Riots prevent mental health social workers doing their jobs

Riots across the country have prevented mental health social workers doing their jobs according to the College of Social Work.

Claire Barcham, professional development adviser for the College has sais that up to 60 mental health assessements have been delayed because police officers have been unable to accompany the visits.

Mental health professionals usually need to be accompanied by police with a court warrant if they are to enter a home to carry out an assessment.

"If we are having problems getting into court for our warrants, I would be concerned that may be happening to colleagues in children and families services and elsewhere," said Barcham. "It shows how essential the police are to so many aspects of the harder end of social care."

Steve Chamberlain, an AMHP spokesperson for the College of Social Work and a London-based practitioner, said police had told a number of mental health teams in the capital that they would be unable to attend assessments for at least two days.

"We understand the pressures they are under," he said.

Many of the people who are waiting to be assessed are severely depressed or show signs of mental or psychotic illness and are likely to end up in hospital where they can be observed and treated, said Chamberlain.

"Generally there are concerns that if things aren't dealt with rapidly there's a risk of the person harming themselves through self-neglect, actively harming themselves or, in a small number of cases, harming others, though this is usually someone they know," he said.

Source: Community Care

2 comments for “Riots prevent mental health social workers doing their jobs”

  1. Gravatar of MartsMarts
    posted 13 August 2011 at 14:01:14

    A very interesting article indeed; And yes the acts of the rioters are certainly not welcome and should not be tolerated.

    However, although as witnessed on TV media reports, there remains many questions to be answered such as ~
    Who were the alleged journalists offering youths payments to riot and cause civil disturbance of the peace, why has this not been investigated in terms of inciting riots?
    Why did the Police stand down when crimes were being committed in plane view; and what was the agenda behind said unjustifiable inaction, the Police need to be held accountable for their inaction and indeed to some degree for damage caused?
    Yes, a few hundred people were viewed on TV as rioters. However, there has been no TV coverage of the thousands of people whom were present simply peacefully protesting.

    I find it strange that In Control has taken the view that all were rioting. That in itself raises the question of Controls agenda, as a balanced view of events has not been provided. Does Control stand for just that, In Control?

  2. Gravatar of LauraLaura
    posted 16 August 2011 at 15:11:56

    Hi Marts, many thanks for your comment and for getting involved in our website. Just to point out that we certainly haven't taken the view that everyone was rioting. This article is from Community Care (see Source at the end) following comments by the College of Social Work about problems mental health workers had doing their jobs as a result of the riots, and I'm assuming that Community Care has focused on this particular aspect, rather than an overview of the entire riot debate, as this is what is relevant for their audience.

    Hope this clears things up,


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Last Updated : 11 August 2011. Page Author: Laura Bimpson.