed up from their birth, to their future that has not yet happened.

I often stop to reflect about what could be accomplished if we all worked together, instead of against each other.

I also wonder if the things we face that we look to throw someone else under the bus for, are really as awful as we make them out to be?

What if we change the way we look at the problem by taking ownership for what's in front of us at the moment, and doing what we can to help.

Sometimes we are *gasp* only human, and especially with all we have on our plate as social workers, we can and WILL make a mistake or overlook something that will end up exploding into a bigger problem.

What are some situations that you have faced that you have gotten blamed for as a social worker or helping professional?

Were any really and truly your fault?

An oversight? Major screw-up?

How do you deal with being blamed for things?

1 comment:

  1. I'm sure I've been blamed for my fair share of things gone awry. I try to move on and not dwell on it, so I can't think of anything in particular.

    I was just having a conversation the other night about personal responsibility with one of my friends (a fellow Social Worker). We both work with offenders in the justice system, so we're both very sensitive to the issue of personal responsibility. We concluded that it really isn't too hard to say "my bad" or "I'm sorry" and move on. They're just 2 little words. :)