A future beyond social care needs its own ‘net zero’
Neil Crowther, Co-convener, Social Care Future
With support from Hallmark Foundation and Seeability, Social Care Future has begun to explore what a long-range campaign might look like to shift our collective imagination and expectations in support of a future beyond our current ‘social care system’.
We are not starting from scratch. Our vision offers the ‘North star’. There are countless ‘glimpses of the future in the present.’ And we are a broad and growing movement, born of frustration but powered by hope.
Of late we’ve been looking at what we can learn from other movements and campaigns for change and in September we’ll be running a number of hour-long sessions with movement and campaign leaders from diverse fields.
Particularly helpful is IPPR’s 2021 report ‘Making change: what works’ which compares and contrasts efforts to shift public opinion and policy across a number of areas including climate, LGBT rights, race equality and on the social determinants of health. There’s a wealth of learning in the report, but three things stood out:
The need to act across multiple ‘leverage points’ with deep change often only emerging when the public and politicians are persuaded to adopt a new goal, and where clear accountability is established for progressing towards it
The value of a simple, totemic policy goal, which, though not encompassing the entirety of your aims and objectives, acts to shift expectations, mindsets and culture and give effect to wider change. Net Zero and Equal Marriage are two examples of this. More immediately relevant to social care would be the National Disability Insurance Scheme in Australia.
The importance of a healthy, pluralistic ‘influencing ecosystem’ where various actors exist in various states of tension or complementarity, which the report breaks down into ‘rebels’, ‘reformers’, ‘organisers’ and ‘helpers’. We’ve been struck reading the report that, as with action on the social determinants of health, social care’s ‘ecosystem’ is dominated by reformers and helpers, but weak when it comes to ‘rebels’ (examples in the climate space are Extinction Rebellion). Generally there is little ‘protest’ of any kind concerning social care, nor organised voice of people who draw on support.