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Do We Care?

“Here’s what I want to explore: Can we teach people to care? I know that we can teach them not to care; that’s pretty easy. But given the massive technological and economic changes we’re living through, do we have the opportunity to teach productive and effective caring?

– Seth Godin

I had the opportunity last week to dedicate three days to attending a training course, The Art of Hosting, How do we design, host and harvest conversations that matter.  This topic is of significant interest to me, and of course to PeakCare. A substantial part of our work is to connect, to seek engagement, to have meaningful conversations and to use those conversations to leverage excellence in Child Protection policy, procedure and practice.

You may have noticed the many efforts that PeakCare makes to create opportunities for meaningful conversations. Certainly our work across the sector to participate (engage) and to create opportunities for our sector to participate (engage) speaks to our commitment as an organization toward “meaningful conversation”. Staff members here, like so many of you in the sector, commit their time to attend existing meetings, sit on a wide range of forums and involve ourselves in a staggering array of projects. We also expend enormous energy to create opportunities for our government and industry partners, our member organizations and the broader child protection sector to come together to have these critical conversations.

Along with more traditional forms of engagement (meetings, conferences, training sessions, focus groups, forums, panels, a lunch date or a coffee catch up) PeakCare has also developed a social media strategy that offers a number of alternative ways for people to become involved, to contribute their thoughts, their ideas and their passion. No longer are people in our sector limited by their physical availability to attend a meeting, involve themselves in an issue, or contribute their voice.  You can get our e-news delivered weekly to your email inbox, receive relevant sector news via email, or through facebook. You can check out our website, access our professional practice blog, fill out an on-line survey, leave a comment on facebook or even send us a tweet. The possibilities for engagement are plentiful and we hope, inspiring!

So many opportunities to engage … yet, some people don’t engage. Some people don’t show up. What is engagement exactly? Is engagement more than just “showing up”.  Does engagement actually mean “stepping up”? If we don’t show up, or step up – does it mean we don’t care?

Some people do show up. But is showing up, enough? Engagement for the sake of engagement, conversations for the sake of having conversations …. is that really engagement? Do we sometimes mistake showing up for caring?

Do we care? This is a worthy question to ponder the next time you are deciding whether you will read that email or report, attend that meeting, leave that comment, or show up for that coffee date.

What would it look like if we were a sector engaged in the act of caring, rather than the activity of engaging?

Fiona McColl

PeakCare – Training and Sector Development Manager

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