When a director is expected to lie for the chairman it’s time to go

Posted on February 1st, by editor in Caring Times. No Comments

Directors of social services are often perceived as bureaucrats who wield immense power. Wally Harbert, a former director of social services, says directors often find it difficult to avoid being made scapegoats by their political masters. The implication of much that is written about social services departments is that directors are very powerful people. They are, of course, more influential than other staff in their departments but, in exercising authority they must pay regard to the expectations of political masters. What looks to outsiders like enormous power is often no more than the exercise of discretion within a very tight framework. Directors only remain in offlce while they enjoy the confidence of elected members. A committee chairman often wields the real power. Chairmen and directors are at the interface between professional and political systems. Professional ambition must often be modified to create proposals that are politically acceptable. A good and trusting relationship between chairman and

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