‘Feeding the beast’

‘Feeding the beast’ – This is how one social worker, Alan [pseudonym], described what it sometimes feels like to try and keep on top of the recording demands in everyday practice…

(Cartoon above drawn during our presentation at JSWEC 2016 conference by Harry M Venning, @harrymvenning, in response to Alan’s comment about ‘feeding the beast’)


It’s not that Alan doesn’t think that recording is important…but that it can be constraining and overpowering….some of his thoughts..

  1. ‘All Social Care Departments use IT systems and need them to provide stats, information to government and thereby obtain funding for the service as a whole.’
  2. Writing within the system is then “constricted” to meet the demands of the organisation, rather than allowing for professional judgement to be used. People do not generally fit into neatly arranged, logical processes as computer software systems have to be arranged.’
  3. ‘Multiple changes to the system over a number of years mean that the original aim of something is lost, and results in an unwieldy number of “added on” procedures that are repetitive and labour-intensive.’

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