Steeped. Long history. A life intertwined. My relationship with social care. Began at six months old. It is what happened back then. They called it school. Come on. Until 16. And my career has been tangential to the sector ever since. Adults. Children. Direct payments. Lived experience of them all.

Can’t put my one finger on it. The sector has made me feel uneasy. An outsider. To something central in my life. Historical dynamic. We know what is best for you. Looked after philosophy. The separation between professionals and service users. My name was and remains Mike.

A tingle last Thursday. A positive shimmer. A real discussion (webinar) on creating a step change. A cross section of people on the same page. Disabled voices as equals. Seeing disabled people as customers. And realising the tangible added value. Insights. As future employees. In all roles. At all levels.

Delivery of these twin objectives are the acceleration pedal. The kick down. Full throttle. Hurtling social care to the vanguard. Freed from the paternalistic past. I could smell liberation.

I have always led the life I wanted to lead. Not the one that other people thought I should lead. Not me. It could have been. A social care leader. With that mantra. The future of social care is in safer hands. From history to hope.

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