Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The pink elephant

Source: via Abby on Pinterest

Today's theme social work friends is The Pink Elephant in the Room.

What are some major issues going on with your company that affect your work, that seem like they are never, ever addressed?

And if Pink Elephant was addressed, would make everyone's life better, primarily the clients served?

For me, I work in home care, so our Pink Elephant is mainly staffing.

I feel that we go out of our way to take on cases in need, yet do not put a lot of emphasis on hiring of home care staff to service these participants.

It is a matter that is addressed constantly by us lower-level schmucks, but not CORRECTED because things have to start at the top.

When they choose to continue to work with a broken system instead of trying to move forth to fix it?

I also KNOW that we have the capacity to improve things, and the majority of us WANT to. And before you ask, no, it doesn't really come down to spending a lot of money. Many simple ideas to bring about change that don't involve $$$$$$$ have also been suggested.

I often feel that it's just a matter of time before that Pink Elephant takes a really big explosive shit.............

I know in social work school we talked about this subject our society overall does not value anything preventative until something awful happens.

Then it's time for the blame game and "I told you so's".

I don't know where I am really going with this.

I think I am just feeling especially powerless today, as I am about to go forth and sign up even MORE clients for our programs.

Does anyone have any advice, when you feel the Powers that Be are not listening?

Have you ever addressed the Pink Elephant in the room successfully?

Happy Hump Day all!!!!


  1. I totally hear you from the "lower end." Having worked in home care for a good ten months now, I totally see that "don't do anything until something happens" reality. It sucks. Our agency recently got fined by the state because of a lack of staffing. Something as simple as hiring someone to be awake overnight. So now they are having to go back and hire all these people, something they didn't want to. I don't know if its a lack of funds thing or something bigger, but I have often thought about it. What if something were to happen overnight and I didn't hear it because I was asleep? It wouldn't be my fault, because I was told I could sleep on my overnight shifts. Anyway, I feel like our big pink elephant is being understaffed. No one wants to do any hiring. Surely with unemployment the way it is in this country, someone out there needs a job and is willing to be trained. I get that it's a job that isn't for everyone. But seriously people? Sorry, rant over. Good post. I just thought I'd chime in with my two cents. Feel free to chip in, since I'm sure you obviously see a side to hiring that I don't, being at the bottom.

  2. A lot of people I work with thinks that it comes down to money in the end...........I don't know. I can see that, but when we are bringing in hundreds of thousands of dollars a year for ONE case.......I think it's worth the investment.

    I've also suggested interns and even recruiting new grads, many who will suck it up and work for peanuts to gain experience, especially with the way the market is flooded and many who can't find anything.

  3. Good post. Our p.e. is the red tape and administration that have been out of direct service so long they don't understand current issues and barriers to services.

  4. Yeppers. I think this also has a great deal to do with what goes on at my agency. A co-worker commented once that the person at the top doesn't care what we are "selling". We could be selling rubberbands as long as we meet our numbers. But rubberbands don't get hurt if they are not staffed appropriately ;).

  5. Yours is the frustration of trying to work within "the system." I think most of us can relate to how you feel. I deal with it by trying to accept that some things are beyond my control and that anything decided by the "powers that be" will fall into that category.