To ask what people think a social worker's job role is?

(423 Posts)
filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 16:06:45

I am intrigued. I know this is in AIBU and its not really that sort of question but I want diverse and interesting opinions.

So what do you think a social worker does? What do you think a social work should do?

wheretoyougonow Sat 28-Sep-13 16:11:42

What an odd question. There are many types of Social Workers in different specialties. Which one do you want to discuss, older people, children and families, adoption, mental health, hospital, physical disabilities or educational? All very different roles.

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 16:13:26

Well, more pertinently, which type would you like to discuss? What sort of social workers have you come into contact with?

AgentZigzag Sat 28-Sep-13 16:15:37

To make sure people don't fall through the welfare net, and that they're on a level playing field?

Are you writing an essay? grin

It's just that you haven't linked it to anything specifically winding you up, which is unusual.

PolterGoose Sat 28-Sep-13 16:16:11


ILoveMakeUp Sat 28-Sep-13 16:16:50

I think SW's spend far too much time bleating on about their workload instead of focusing on their job. IME they often put their own selfish needs ahead of the people they are meant to help.

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 16:28:59

Well, I am doing a degree in social work which I have just started, so I suppose I am writing a number of essays. I am intrigued because of the different reactions i get when i tell people i am studying social work. There are huge differences in what people think a social worker actually is so i am interested in as many view points on it as i can get.

I think social workers do have a massive workload but i think lots of public sector people do.

TheFallenNinja Sat 28-Sep-13 16:30:47

What Ilove said

Just a melting pot of moaning, work shy do gooders.

ILoveMakeUp Sat 28-Sep-13 16:33:24

The profession desperately needs good people. Most people work hard these days, with long hours, it is not just social workers.

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 16:36:52

I think a lot of people dont really know what a social worker does, plus feel that social workers generally fail. I dont know if thats the case yet because i am so early on in my career but i know that as a profession it is a (relatively) new one, so there is lots that can be built on and I am really looking forward to being a part of positive change.

I agree about everyone having high work loads and for public sector work a social worker is very well paid.

AlphaBetaOoda Sat 28-Sep-13 16:41:36

How many overworked people could go home without finishing their work and someone die because of that?
How many people see cruelty day in , day out?
How many people get threatened on a daily basis?
How many of those jobs are outside the public sector? wink

gordyslovesheep Sat 28-Sep-13 16:47:05

Filee - do the job for 2 years and then decide if it's well paid

this thread alone illustrates the nasty attitudes you will have to face daily sad

Chusband Sat 28-Sep-13 16:47:27

I know nothing about social work. So I would say they assess and monitor people who need help, work with them to try and improve their lives and intervene where a vulnerable person (child, elderly) is at risk.

jasminerose Sat 28-Sep-13 16:47:51

All of the above have happened to me in private sector job for close to minimum wage. Never heard of the care professions alphabeta.

Social workers do an important job but it is a very well paid one.

AgentZigzag Sat 28-Sep-13 16:47:59

My degree means I could go into either probation or social work, but I don't think I'd be able to deal with what Alpha's just said about the possible cruelty you'd see, and the mass cats bum mouth they have aimed at them.

But then it fucks me off because if I can't deal with it, it's a bit rich of me to expect a child or older person to live with it day in year out.

What was the decider in you choosing to go for it filee?

firefly78 Sat 28-Sep-13 16:51:05

Well paid??!! How much do you think they get paid??

jasminerose Sat 28-Sep-13 16:52:24

20k+ its a very good job like teaching. Im starting it next year.

imnotwhoyouthinkiam Sat 28-Sep-13 16:53:09

My experience of social workers lead me to the conclusion that they need a basic knowledge of what a normal family home looks like. Also some knowledge as to what is expected at different ages .
(its listed in my ss report that I hadn't yet taught ds2 to read properly although 'he can read basic word's and that I hadn't set aside time in the day to do his homework. He was still at pre school and wasn't expected to be able to read at all, most of his peers couldn't!)

jasminerose Sat 28-Sep-13 16:54:03

Also you get used to the situations its hard seeing children who have been abused or severely damaging scenarios, but you have to detach yourself. Whether you see it or not its still happening, so you might as well be the one to help. Thats the way I look at it anyway.

My 100 year old grandmother's social worker is a nice enough woman but she has proved over the years to be rather useless. She is supposed to organise respite care for several weeks a year for us, she says that she will do certain things, organise other things, contact people, get back to us, etc. etc. and never fucking does. Ever.
She was promoted from a care assistant in a Local Authority home to her position of SW. I worry that this happens to save them having to pay professionally qualified people with degrees in Social Work.

jasminerose Sat 28-Sep-13 16:56:45

You have to do the degree to be a Social Worker wheredoall

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 16:56:48

The starting wage for a social worker is around 26k. That is most certainly a well paid job.

At the moment I am a home carer, I get paid minimum wage, I work and work and work and work and if i mess up people most certainly are at risk. I see things everyday that I would love to change and I can't.

What made me want to be a social worker?

I wanted a skilled job that was relevant to the field I worked in, I wanted something that had jobs available in it and I wanted something that would allow me to see my children in the evenings and at weekends.

I enjoy working with people, I am intelligent and caring and I think I will be a good social worker.

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 16:58:00

A social worker is a protected title and in order to be one you need to have a relevant qualification. You cannot be 'promoted' to a social worker, you need to do a degree in it.

MerrilyMoo Sat 28-Sep-13 16:58:01

Assess risk
Provide support
Refer to other support

The LA calls them Care Managers, pays them less and gives them the same role and responsibility as a Social Worker.

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 17:02:39

A care manager is a social carer, not a social worker.

A care manager would come into force to decide what care needed to be administered from an LA or relevant company, not to assess that care needed to be administered in the first place.

I think they are very different.

jasminerose Sat 28-Sep-13 17:03:12

I agree filee77 20k+ and no managerial responsibility is a brilliant wage.

WhoNickedMyName Sat 28-Sep-13 17:04:10

My experience of social workers is based on observation of a group of SW's in a mental health setting.

They work short days, take long lunches, nearly always miss reporting deadlines, turn up at meetings ill informed and unprepared and having never completed their actions from previous meetings, they seem to do the bare minimum, and apart from 1 or 2 (out of a group of about 14) are a total waste of taxpayers money.

They're all nice enough people, but otherwise pretty useless.

roadwalker Sat 28-Sep-13 17:04:29

there are a lot of unqualified social workers in elderly care
They give them a different title such as 'care-coordinator' doing a SW job
Where I work trying to find a qualified SW is like - cant think of a suitable eg
I think its different in child protection and families services

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 17:04:59

I think its ludicrous to suggest otherwise, a nurse (for example) has a much lower starting wage and has just as much if not more responsibility.

I looked into it in detail as I would love to work in mental health nursing but it is just not viable for me at the moment.

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 17:07:05

There is no such thing as an 'unqualified social worker'

KFFOREVER Sat 28-Sep-13 17:09:22

Oh op i would like to read your posts again when you have finished your degree and have been working for a couple of years. Good luck on your course. smile

gordyslovesheep Sat 28-Sep-13 17:10:03

seriously Fillee - do the job first - then come back and tell us what it's actually like - because right now I am not sure you know yourself

jasminerose Sat 28-Sep-13 17:11:05

I agree with filee its a difficult job but its still a very well paid one so it makes up for it.

roadwalker Sat 28-Sep-13 17:11:35

There is no such thing as an unqualified social worker but there are people doing SW roles with a different title
I work every day with them

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 17:11:41

Oh absolutely, that is why I have started the thread. I am intrigued by what other people believe a social worker to be because I am really just discovering myself! There is no need to treat me as if it should come as a shock that i know nothing, I KNOW i know nothing.

Thats partly why i am doing the degree.

bunnybing Sat 28-Sep-13 17:12:26

I do know someone who is an unqualified social worker - she does the sort of job a qualified social worker does but on 'easier' cases (although she says they don't seem easy) - as mentioned above dealing with the elderly.

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 17:12:34

I can't see how anyone would think 26k+ a year is not a well-paid job. In my current job i would have to work constantly to get that sort of money.

What do you expect your job to be? assuming you complete your degree and become a social worker.

Which field of care do you want to specialise in?

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 17:13:31

An unqualified social worker would not have the legal standing to implement change though, its like saying a doctors receptionist is a doctor because they can sign off repeat prescriptions.

roadwalker Sat 28-Sep-13 17:13:42

what area do you want to work in?

aintnothinbutagstring Sat 28-Sep-13 17:15:45

Are social worker regulated by a professional body, that can suspend or strike them off if they get it wrong? Like doctors, nurses and whatnot?

AgentZigzag Sat 28-Sep-13 17:16:07

If the reason for people going in to social work is because imagining the harsh reality isn't a fraction of how difficult it is, why do so many stay in the role for so long?

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 17:16:31

I am interested in mental health, specifically teenagers. I am interested mostly by that age group and area though to be honest, I am leaving my mind open for the next year at least and will re-address as I move through placements.

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 17:17:13

Yes social workers are highly regulated.

They are all about the regulation, really.

I also work for the Local Authority, filee. As roadwalker also explains, it is very common. In your position as a bright-eyed trainee you may well have been told that this doesn't happen but it does. My personal experience is only in elderly care though.
Our unqualified social worker is even called a social worker by everyone in the department, the only place where her lack of qualifications are apparent is on her official job description.

firefly78 Sat 28-Sep-13 17:21:44

That is not well paid for making life and death decisions

candycoatedwaterdrops Sat 28-Sep-13 17:21:52

There is no longer such a thing as an unqualified SW as it's a legally protected title like Doctor but local authorities just re-name the roles as care co-ordinator or social work assistant and these people do the same job just unqualified.

I am a 3rd year social work student and I'm still learning about everything that social workers do. We get a bad, bad name and my experience of work in social care sector and on placement is that there are some incredibly bad apples as well as some very good apples. However, there are numerous barriers such as; the reams of red tape and the 10% cut to the social care funding budget.

OP, have a google of "current issues in social work" and read community care. Doing your essential and recommended reading is not enough, if you want to be a great practitioner, you need to be looking at articles, current research, the news and be up to date.

One thing you will learn is that a little cynicism goes a long way. It does us no favours to constantly defend poor practice. I read the Daniel Pelka serious case review last night and there were 3 points at the beginning that said the failures came about because: 1.) the social worker/s did not follow procedure 2.) the school did not report all their concerns re: abuse and 3.) the police had visited Daniel's home around 25 times for domestic violence incidents where all adults in the house were intoxicated but not every incident was reported to SS. It's not ok for social work to sit back and say that the blame lies with the fact that the systemic approach failed and that there was no joined up working. While, it is true, we must not ignore that procedure was not followed by the SWers and this led to Daniel's tragic and preventable death. We need to stop saying that lessons will be learned and actually bloody learn something!

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 17:22:07

how am I 'bright-eyed'

I have asked a pretty simply question 'what do people think a social worker is'

Its not because I have a definitive answer its because I truly want to know what people's experiences are.

The fact is that a social work who is untrained is not a social worker. Just like a nurse who is untrained is not a nurse or a doctor who is untrained is not a doctor.

aintnothinbutagstring Sat 28-Sep-13 17:22:51

Regulated by who? Whats the name of the professional body? For example, my other half is a pharmacist and is regulated by the GBC, the General Pharmaceutical Council. Whats the social work equivalent?

jasminerose Sat 28-Sep-13 17:23:50

It is firefly78 I manage a team of staff and oversee 50 children of which a large proportion are on the at risk register. I deal with all core group meetings, and have had children taken permanently from the family home due to abuse situations. I get just under 15k a year for it.

Tuon Sat 28-Sep-13 17:25:03

I know two social workers. They are well paid in terms of the money they earn, very underpaid if you understand what a good social worker does and experiences.

I think a good social worker is able to care enough to push for what is needed to help, while at the same time being able to detach in order to see the bigger picture and offer appropriate support.

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 17:26:31

candy I agree with you, I have done nothing but read since i started the course and had access to the library.

One of the girls actually discussed the Daniel Pelka (though she couldnt remember his last name) case on Wednesday, she said 'Oh everyone says the social workers failed him' and I said 'well social workers DID fail him, he died' and she continued to defend bad practice. I have a feeling that i am going to do a lot of biting my tongue this year with that one!

But I totally agree, i want to be a social worker because i feel it is a constantly changing and evolving job role, both policy wise and practice wise. I want to be a part of that for the better.

firefly78 Sat 28-Sep-13 17:26:34

And yes i am a social worker and could cry about the amount of unpaid overtime i do. I stay in the job because i enjoy it and its rewarding but having been qualified for almost nine years and only getting approx £1400 a month for four days a week does not feel well paid.

KFFOREVER Sat 28-Sep-13 17:27:02

No amount of money can compare to the emotional and mental impact sw has on you, especially in children and families. You will have to work late every night and weekend. If its not for one of your cases it is to help your colleauges. You will be so emotionally drained youwill not want to speak or see anyone. Most of all you will feel frustrated. Frustrated that you want to do more to support children but you have no authority. Also you will be frustrated with bureaucracy and lack of time. This is in relation to working in child protection not sure what adults are like.

agent there is a high turnover in sw. However you are right there are some people who stay in their role for many years. IMO some people have better coping mechanisms than others.

jasminerose Sat 28-Sep-13 17:28:17

I get a grand and do up to 50 hours a week. I am responsible for everything, unless delegated out. At least once you are a qualified social worker you are on a pay scale etc.

firefly78 Sat 28-Sep-13 17:29:53

We were regulated by the general social care council now it is i think a body called the hpc who also regulate the nursing profession. We have to pay for this. I have also lost my car user allowance and get a very low mileage rate and in my role i cover an entire county.

TeenAndTween Sat 28-Sep-13 17:30:10

I have come into contact with quite a few social workers in the area of adoption.

- all without question have been very dedicated and have worked to the best interests of the child.
- many are not very organised about paperwork, or good at IT.

I think SWs for child protection have an extremely difficult job. They have to walk a tightrope. An error of judgement one way can leave a child to be neglected or abused. An error of judgement another way can see a child being removed from their birth parents when maybe it is not necessary.
Furthermore birth families can say what they like in the press 'SWs took my child away all because XXXX' and the SWs do not have the right to put their side 'actually not XXXX, but YYY and ZZZZ'.

Adoptive Mum.

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 17:31:45

Social workers are regulated by the GSCC

Or the General Social Care Council

I would say HCA or home carer or domestic carer or residential carer has the same feelings of helplessness on half the wage.

I meant bright-eyed in a good, positive way, the opposite of 'jaded' or dragged down by work and pressure. I was a bright-eyed new teacher once (!)
I find it worrying, as I said. In the same way I find it worrying that schools employ 'cover supervisors' who end up taking regular lessons.
I thought you'd find the info useful, filee.

pianodoodle Sat 28-Sep-13 17:33:20

From the few I know it seems very stressful and a lot of councils seem to impose unreasonable targets that can only be reached by not doing the job thoroughly sad

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 17:33:34

Teen there is certainly a push right now in social work education to improve the critical analysis of social workers and their IT capabilities, it has been noted as being a problem. Obviously social workers who are in the system are more difficult to train differently but there is certainly an aspect of education now that covers the issues you have raised.

We have to do an IT qualification alongside our social work course and critical analysis is absolutely vital. This is because of massive issues that the courts have had with working with reports that are simply not fit for purpose.

firefly78 Sat 28-Sep-13 17:33:59

Jasminerose you get £15k for how many hours a week? I dont know any social worker or support worker who consider themselves to be well paid. It is the emotional impact as well as the bureaucracy , distressing situations and frustration that takes it toll.

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 17:35:40

I apologise for assuming you meant negatively where. I thought 'bright eye'd' was more immature and innocent than unjaded!

I am certainly already quite cynical, in my interview i had to bite my tongue when he said 'why do you want to be a social worker' to stop myself saying 'because i have met some really shit ones'!

I have found everyones experiences useful, by challenging them I am not trying to belittle them, just understand more fully what everyone means.

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 17:36:28

The starting salary for a social worker should be around 24/26k it certainly is round here, 15k seems very, very low.

aintnothinbutagstring Sat 28-Sep-13 17:36:48

I've just googled it, it says regulatory bodies for social workers are HCPC for England, CCW for Wales and SSSC for Scotland, are you somewhere else OP?

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 17:40:01

No I'm in the UK, I just started the course on Monday, I was just reciting what is written in my book, though it might have changed (a number of times) since 2004 ;) I'm sure its the same company with different headed paper...

It was the GSCC but that was absorbed by the HPC which became the HCPC last year.

jasminerose Sat 28-Sep-13 17:41:08

I do at least 40 but up to 50. You have to live for my type of job if you want to do it properly as there are so many social work cases, children with english as a second language, speech and language difficulties, reports on neglect, sexual abuse and physical abuse. Work with professionals such as Sencos, health visitors, social services, the courts, lawyers, family support workers, educational psychologists etc.

I have to write court reports for social services, as well as all paperwork for Ofsted. As well as run the team caring and educating 50 children for up to 50 hours a week.

OodAlpha Sat 28-Sep-13 17:42:02

What do you do now jasmineriose ?

jasminerose Sat 28-Sep-13 17:42:06

I am not a social worker yet but Im a setting manager in a very deprived area in a private capacity.

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 17:43:23

are you stuyding for your degree jasmine?

OodAlpha Sat 28-Sep-13 17:44:12

Starting salary here is 21k. No yearly progression& you need to apply to go on to the next grade which is only if a job is available( so you may change teams/locations etc)

jasminerose Sat 28-Sep-13 17:45:11

I have a 2.1 degree in Early Years. Im am doing my masters degree in Social Work next September.

littlewhitebag Sat 28-Sep-13 17:46:44

I am a SW and have been for around 8/9 years. I work in child protection and i am in no way a work shy do-gooder. I take a great pride in being professional in my job. I work bloody hard on extremely difficult cases. I love my job but it definitely takes its toll emotionally and mentally.

I agree that many SW are not good at paper work; probably because there is too much of it and because good SW would rather be out in the field doing what they do best than sitting in an office.

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 17:48:47

Wow jasmine thats great, all the best to you, sounds like you would be a real asset to any team with education like that.

AgentZigzag Sat 28-Sep-13 17:49:26

'They work short days, take long lunches, nearly always miss reporting deadlines, turn up at meetings ill informed and unprepared and having never completed their actions from previous meetings, they seem to do the bare minimum, and apart from 1 or 2 (out of a group of about 14) are a total waste of taxpayers money.'

How is this allowed (whether it's because they're underfunded or they're incompetent is irrelevant) at the same time as someone saying this...

'You will have to work late every night and weekend. If its not for one of your cases it is to help your colleauges. You will be so emotionally drained youwill not want to speak or see anyone.'

Because of the different areas needs? Or down to individual 'managers' (if that's who they are)?

It's inevitable that quality of care differs, but the things you hear in the media are extreme.

Why aren't more SW's prosecuted? (not saying I want them to be, but they are shielded to a certain extent)

aintnothinbutagstring Sat 28-Sep-13 17:50:45

Is it not necessary to be good at paperwork though, especially as a social worker, given that much of what you do goes to court and liasing with other professionals, not to mention the 'he said, she said' you must get from your clientele (for want of a better word).

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 17:53:02

It is absolutely necessary to be good at paperwork, this is coming up more and more at the moment (from what we went through last week anyway)

BalloonSlayer Sat 28-Sep-13 17:54:36

I think a social worker's role is to try to put in place strategies so that someone who cannot look after themselves properly, and who does not have adequate care available from someone else, is looked after and kept safe.


children with parents whose parenting is poor or who put them at risk
people with mental health problems
the elderly who are living alone a long way from family

My mum is a Learning Disabilities SW. She does an awful lot of driving. To hearings, meetings, training days etc. She gets a 36 minute lunch break. She has 32 cases at the moment and that's not the most she's had by far. We live in a very true blue (tory) area and she basically acts as a buffer between the council-and-their-cuts and the poor families who have to be told their isn't enough money for their relatives care. Some of it is good and she stays because she wants to help people but it's made her ill at times, especially since the cuts (and she's a very very strong woman).

I think the relatives who she deals with often just hear 'sorry, we couldn't get the funding' and take that as her not doing her job properlly but there just isn't any money any more. The targets are insane.

What they don't see is her fighting for clients at hearings and in front of the application pannel who allocate the funding and appealing.

And people wonder why they can come across as scatty and not that organised...

op if you think you'll enjot it then don't worry. There are bits she loves, and some families who appreciate ther work she does. It's just a very tough time and people can be very very very very ignorant hmm

jasminerose Sat 28-Sep-13 17:56:52

Thank you filee77 and good luck in your studies.

^ and her job is basically applying for funding to get these very vulnerable people the care they need. What is shocking is that instead of seeing that this government doesn't give a shit about vulnerable people or their care people just see these SWs who aren't 'doin' their job'. It's sad really.

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 18:07:01

I think that's really it orchard social workers are confined by the society they work for (effectively) and I think a lot of people cast personal blame rather than policy blame.

HaroldLloyd Sat 28-Sep-13 18:16:52

I know a lot of social workers and they work bloody hard, very overworked, huge caseloads, care very much about their jobs, work long hours.

I'm sure like in any profession there are bad eggs but you could say that about anything.

HaroldLloyd Sat 28-Sep-13 18:18:01

But they all love it..

firefly78 Sat 28-Sep-13 18:44:40

To answer the op question a sw role is to help vulnerable members of society. Whether thats the elderly, children, those with a disability, etc.

I assess people to become parents and match them with children. It is an enormous responsibility (although not harrowing like child protection work) and my work load is so high that i struggle to give my clients the time that they need from me.

And in answer to whoever said that homecare assistants have similar worries for half the money i would like to challenge that. Homecare assistants do.not get paid enough, no one in the caring profession does. Just because social workers get double what homecare assistants doesnt mean that either of their salaries are at an acceptable level.

Eskimoo Sat 28-Sep-13 18:46:49

I am a Social Worker and I really take umbridge with the comments that we are well paid..... we have to co ordinate child protection plans which includes making sure that other professionals are fulfilling their roles, we face daily dangerous situations, quite often out of hours and undergo harrowing court cases. Yet when attending the monthly meetings with the other professionals (teachers, health visitors, paediatricians etc), we are largely the lowest paid around the table.

You dont go into this for the money - as somebody else has said, its a way of life.

Good luck with your studies - the profession is crying out for bright people who are not afraid to question.

PeriodFeatures Sat 28-Sep-13 18:47:46

The starting salary for a social worker should be around 24/26k it certainly is round here

After a year or two in frontline child protection work that would seem like chicken feed. Sitting up until midnight finishing off court reports, ever increasing case loads, abuse......?

However, to answer your question, the role of a good social worker is to:

provide effective interventions which protect the most vulnerable members of society from harm whilst exercising a commitment and adherence to individual human rights.

To actually fully grasp that ^^ and exercise it in practice requires a lot of training and a value base which often makes Social Work a vocation rather than a career option.

Social workers don't get enough respect. Some of them don't help, the heavy bureaucratic environment doesn't help.

Good luck with the course OP. I have met a lot of terribly naive student social workers who have spent some time sitting at home watching jeremy kyle and think they could do a better job.

The generally DONT get jobs.

I have also met some fantastic student social workers.

The tip i will give you is be VERY clear about your professional boundaries. Get a good understanding of anti discriminatory practice, (alot of people don't) and start developing your own practice portfolio. All social workers will have approaches that suit them and approaches that don't. You will need to 'collect' the approaches and theories that work for you and develop them. Be very honest about what you find difficult and when you feel things don't go well, talk to your supervisors. Be reflective and analytical and be honest when things go badly. Social Workers CAN inadvertently cause harm by saying or doing the wrong thing. Always admit to your service users when you have made a mistake,, YOU WILL!! Say sorry when you need to and keep people informed. Your first and foremost responsibility is to your service user. It is VERY difficult to keep that in mind when managers are on your case and dictating other priorities. Good Luck! Don't be naive. It's a fcuking hard job, it's shit, people will hate you. Keep your values clear and usee support networks.

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 18:48:24

That's arguable firefly but the fact is, to retrain in the same area, the choices are social worker or nurse and social workers get paid far far better.

GrasshopperNchipmunk Sat 28-Sep-13 18:50:12

It might be well paid if social workers actually stuck to the 36/37 hours a week they are paid for... Instead of the 50/60 hour week I know most CP social workers work!

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 18:50:44

There are a few on the course now who I can't see wualify

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 18:51:41

* qualifying, they have a very immature and 'jovial' approach to social work and I do find myself biting my tongue a lot.

PeriodFeatures Sat 28-Sep-13 18:52:08

Just to add, it's the theories and models which you learn to apply which can go towards protecting you from errors and burn out. Wing it at your peril.
Developing your practice this way is largely your own personal responsibility.

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 18:52:48

I could easily work 70 hours a week as a hca and not get close to 26k.

Lots of people work for not a lot of money at the moment, it's not just restricted to social workers.

firefly78 Sat 28-Sep-13 18:55:31

Agree a lot of people work a lot of hours for crap money. But we arent talking about those professions. I have had pay freezes for three years including my car user allowance being taken away so my money has gone down.

jasminerose Sat 28-Sep-13 18:55:38

Eskimo - We are always the lowest paid at the table. The ones building relationships and dealing with the children for 51 weeks a year. You honestly are on an amazing wage in comparison.

PeriodFeatures Sat 28-Sep-13 19:01:28

they have a very immature and 'jovial' approach to social work and I do find myself biting my tongue a lot

I'd reserve judgement if i were you op. You might be very surprised at who qualifies and who doesn't!

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 19:06:50

It's hard not to make a judgment when rather than continuing with the important and serious conversation in class we are constantly interrupted by the same people who love the sound of their own voice and have no filter on the crap they come out with!

I don't feel bad for judging, I think it's perfectly normal given the circumstances.

PeriodFeatures Sat 28-Sep-13 19:10:49

Yes, there are always a few enthusiastic know it alls aren’t there! If it's a good University/Course by the end of the year they'll have learned to zip - it. There is no point in getting ranty just view it as an exercise in learning to deal with different personalities in teams.

Have you just started your course?

Parsnipcake Sat 28-Sep-13 19:11:22

I am a foster carer and work with child protection and adoption SWs on a daily basis. I find they fall into 2 groups - those who are child centred, passionate and creative, who ate generally rubbish at paperwork and deadlines. , and the others, who see children as case numbers and are good at box ticking. Both types can be frustrating to work with, and sadly, the outcomes for children are often totally unrelated to social worker action - there are so few resources now, it is difficult to do much intervention work. However, while I am often critical of the SWs I work with ( generally on an institutional rather than individual basis), I admire them deeply for having to make the decisions I really wouldn't want to, and for having to take responsibility for those decisions.

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 19:22:46

I just started last Monday yes.

They do irritate me, I would rather just get on with my work than listen to loud, bulshy girls who have very little to add.

I am throughly enjoying the study, have read lots since I started and got access to the library and it's already been fascinating.

We don't start placements until the second year so I have a while to find my feet until I have to worry about being unleashed upon the world!

candycoatedwaterdrops Sat 28-Sep-13 19:35:20

We started year 1 with 49 people, we started year 2 with 44 people and have started year 3 with 40 people! I am fortunate enough to be at a very good university and I was the last year who entered before the fee cap was lifted. For each place on the BA, there were 20 applicant, so according to the admissions tutor, we are the 'cream of the crop' but really, some people....! One woman was kicked off for posting derogatory comments about the clients from her placement and posted identifying details. shock

candycoatedwaterdrops Sat 28-Sep-13 19:38:34

file777 I got very irritated with those who whispered and talked the whole way through our lecturers but it taught me a valuable lesson. There will always be people who rub me up the wrong way and I learned to accept people as they are and focus on what needed to be done. Most SW offices are open plan and some people will talk and talk and talk the whole day long, so I saw it as a good skill to be able to block out background noise.

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 19:39:44

Wow that's a big group! There are 15 of us, they started with 12 in the (now) second year and now have 8. Apparently there is quite a high drop out rate because the subjects are quite emotionally difficult.

My biggest worry is that the two loud ones seem to have quite strong views that they are very loud about and sort of jump on people who talk. They also don't really like listening to others points of view.

I think it's going to be a hard year in that respects, there is a lot of debate and it will be testing.

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 19:41:17

They don't whisper, they interrupt the whole class to talk about nothing. We are a small group so we have debates rather than lectures which is fantastic but not when you have someone who loves the sound of their own voice making 'funny' comments rather than just discussing the item at hand! People trying to be 'cool' and 'funny' rather than just learn.

candycoatedwaterdrops Sat 28-Sep-13 19:44:25

Must be tough with such a small group. Do you mind me asking which uni you're at? Also, if you need any advice on books or anything, feel free to message me. smile

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 19:46:17

I'll message you candy

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 19:46:50

Oh I don't think I can! Your name is black and I'm on my phone! If you message me back I can reply?

serin Sat 28-Sep-13 20:25:09

filee, don't be silly, you really don't want to identify yourself on here!

How do you know candy is not one of the loud ones on your course. grin

I think you have some maturing to do.

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 20:32:10

I couldn't give a toss if she was one of the loud ones on my course. I have hardly said anything incriminating have I!

I'm in the first week of the first year of a three year social work degree, anyone in that position would have 'some maturing to do'

Lilka Sat 28-Sep-13 20:32:55

I used to work in a job which involved working with social workers quite frequently, but I don't think it's relevent at this point in time (over 20 years ago!!)

However, I've had many social workers involved with me and my children over the last 18 years since I decided to adopt (mostly adoption and post adoption but a couple of mental health sw's who work with adolescents). I now have 3 children, and since my elder two have/have had quite significant needs, adoping them has meant accepting continued social work involvement all their childhoods.

So I know what the role of child protection, fostering, adoption and post adoption, and some mental health sw's is - but not had much experience with other kinds of sw so don't really know a lot about it.

I've seen a few brilliant social workers - who had compassion, understanding, listened to me, believed me, fought for what my kids really needed, were creative, kept to deadlines and were very knowledgeable about trauma and adoption issues.

Plenty of good ones - who generally did a good or okay job, had a few issues (usually deadlines, communication and doing what they said they were going to do) but overall listened, put the kids first and tried their best.

Some not very good ones
A few terrible ones

The terrible ones, without fail, had preconcieved false ideas or little real knowledge of trauma. So they tended to - blame me for my children's issues, think I could solve my children issues with different parenting, or believe that short term non-intensive interventions were going to make a difference to my kids. They did NOT listen to me. They had their firm (and frankly wrong) views and they were stuck in those views, and therefore anyone (like me) who said anything which didn't tally with those views...well, we were clearly wrong, and should be talked over, patronised, ignored and blamed.

I have been lied to, and had (important) reports and information about my kids pasts hidden from me.

Oh and the terrible ones think they have to be right 100% of the time, and they twist things round to prove themselves right.

I don't think sw's are very well paid for what they have to work with, especially child protection sw's. Threats, constant hostility, sometimes extremely traumatic stories, terrible cirumstances. Definitely a vocation. No sensible person could possibly think that working with such things is a jolly fun job, or won't affect you on some level

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 20:35:19

I really don't think I want to go into child protection, but as I said, I would rather wait a while before making such decisions.

candycoatedwaterdrops Sat 28-Sep-13 20:36:48

I'll message you. We've already established that file is year 1 and I'm year 3, so we've definitely not been in lectures or seminars together. wink

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 20:38:24

Thanks candy

I had gathered from your well written response on here that you aren't in my year but I've never been particularly paranoid!

I'll look forward to your message.

MrsDeVere Sat 28-Sep-13 20:46:36

Social Workers are not regulated by the General Social Care Council.
It doesn't exist anymore ,
Have they not updated your course texts?

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 20:48:06

I'm sure they have, I read that in a book dated 2004 which I've been using to study for my latest essay.

I'm only 3 days into the course, I've not had any course texts yet.

hardboiledpossum Sat 28-Sep-13 20:53:24

I don't think social workers are especially well paid. Most of my friends who work in the private sector are on 35k+ my friends who work in social work, teaching or nursing all earn under 30k. We are all mid 20s and live in London.

FutTheShuckUp Sat 28-Sep-13 20:54:02

OP you come across as a right little know all to be honest. Be careful it's not YOU who ends up rubbing your fellow students up the wrong way.

FutTheShuckUp Sat 28-Sep-13 20:55:23

Just a heads up, literature from longer than five years ago is not considered up to date.

roadwalker Sat 28-Sep-13 20:56:49

social workers are now regulated by the HPC the same body that regulates health care professionals
From what I see in both my professional and personal life social workers now have little hands on time with the persons using their service
They spend time preparing case work or files for court and a lot of the legal stuff

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 20:58:00

Okay then...

How helpful fut thanks SO much for your input.

I really am interested in what people think social workers do, for a variety of reasons. This thread has been very helpful to me, thanks to everyone who has added their thoughts smile

I very much know I have an awful lot to learn in the next three years, if I didn't want to learn, I wouldn't be doing a degree.

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 20:59:31

I'm quite intrigued by the legal stuff. We have to prepare for and do a 3 hour law exam sometime this year.

FutTheShuckUp Sat 28-Sep-13 20:59:43

Just trying to help you out a little to be fair. But clearly you don't need anything of the sort so ermm as you were...

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 21:01:56

No, you weren't trying to 'help me out' because if you were your responses would have at least been polite.

MrsDeVere Sat 28-Sep-13 21:17:08

I would chuck that book out and certainly not use it as reference for any essay.

It is 9 years out of date.

TBH anything not produced in the last 12 months is going to need serious cross checking.

MrsDeVere Sat 28-Sep-13 21:18:46

Sorry that should say 'anything produced in the last 12 months is going to need serious cross checking'

candycoatedwaterdrops Sat 28-Sep-13 21:19:43

Even my books from 6 months ago are out of date because they refer to the National Occupation Standards are we are now assessed against the HCPC standards. I'm not chucking them though!

candycoatedwaterdrops Sat 28-Sep-13 21:20:06

*and we are now assessed....

FutTheShuckUp Sat 28-Sep-13 21:22:01

Maybe she'll listen to you guys....

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 21:25:25

Of course you don't just chuck away books after a few months! They might change the name of things but the concepts and the journey are still valid!

The book I mentioned is an E book available from the university, it is highly recommended and an important resource for us. As I have said, it's the first week of the first year, I am sure changes in policy will be addressed as we carry on. Really no need to worry too much about it.

I'll certainly amend my essay to clarify that the regulatory body has changed though, might get me an extra brownie point ;)

roadwalker Sat 28-Sep-13 21:28:15

To be fair the regulatory body has only just changed, I only knew it was happening because I am regulated by the same body and I am a union steward so its my business to know
Go on-line and have a look at its website there is loads of useful info on there and you will really get brownie points
Good luck with your career choice
You could also consider health care professional- there is more than just nursing

Canthisonebeused Sat 28-Sep-13 21:31:24

Sorry OP starting a thread about this gives off an air of being slightly self absorbed. I find this very egotistical and hopefully after your learning journey over the next three years you may look back at your motives and I hope you would see this as pretty questionable to for a SSW.

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 21:32:24

Well I've sort of taken the plunge now and started the degree, plus am really enjoying it so far and eager to get more stuck in so doubt I will be switching.

Will most certainly have a look at the website, there is so much to read and learn! The first essay was just a taster essay anyway, it will not be marked, just used to help us understand what we need to do differently etc.

Still good idea to make sure I am extra clear on that point. I haven't really talked about the regulatory body, just used a quote to make a different point but as it is there I will clarify. Thanks again all!

MrsDeVere Sat 28-Sep-13 21:32:42

Social Work is based on statues, guidelines, policies, procedures etc.
Any book will make reference to things that Social Workers are required to work within.

Much of this has changed and is still changing.

I don't suggest you chuck out a book written in the last year, I am advising that you cross check any references for changes in government policy.

I would not use a book that is almost a decade old.

They don't just change the name of things. They change the law.

And it is all about The Law. That is what SW are bound by.

Canthisonebeused Sat 28-Sep-13 21:33:16

I may need to hide this thread. Extra browny points hmm please make sure all your learning is relevant to your current professional capabilities and standards of practice.

MrsDeVere Sat 28-Sep-13 21:33:38

It changed in August 2012. AFAIK

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 21:34:00

Sorry, can you please explain to me what is egotistical about asking others views on what social work is?

I really only asked it to get a range of ideas because I thought it would help me in my journey, I don't really understand why it's egotistical?

FutTheShuckUp Sat 28-Sep-13 21:34:22

Just don't reference or over rely on a book from nearly a decade ago. A hell of a lot has changed since 2004 including the government several serious case reviews and health and social care policy

candycoatedwaterdrops Sat 28-Sep-13 21:36:20

MrsD No, I know you weren't. smile SW is an ever changing profession. I've seen massive changes in the 2 years of my degree. Just yesterday, we had a lecture from a SW who's been doing the job for 28 years, she said; "if you hate bureaucracy and constantly changing policies, get out now!" I like that it's a job where you'll always be learning.

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 21:36:21

Of course I am going to reference a book my university has specifically asked me to read!

This thread is very strange...

AnaisHendricks Sat 28-Sep-13 21:37:25
Canthisonebeused Sat 28-Sep-13 21:38:47

Care managers no assess they are not carers they are unqualified social workers who assess and can work towards change, just as a social worker can not enforce change either. That's the job of a judge.

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 21:38:53

I think if you are constantly learning it is harder to get complacent, which is no bad thing.

I worry that all the energy spent renaming things could be better spent on actually streamlining support though.

Canthisonebeused Sat 28-Sep-13 21:39:07

Do assess that should be

FutTheShuckUp Sat 28-Sep-13 21:44:27

Your university has asked you to reference a text that is nearly a decade old and WON'T contain a shit load of relevant policy frameworks and organisations pertinent to the area you are studying? biscuit

hatgirl Sat 28-Sep-13 21:44:56

never mind brownie points... you are a trainee social worker and therefore should know already who your registering body is going to be!

I am a practice assessor for social work students, I would be disappointed if you came to me with the attitude you have currently to criticism... but i'm sure you wouldn't be as abrupt professionally as you are here?

As well as being a practice assessor I am a full time social worker with adults. I'm well paid in terms of my local population.... but i'm not well paid in comparison to the doctors, district nurses, teachers, lecturers, psychologists, specialist LD nurses and all of the various other professionals I come into contact with during and after my working hours.

Books might be a starting point but go out of date very quickly. Journal articles and cross referencing with google and blogs is the way forward. Local Authority social work is changing weekly... your university can't keep up let alone books!

For the record - I KNOW that most of the families work with probably think I am crap and that I don't communicate well and that I can't offer them what they really need. What they don't see and I can't tell them is that on a daily basis I am just firefighting. Kicking my legs just to keep afloat. That yes they may want to know about respite for their relative, but in the same day also I have to deal with people who are being abused, who are suicidal or who are a danger to themselves or others and unfortunately they have to take priority, and will probably have to take priority again tomorrow and the next day. I know you NEED to know about respite but there is a limit to what I can feasibly do during a working day.

Oh, and I was probably that 'bolshy' young trainee social worker on the masters course a few years ago. Funny that I don't see any of my older fellow students who clearly looked down on me still working in the profession now or even qualifying the course for that matter

good luck filee777 with your course, you are at the start of a very long personal and professional journey.

MrsDeVere Sat 28-Sep-13 21:45:02

candy I was doing a Social Work Law course a couple of years back. I got sent reams of amendment to the texts every week. We had to disregard entire pages!

It did my head in and made studying very difficult.

Great chunks of it were redundant weeks after we had finished the section.

Thats what you get for doing social care/policy/law just after a new government is elected hmm

AnaisHendricks Sat 28-Sep-13 21:46:24

"They don't just change the name of things. They change the law.

And it is all about The Law. That is what SW are bound by"


filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 21:50:01

I'm only in the first week of my course, so far we have got our library log in and our course plan.

I really don't think it's a massive drama that we aren't yet completely aware of all the different names for stuff, that's why we are studying! We aren't even out on placement til next February.

Of course books are useful, I am sure any changes in policy and structure will be discussed in lessons (when we start having them)

People seem to be very defeatist. Are you all expecting me to say 'oh well I don't know this and that so I might as well give up and sit in a hole' that's the impression you give which is such a shame.

I have faith in my tutors and my course and I am sure we will be trained well.

I am sorry others don't seem so negative but it's certainly not going to ruin my excitement.

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 21:50:50

*others seem so negative

firefly78 Sat 28-Sep-13 21:52:13

Excellent post hatgirl.

FutTheShuckUp Sat 28-Sep-13 21:52:43

I think it's a big deal someone doesn't know the name of the governing body of the profession they are training in. In fact I think it's shocking. If that makes me negative then so be it.

candycoatedwaterdrops Sat 28-Sep-13 21:56:29

hatgirl You sound like a great practice assessor. My new one seems very quiet, keen for me to ask questions and to be in the lead, which is a change from my last one who liked to lead. I like that I am encouraged to question and think. I spoke to a previous student who had my assessor and said he likes you to think for yourself and not be told what to do. There's something to be said for people who expect to be spoon fed. I am 25 so a youngish mature student but I did enter university and placement with an expectation that I would receive more guidance that I've gotten. I quickly learned that you get out what you put it. wink

FutTheShuckUp Sat 28-Sep-13 21:57:05

sigh you just don't appear to want to listen to anyone do you? People who are giving you the benefit of their experience you just want to rebuff because well actually who cares, you'll wing it. You are really going to have to learn to lose that there chip on our shoulder as over the next few years you will encounter a lot of constructive criticism and people sharing their experience with you. And even when qualified you will receive criticism just due to the field you are going into and the preconceived prejudices people have about social work.

Canthisonebeused Sat 28-Sep-13 21:57:14

Concepts and journeys do change and become invalid very quickly OP

candycoatedwaterdrops Sat 28-Sep-13 21:58:22

Not only is law what SW is bound by but it is the foundation upon which the whole of social work is built - something to always keep in mind, file. smile

Slippydippysoap Sat 28-Sep-13 21:58:30

I'm a second year SW student with 10 years of social care management experience.

You need to know who your governing body is. You need to know what their code of practice is.

Don't start sloppy, this stuff is important and it is not up to your university to spoon feed you.

AnaisHendricks Sat 28-Sep-13 22:01:28

If someone had posted, "I don't have a clue who Michael Gove is because it's only the first week of my Batchelor of Education degree" I'd give them a biscuit as well.

I must also be a very negative person.

Canthisonebeused Sat 28-Sep-13 22:02:30

Can I give some advice OP that will go along way in what you are embarking on, shut up, listen, and stop defending!

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 22:07:33

Ummm, I am not sure whether what I have said has been insulting to someone or if my OP wasn't clear, but all I really wanted to do was discuss people's opinions on social workers as just normal folk in a variety of situations who have come across social workers for whatever reason.

All I am is a caring person who works in the community and who is studying to better myself, I don't think I particularly deserve such animosity. My study is born out of a wish to work with people and help people, nothing more.

I am sorry if people think that is not enough, my tutors seem to disagree and I am sure that over the years I will gain all the information I need from them to be as good a social worker as I can be. I've been feeling positive, working hard and reading the information available to me. I am not 'sloppy' or lazy by any means.

I honestly just wanted people's opinions on their experiences, not to have mine ripped to shreds. It's pointless negativity that I don't need at the start of my course. Thanks for the support those who have answered the question, I won't be replying again.

Canthisonebeused Sat 28-Sep-13 22:12:08

Not offensive just very Nieve I think. In a discussion of such a nature it's ok to have your own ideas ripped to pieces and you'll find that out along the way. My last post wasn't mentioned to be offensive just straight to the point. As a social worker it is the most important personal qualities you can develop. You need to stop and listen and probably never ever defend your position but justify it and learn from it.

AnaisHendricks Sat 28-Sep-13 22:12:44

"I am sure we will be trained well"

You are going to be a professional, which means that it is your responsibility to keep up with policy changes and recent research now and in the future. I would argue that you should have been on top of this from the very moment your chose this career.

Training is what happens when you are operating a checkout.

hatgirl Sat 28-Sep-13 22:14:35

to be fair to the OP I started out just as enthusiastic

I'm still committed the job but every day working in Local Government makes me more angry about the expectations on social workers and about what is happening to society in general (I'm trying really hard to not make this political). The job has changed beyond recognition in the last 5 years. I come home and cry at least weekly out of frustration, stress, anger and sheer impotence in the work I have to do. I haven't had a decent nights sleep in the last 18 months as i'm doing paperwork into the night and I wake at 4.30 - 5am worrying about the day ahead.

I take student social workers on top of everything else I do because their enthusiasm helps remind me why I wanted to be a social worker in the first place. Through being a practice assessor I am all too aware that universities are, by and large, completely out of date in the information they are peddling to students and giving them wholly unrealistic expectations of what is actually achievable in the job now.

filee777 you need to look at the HCPC website, the college of social work site, read the guardian's society pages, look up blogs, read community care, read the daily mail if you have to to get a flavour of what working as a social worker is like.

candycoatedwaterdrops Sat 28-Sep-13 22:23:21

File Books on info about psychodynamic theory, attachment theory, person centred theory, ethics, values and all that sort of thing will never really be out of date and are all good background reading. Then, you read the updated stuff. wink

Souredstones Sat 28-Sep-13 22:26:04

I think social workers are awesome

I think OT's are too

If you work in local government you'll find the two pretty much do similar jobs.

Souredstones Sat 28-Sep-13 22:28:32

I will also say that facillitators (unqualified social workers/OT) do a brilliant job too (identical in fact) for a whole lot less money

Souredstones Sat 28-Sep-13 22:30:19

Ok I've read the first 2 pages properly and can't read the rest for laughing.

OP when you've been on placement come back

AnaisHendricks Sat 28-Sep-13 22:33:22

I would hope that Sir Roy Meadow's theories and shaky grasp on statistics are well out of date, but he was only struck off in 2005.

Mouseranuptheclock Sat 28-Sep-13 22:42:19

Change lives, well that's what 2 great social workers I've had in the past did

onadietcokebreak Sat 28-Sep-13 22:44:38

You've had some great advice.

Dont judge who's going to finish the degree. With respect you don't seem to know how much of a journey you are untaking!

And id be seriously concerned about a nine year old book being core text. Which book is it?

candycoatedwaterdrops Sat 28-Sep-13 22:51:06

Yes, I just noticed you said it's an E-book. That's quite poor, that book you mentioned in your PM has a 2012 version. You should let your university know ASAP. Anyway, theoretically, all the books will be out of date now due to the GSCC being dissolved.

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Sat 28-Sep-13 23:43:05

My personal experience of social workers has been incredibly destructive and damaging for me.

Cruel, incompetent, lying, threatening, ignorant of basic law, libellous, self justifying, defensive, rely on offensive stereotypes, discriminatory, bullying... A few words that dont even begin to cover their 'help' for me.

I have noticed that whenever someone complains they are quickly disregarded as a unreliable witness in some way. Either the good old 'no smoke without fire' adage, or basic lies being told about people to stop anyone listening. Lucky for me my dealings have not been about a child as that's the most used excuse for refusing to hear, accept and implement changes from a bad experience/ complaint.

I've been exposed to the joys of adult social care. Now, even though I don't fit into any of the stereotypes of a 'service user' that hasn't stopped them bringing out all the usual inconpetebce and bullying they usially get away with. Followed by the typical discrediting strategies they usually use.

Among other things, they tried to say I was mentally incompetent, and had severe behavioural problems which meant I was a danger to myself and others! I actually had to provide copies to my gp and consultant as they thought it couldn't be possible these things could be levelled at me, rhought i must have been given someone elses notes by accident. Umfortuneatly not true, it was all nicely weaved in with identifiable details of me. Oh they also said i was terminally ill but wouldnt admit it as i was mental! Err, well my consultant was surprised to learn that i was, and also pointed out the neatness of that statement as i couldnt argue back, as that proved their point!

I wonder how with these awful problems I manage to get by with my first and my high level professional career etc.

When asked for evidence to prove their libellous claims, ss said it was because I am physically disabled that I must also have these (conpletely unrelated) problems.

Yes, I mean it's well known that physical disability causes mental incompetence and behaviour such as biting! Glad we've moved on from Victorian times, or even nazi sentiment.

Biting ffs, irony is that my jaw is fucked and I can't even bite a piece of broccoli let alone try and take a chunk out of a human!

Before anyone scoffs and asks why they'd bother making up anything like this, I have one word to say... Money. I'd be on someone else's budget if they could declare me mentally incompetent. When I took them to task on it, one of them looked so upset as the penny dropped what she had done to me. She'd just been following orders from above and hadn't thought what the implications might be for me personally.

Just one of a multitude of little incompetencies theyve cone up with... It didnt work, but it has had a substantial effect on my physical and emotional well being, having to battle them every step of the way (after the sweet talking strategy of two years led nowhere but abuse and threats from them).

They appear to be baffled as it's completely embedded in their minds that physically disabled people are stupid pathetic scum who must sit quietly in a corner and kiss the hands that throw them a crust of bread. They cannot understand why one of these revolting cripples can dare to ask for their basic human rights, courtesy, basic professionalism, let alone actual competence and skill within their job role.

I'm sure there are good social workers somewhere around, but I have not met one (though one good OH a while back).

I have been disturbed though not surprised to find that my initial complaints were dealt with (eventually, when they actually dealt with them instead of more threats etc), by hanging out to sey the lowest levels of staff. It doesn't take an idiot to see that they were working in an envrironment that rewarded and expected them to behave in this way. having dealt with the head of adult ss, it clear where the problems are coming from.

In my humble opinion the adult ss team in my area is not fit to practise. Although I'd like to think its just one bad team, it doesn't seem probable in the grander scheme of things.

I have to carry on fighting, not just for me but for those people who cannot fight for themselves. As the people that know me in rl say 'if they can do this to you, what the hell are they doing to people less able to help themselves'.

My health however is suffering from trying to deal with this awful situation, and I think ss strategy is to know that eventually I'll be too ill to carry on any longer. Trouble is, they are right.

Preciousbane Sat 28-Sep-13 23:51:57

I have due to past work within local government had many dealings with social services and become friends with social workers. One of my friends lost most of her hair and had a breakdown, she was working in child protection. She did say a very small amount of her colleagues had gone in to the profession for the wrong reasons, not many but that some liked being nosey and feeling power. One of her colleagues went to prison for abusing dc in his caseload, very rare I'm sure but shook their dept to the absolute core and made headlines obviously.

I see it as terribly stressful. Walking in to a filthy home and seeing neglected dc or assessing an older person as being too at risk to live alone anymore and upsetting them because you say they need to go in to a nursing home must be difficult and not something I would want to do.

Especially as mistakes are made, they are in every job but I have never had to worry I will inadvertently cause death or real harm to someone.

I do think the jump from carer to policy enforcer and decision maker will be quite hard.

As to pay, 26k is the average wage or thereabouts in the UK, I know that encompasses NMW up to people on a million plus so skewed but I don't personally think that is a huge wage for the emotional toll of the job. I earned nearly that much just fiddling with numbers in spreadsheets in a warm office with free coffee and biscuits. There were never free biscuits in local government.

FortyDoorsToNowhere Sun 29-Sep-13 00:09:24

Not read the thread ( i normally do) so going to answer from the OP.

I think a SW should be there to help and support a family to keep them together as much as possible, if that fails ensure supervised contact if that fails after all solutions then place the child up for adoption.

I'm a social worker and got into it late on. I had twenty years of private sector experience in various roles/industries prior to this. I feel well qualified to say that every job/industry has a variety of people working within it, some crap, some excellent.

However, being a SW, this is the one job where I despise other people doing the same job who aren't passionate and care. In other jobs/industries it was annoying but didn't have such profound effect of peoples lives.

In answer to your question OP I don't have case load and don't deal face to face with clients. So, SW's have a variety of roles and functions.

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Sun 29-Sep-13 00:12:13

I have to meet a ss in a few weeks, was thinking of starting off by establishing a few ground rules. Does this sound unreasonable to expect?!

1. Please treat me as a human, just like yourself. Respect, politeness, privacy are basics. Threats, rudeness and bullying are inappropriate. I do not have to accept this from you just because I need adult social care. It doesn't make me a lower form of life.

2. Please deal with me according to your legal obligations, and follow correct procedure. Please don't lie to me about procedure and statutory requirements, it will not save you time or money to work in violation of legislation.

3. Please aim to keep records and restrict notes to factual truths. Likewise, I do not have to accept factual errors you / your team have put in official paperwork. I will be checking through and you have a duty of care to correct any factual errors, whether mistakes or otherwise. I keep full and complete records and so 'losing' or bad record keeping on your side cannot be used to defend anything that isn't actually true.

4. Please don't make discriminatory assumptions about physical disability. I am actually 'allowed' a job. I am actually 'allowed' to have a home. I am actually 'allowed' a child (& my child is allowed to have me as their parent). I am fully capable of making decisions, physical disability has no bearing on mental or emotional state.

5. Please listen and take account if my personal situation. Not all disabled people are the same. For example, I don't have a wheelchair as I am too ill to sit up in it, don't assume a wheelchair is the ultimate sign of disability

6. Please do not threaten to take my child off me unless I agree with you. Its illegal, against multiple laws regarding myself but also the rights of my child. Its also incredibly cruel. As a threatening tactic, it also won't work. Ditto trying to declare me incompetent if I don't agree with you. This is also illegal, and cruel.

AgentZigzag Sun 29-Sep-13 01:13:40

I can't see what you did to deserve that roasting filee.

You said early on you'd only just started the course and were excited, I thought you were just after chatting about it and I'm surprised anyone else would think otherwise.

What is it to you how the OP does in the course FukThe?

Her enthusiasm seems to annoy the fuck out of you, why do you want to put a dampener on that? To take her down a peg or two?

I've had only very minor contact with SWs and I've got an opinion on them, the OP can think what she wants.

I know chips when I see them, and I can't see how you've come to the conclusion that the OP's got one on her shoulder.

With what?

zebrafinch Sun 29-Sep-13 06:23:16

I am the mother of a child with complex health needs. My experience with social workers has been very positive. THe Local Authority must have very good recruitment and selection policies or else my family have been very lucky in being allocated two very good professionals one after the other who have made a big difference in keeping my family functioning and going forward under very difficult circumstances.I have been very impressed with how each social worker advocated for my child particularly in meetings with other professionals. They did listen, they kept their focus on my child, they were professional and they deserve every penny they were paid and more!

jasminerose Sun 29-Sep-13 06:48:57

I think some people are being harsh to the op. I have worked with so many abused children, but you have to have the ability to switch off to a certain extent. You cant let it affect your home life,as thats what causes people to breakdown etc.

Its either something you can cope with, or it isnt imo. I care deeply, but if you dont protect yourself then you cant empower others.

jasminerose Sun 29-Sep-13 06:56:24

Preciousbane - It depends on your area however here its rare to be on 26k.

SPBisResisting Sun 29-Sep-13 07:38:20

Lots of cynical world weariness here.
The OP came on excited, to discuss the course she;s doing. Why the slightly malicious "you'll learn" posts?
And of course she'll do long hours, most jobs require them. I'm sure she realises that.

FadBook Sun 29-Sep-13 07:59:49

What a bizarre thread. Way to knock someone down when they are enthusiastic about a new chapter in their life sad

OP good luck with your studies. I hope you got some information from the thread which was useful.

littlewhitebag Sun 29-Sep-13 08:11:31

doublelife Were you thinking of laying out these rules with the SW who visits you? I can tell you as a SW that if i went to visit someone for a first meeting they laid down 'rules' i would not be happy. I treat all my clients with respect and honesty. I sincerely hope you listen to what they have to say first and tailor any responses based on that.

I always tell clients that they know their own children/lives better than i do and that i will listen to everything they have to say and take it into account. I also try to make decisions in partnership with clients and accept that they may challenge me on points. However i have a legal obligation to protect children so will make difficult decisions going against a parents views if it is in the best interests of a child.

I hope you have a positive experience when your SW visits and that you can both work together to get a positive outcome for you.

NotAsTired Sun 29-Sep-13 08:33:22

OP, I wish you luck with your career. I really think its one of those thankless jobs that everyone has opinions on, mostly negative. What does a social worker do? Try to make the best decisions for people for the best outcome for their clients but with limited resources and with heavy workloads. I can't imagine having to live with making the wrong decision.

Altinkum Sun 29-Sep-13 08:36:36

I left social work early last year and I still thought to this date we were regulated by the GSCC I was in the job for 10 year.

In fact I'm not sure many of my friends care that the body has changed, it's not important, in that they are knee deep in the forever changing laws, and red tape, and their now 12% care cut! Nobody really cares about who their body is, they only care if they need them.

She knows now by starting this thread, she also knows now not to use material under 5 years, personally I'd say 2 and even that's a push.

Instead of blaming the student, I'd put the blame of the ones education her, she is after all a first year student in her week at uni. From this thread and she's been very clear in this, she has a lot if learning to do.

I bet nurses who went to nurse didn't know who their body was, or that needles were a one size fits all, bet thy didn't know about technique, butterfly clips, and different size needles etc.... Or how to take someone's heart rate with their patients wrist and their own fingers, simple steps, but much needed to do the job.

One peice of advice is learn the laws, the laws are you're job.

Some people on here are behaving like twats, ignore them and listen to the ones who are trying to help,
Not judge, your lack of knowledge is a given, that's not to criticise, you are after all, only in your first year.

I wish you all the very best.

3xM Sun 29-Sep-13 08:46:05

Thanks for starting this thread OP. I am hoping to start a Masters in SW next year, and I have found it very interesting reading. Good luck in your studies.

FutTheShuckUp Sun 29-Sep-13 08:55:14

I did know who my governing body was actually way before I even went to the access course let alone start at uni. If you think that gives you carte Blanche to call me a twat Altinkum do carry on- says more about you I'm afraid.

FadBook Sun 29-Sep-13 09:05:20

Gold star for you then

<claps hands slowly>

Altinkum Sun 29-Sep-13 09:08:24

I didn't call you a twat!

So you knew you're govering body, so did I, or so I thought, however it's changed last year, social work does that you see, you think you're uptodate, the reality is you aren't, because it is constantly and increasingly forever changing.

In fact I see no mention of your name, I said people on this thread are behaving like twats, now if you beleive you've behaved Inappropriately and in a twattish manner going by what I said in my posts, I think that says more about you than me tbh.

Bless ya!

FavoriteThings Sun 29-Sep-13 09:20:10

Not sure if this is at all relevant to this thread, but according to another thread I have been lurking on, there are a lot of unemployed qualified social workers, which rather surprised me.

Altinkum Sun 29-Sep-13 09:25:13

There are hundreds of unemployed social workers, in all fields, simply there isn't any money to employe

littlewhitebag Sun 29-Sep-13 09:34:46

Why is everyone being so mean on this thread? There really is no need. The OP is an enthusiastic student setting out on her chosen career. Of course she doesn't know things- that is why she is at university - to LEARN things.

Good luck OP. Being a SW is a hard job but very rewarding. Enjoy your time at uni.

Altinkum Sun 29-Sep-13 09:37:04

Everyone? I see only a few that are being mean, all of us are trying to be supportive.

littlewhitebag Sun 29-Sep-13 09:41:34

altinkum Sorry - you are right. It is only a few people who are being mean. The rest are being very supportive. My poor choice of words.

Altinkum Sun 29-Sep-13 09:45:25

I can't say anything little white, after questionin you I then said "all of us are trying to be supportive"


roadwalker Sun 29-Sep-13 09:51:58

I work in the NHS and many of my colleagues lose track of changes
Everyone tires of constant re-structures and political dabbling, Local Authority are the same
It doesn't follow that they are not good at their jobs

SPBisResisting Sun 29-Sep-13 09:53:07

Fut, the OP is on her course to learn. She started this thread to learn, outside of her course. And yet all you're doing is telling her how crap she is. Is there a reason you can't be supportive?

littlewhitebag Sun 29-Sep-13 09:53:33

altinkum No worries. [smile) It is Sunday morning; no time to be fully engaging the brain.

littlewhitebag Sun 29-Sep-13 09:53:55

And i had an emoticon fail grin

FutTheShuckUp Sun 29-Sep-13 09:56:00

I haven't told her she's crap at all talk about projecting. I've said she appears to be a know all type who doesn't seem keen on listening to others but I'm far from the only one either.

SPBisResisting Sun 29-Sep-13 09:58:07

OK I couldm'y be bothered to trawl back and find your actual comments. The impression you've left me with is that you think the OP is crap.
Is there a reason you can't just be supportive?

FutTheShuckUp Sun 29-Sep-13 10:00:07

So accusing without any basis..... Right.
I've been supported and offered advice although it may to be the fluffy aww babes you are amazing type the OP would like and have had a shitty what would you know response. So meh. Basically.

SPBisResisting Sun 29-Sep-13 10:00:10

Actually, hiding this now. I don't need this.
Best of luck OP. You're going to need it with attitudes as shown on this thread. Stay positive - it's a lot healthier than weary cynicism.

MrsBW Sun 29-Sep-13 10:00:17

Biggest trait I think a social worker needs is empathy with other people. Do you think you have that OP?

DoubleLife how odd you feel the need to state all that. Would you be happy if they came to you with a list of ground uses for you to abide by? Are you concerned they are going to remove your child/children?

SPBisResisting Sun 29-Sep-13 10:00:59

Yes. Apologies for summarising (genuine)
It was the fact she didn't know who the governing body was (or did but was out of date). I thought the reaction to that was extreme.

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Sun 29-Sep-13 10:01:12

LittleWhiteBag I wasn't being exactly serious about sending it to them no! I went off on a cathartic dream rant where people could be forewarned / trained to behave in a way that is humane or even slightly kind.

of course I wouldn't send them that list but I wish there was a way of ensuring their behaviour fitted into them.

It's not like I'm asking much is it? Don't threaten, bully or abuse your position. Don't do illegal things and do fulfill your legal obligations. Don't discriminate, make stereotypical and discriminatory assumptions, don't abuse or instill fear to get compliance in order to cover up your own incompetence. Just please give me basic dignity and treat me like I'm a human, not a piece of inconvenient garbage.

This is what the people I've been dealing with need to know though, from my direct experience.

And so yes, I do think social workers should come prepared to be professional, non bullying and work to actually help me.

Im sure as someone who does treat people in a nice and professional way, my 'list' would be shocking and you do appear to have taken offense at it and immediately leapt to the defense of people you've never even met not heard of!

But what if you and members of your team routinely treat people like that? What if this was your normal mode of interaction, and when asked, genuinely cannot see what theyve done that is wrong. And what if there was plentiful evidence to demonstrate that this is the habitual way a team behave?

the fact is that all these things have happened to me on a regular basis. And just as workers on trains / gp waiting rooms etc are allowed to put up posters saying they won't tolerate anti social behaviour, I wish I could do the same! I wonder if you'd still find it offensive if I wrote one in the same manner and tone as those. I suspect you would actually. An interesting thought.

That I feel genuinely terrified of having to meet these people again should speak volumes about their behaviour. That I need to tell people that I won't tolerate abuse should speaks volumes about the non stop joys of the interacting with that team.

The sad truth is though, that I have to tolerate whatever shit they throw at me, and rely on my friends intervening on my behalf. That's what being very physically ill is about. It means you don't have the strength to keep insisting on basic courtesies. It means having to rely on people's good nature, and then not bring able to stop them being cruel, or get them to adhere to even basic procedures they have a statutory obligation to carry out.

I have always treated sw and other staff with politeness, courtesy and respect. This is the world i come from, blth professionally myself, and personally. And in return have been systematically bullied, threatened and ill treated. When I made an official complaint they then started to protect themselves by doing some pretty outrageous things. my legal advisor was really keen to take it forwards as it was such a clear case for her. Unfortuneately I said no as I didn't want to cause trout, I just wanted them to do their jobs. And it would make me iller going through any legal battle.

I obviously touched a neerve with my post, and you don't appear to have read or believed any of it, which seems about usual in my experiences I'm afraid. I know it was a late at night ranty post, with lots of emotion in it, but that's how people feel when systematically treated like, well, like scum.

You may indeed be a wonderful social worker, but why do you find it impossible to believe others have not been? And why write me off as 'disgruntled parent' before even seeing of that label can be stuck on me?

It's also interesting that you have only picked up on this one complaint I'd written amongst many. As I said, it's really easy to slap a 'we're doing it for the children's label on someone than contemplate anything else isn't it?

You seem to be confused about the remit of an adult social worker. Their job doesn't actually involve using the threat of taking my child unless I agree to everything they do or say.

That is illegal on the grounds of discrimination, and is not in the bests interests of the child therefore isn't even in line with the children's act. I know that now, having had legal advice, but I spent a year not daring to say or do anything because I thought they could just walk away with my child.

For example, they refuse to follow their own procedures, and will not finish their assessment nor create a care plan before issuing their hours based on their own internal budget. I ask them to follow correct procedure. They threaten to take my child. They assess me as needing X hrs of care which they then refuse to give. I tell them I need to complain if they won't provide that, they say fine but you'll find for child will be taken away if you keep pushing for that much care. I don't complain. Etc etc etc.

I'm afraid that kind of behaviour is not covered by your rather smooth statement of " i have a legal obligation to protect children so will make difficult decisions going against a parents views if it is in the best interests of a child. "

It's really sad as that's absolutely true, and yet used as a way to make sure parents aren't listened to and are immediately put in the wrong. Even when I'm talking about a completely different part of social services!

I had to insist (to their confision and denials) that they cannot just decide - with no evidence, procedure or remit - that a child is at high risk of neglect. I also said I'd welcome an official investigation as truth speaks for itself. Strangely that never quite happened though.

They decided to continue to use that terminology even though...
A, they are adult sw
B. they've not even met my child
C. . No investigations have ever been done and Ashen child services were contacted, they refused to even get involved as there was no reason for them to!
D. There are absolutely no 'red flags' that the child is being neglected

When asked to justify their statement they said 'it's because I'd you are ill you must be neglecting your child. That's what happens when people are disabled.' I dug deeper, but yes, that's it. I am disabled therefore my child must be neglected.

I wonder if you still believe that the poor dear social worker was just making decisions in the best interests of the child? or in fact in my interests beings as their remit was to provide care for me! They then moved over to the next strategy for silencing an awkward person... Declaring me mentally incompetent. If it wasn't true it would be funny.

I have never had a social worker who has been in the slightest bit professional or wanted to do their job. As i said begore, im sure they exist, but i have yet to meet one.

I approached them as I needed help as a disabled adult. They have absolutely not done that. They have made my life hell from the moment I met them and I'd love to be able to remove their discriminatory and bullying influence from my life. Unfortuneately I need the direct payments they provide. This is the intolerably high price I have to make in order to get the care I need to survive.

To get back to the OPs point. If you don't treat people in the way I've been treated, then you'll make a good social worker! Although if you do alot of the things I've mentioned above, you may fit in better (at least into the team working in my council).

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 10:02:37

Just wanted to say thanks to the people who have answered my original question and also turned this thread around a bit, it felt like I was in some sort of parallel universe last night, getting berated for not a lot and wondering what on earth I had done wrong!

Fundamentally I don't want to lose a sense of why I want to do social work, I want to maintain a balance between the legal grounding of the job and the social realities of it. The best way I feel I can do that, is to not just look at social work as something I understand from up to down, but also so that I remain in contact with those who use the service.

I don't have all the answers,I'm certainly not trying to suggest that I have! I just want to be the best social worker I can be and I really respect other opinions and experiences, not just other social workers.

FutTheShuckUp Sun 29-Sep-13 10:03:22

Well sorry but that's one thing I think is very important if that makes me unsupportive I just don't know. And would certainly be something we'd have been expected to know full well about at interview let alone the start of the course. Not crap but not very enthusiastic about the important points IMHO

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 10:04:13

As I said previously fut if you want to be supportive, it's best off to start by being polite. I haven't found you supportive at all.

FutTheShuckUp Sun 29-Sep-13 10:05:33

Again, you simply don't like the answers I have provided. They WILL help you but you'd rather not listen because its not as fluffy as you like. Up to you.

FutTheShuckUp Sun 29-Sep-13 10:07:31

Like when I mentioned the book being so old. I got a chippy response with a what would you know tone despite the fact I have recently done a degree and am now doing a post grad so know it wouldn't be a good book to reference.

Canthisonebeused Sun 29-Sep-13 10:08:04

I don't find it odd at all that doublelife has stated all that she has, it shows that she wants to maintain an element of control in her encounter with social services. Unfortunately people who come into contact with social workers feel disempowered with the experience. This something that all social workers need to be mindful off and I were coming into contact with a service user who feels the need to set her own ground rules I would be more than happy to explore those with them. I wouldn't be able to honour them all but I would more than happy to explore there own attitude and experiences.

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 10:08:38

No fut you are not making sense. I have asked you for your opinion on social work, not for a cynical dissection of where I am on my career etc.

Your very first post here suggested I was a 'know it all who would probably start upsetting other students' it wasn't helpful or informative, it was just rude.

You haven't said anything helpful or informative since then, you've just been rude and, I am afraid, I am less than receptive to your attitude.

You've certainly taught me a valuable lesson about social work, but with your behaviour, not your words.

MrsBW Sun 29-Sep-13 10:10:17

Gosh Double your experiences sound awful

I've worked with a number of social workers. Two very good ones, 3 or 4 'OK' ones and one awful, judgemental one.

Still doesn't sound as bad as yours

Can you complain?

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 10:10:50

Actually it was MrsDV who conversed about the book, also rather snippily, you just joined in to be rude.

I've said I will amend my essay to cover the point raised and that I'm sure we will go into it when we start lessons. I am unsure really what else it is you require me to do?

MrsBW Sun 29-Sep-13 10:11:18

Oh, and BTW, I'm sure you know this.

Social Workers don't have the power to remove children. Only the courts do.

FutTheShuckUp Sun 29-Sep-13 10:12:09

You came on here slating and judging your fellow students and saying you doubt certain people will qualify. That sounds very know all to me. Sorry. If you don't want to be judged don't judge and you need to be more open minded.

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 10:12:41

double it's awful to read your experiences sad it's exactly the sort of behaviour that does us no favours.

FutTheShuckUp Sun 29-Sep-13 10:14:47

No. No it wasn't. But this doesn't suit your pig headed agenda so quite frankly I can no longer be bothered to converse with you. You need to grow up a little and learn to listen more. But continue covering your ears. One persons enthusiasm is another persons arrogance.

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 10:15:14

MrsB I did know that, I've just done extensive research on what a social worker is but I was really interested to read others opinions rather than put forward my own, mostly because my own is just being formed/changed so it's not necessarily smothering I want to 'own' yet!

Interesting that on this thread there have been 'they do nothing, they do too much' and everything in between on this thread.

Reading people's experiences is important to me. Thanks to everyone for sharing.


MrsDV was not snippy, don't know why you've said that hmm

I also think you're coming over as judgy and know it all as I've noted on your previous posts on MN.

Get used to the rudeness, you'll get plenty of it in your chosen profession.

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 10:17:17

fut I am not sure why you are so interested in my educational development but please be sure that your presence on this thread will not be missed. You have been rude and uncouth, I won't be taking any of your advice for those reasons.

FavoriteThings Sun 29-Sep-13 10:19:19

Fut. I dont know either of you two, but in the interests of peace and harmony, if anyones first post to another person is as yours was, then people tend not to bother to listen anymore, whatever they say, It is human nature.

If you want to be listened to in life, that is not the way to go about it. It is a person choice which they want, to be listened to, or to speak abruptly. Rarely can they have both.

I personally do try not to completely write a person off who does that, as sometimes they can still say valuable things.

littlewhitebag Sun 29-Sep-13 10:21:33

doublelife I am sorry that your experience of SW has not been positive. From your post it wasn't clear that you had already had SW involvement. I read it like this was to be your first ever encounter with SW and was a bit confused as to why you would lay down 'rules' before a first visit.

The reason i spoke of children is because that is the area i work in. I have no experience in adult services so can't comment on their remit.

I know there are SW out there who are not good at their jobs, just like there are bad teachers/doctors/lawyers etc (not definitive list). I see them too in my line of work.

I hope things work out better for you this time.

MrsDeVere Sun 29-Sep-13 10:23:20

filee I did no such thing.
I was trying to be helpful but you clearly have an issue with me. It is a rare thread that we are both on that you don't have a dig.
I usually choose to ignore them.

However I am really not in the mood to put up with your childish point scoring and usual stirring. Its becoming tedious.

You mentioned the wrong governing body and I gave you the correct information.
You were pretty gleeful about this and the brownie points you were anticipating.

You mentioned that your book is almost a decade old and I pointed out that it would be unwise to use this as a reference for your essay.

Several people agreed. If we wanted to be 'snippy' we could have happily let you cite out of date statutes and papers in the knowledge that your essay would probably fail.

But we didn't did we?

But you are an adult and you are absolutely free to continue to assert your right to use whatever material you want. So go ahead and use your book and keep advising people that the GCC is in charge. I am sure if you do it long enough you will eventually become right.

FavoriteThings Sun 29-Sep-13 10:23:32

Mrs Devere has been lovely.

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 10:23:50

little did you do any child placements?

I am hoping we get an idea with placements in various aspects of social work.

FutTheShuckUp Sun 29-Sep-13 10:26:12

Wow I missed calling mrs DV snippy. I don't think you see things like I do OP. I certainly never saw that.

Canthisonebeused Sun 29-Sep-13 10:26:16

I think your education is important, if you are going to start a thread asking what social workers do then the education do social workers is probably the most important thing to consider, especially as many people are expressing their experiences are negative.

Anyway I just types a massive post considering what doublelife posted and I wanted to say OP it is important to be critical of everything you say and do. Read as many serious case reviews as you can manage. Look at what lessons need to be learned. And recognise they are pretty much the same themes over and over again, why aren't we learning. Read up as much of Eileen Munro as you can. Look at not only serious case reviews about children. Look at reports like the Cornwall report the case of David Askew.

My advice earlier still stands it wasn't meant to be spiky but you do need to learn to take critics on the nose and consider what they are telling you.

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 10:27:19

I'd really rather not go back into the nonsense.

MrsD I have no strong feelings about you one way or the other. I thought telling me to 'chuck books out' was a bit snippy and odd.

Issues you have with me on other parts of the forum really shouldn't be valid, if you find it difficult to put them to one side you can always just skim past my threads?

Anyway. I wanted people's opinions on social work, not people's opinions on my course, again, sorry if that was not clear enough by the OP.

littlewhitebag Sun 29-Sep-13 10:29:38

filee I did my second placement in a LA in a family placement team (fostering and adoption). While there i did some assessments for a C&F team. I really loved it. When i left i was handed an application form and told to hand it in when i had qualified, which i did. I got a job there very quickly and have remained working for Children's services since. I now work for a different LA in a specialist child protection team.

My first placement was with a voluntary agency with people with mental health issues. I found it quite difficult to work out exactly what my role was in that setting. In a LA you have the statutory guidance and the legal framework to work within.

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 10:29:46

I think it's quite clear from MrsD's last post that she has some preconception about me which has likely affected her response to me on this and other threads.

Unfortunately amongst the other stuff I have to do, I have no time for 'Internet grudges' I found the response on this thread snippy and odd, expecting me to know things I didn't know and then chastising me for it etc.

Now I know why, at least.

MrsDeVere Sun 29-Sep-13 10:30:58

filee You are extraordinarily passive aggressive.
This is a trait I have noticed in many SW.
Unfortunately they have all been the bad ones.

Good luck with your course.

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 10:32:11

little that's great to hear, how long have you done the job?

We do voluntary placements in the second year, with statutory placements in the third year.

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 10:33:50

MrsD that is a ridiculous post!

You call me passive aggressive and then suggest, passive aggressively, that I am 'one of the bad ones'

Bless ya, have a good day x

Canthisonebeused Sun 29-Sep-13 10:36:06

I think opinions about your course are very valid inorder to form an opinion of what social workers do its quite pertinent to look at the education and knowledge of social workers.

MrsDeVere Sun 29-Sep-13 10:37:25

This is what I said

*filee You are extraordinarily passive aggressive.
This is a trait I have noticed in many SW.
Unfortunately they have all been the bad ones*.

Good luck with your course.

I am happy to C&P again for the benefit of those who dont RTFT.
If someone wants to give me a shout.

Just to avoid those little misunderstandings that crop up so regularly on the threads you inhabit.

FutTheShuckUp Sun 29-Sep-13 10:37:31

Filee I've never noticed you on other threads before. But on this one I happen to agree with mrs DV (about being passive aggressive, not necessarily one of the bad ones)

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 10:39:06

I don't see how there can be valid opinions of a course that started 1 week ago and so far has covered where the toilets are and what our library log-ins are.

I would say, give it some time.

I have definitely got a lot of good information here on from people who have used and worked with social workers.

littlewhitebag Sun 29-Sep-13 10:40:43

filee I have been a SW for around 9 years.

I also think Mrs DV has a point tbh. Things shift and change rapidly in SW. Laws, guidance, statutes, policies etc all change quickly and any reading material referring to this needs to be checked carefully.

In general however many theories still stand even though they are continually developing. It is okay to refer to older texts to get the context for a particular approach but then back it up with current thinking and models.

I would also say that you need to consider how you are going to react when challenged on things as this is a major part of the job.

I wish you well with your studies.

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 10:41:58

MrsD the 'good luck with your course' doesn't stop your response from being passive aggressive!

Anyway, it's irrelevant, I don't even post a great deal on this forum, where are these threads I 'regularly frequent' do you mean the perhaps 2 threads in the past six months where I have DARED to have a different opinion to you?

Again, I have no time for Internet grudges, I am doing a degree, working and I have two young children.

Have a good day.

Preciousbane Sun 29-Sep-13 10:42:26

As mentioned I have worked with and known quite a few SW. They tried to encourage me to train as a SW instead of a paper shuffler though they do have a lot of their own paper shuffling to do.

At the time I was looking for a change in career so I did look in to it.

I looked at SW forums and there were quite a few struggling to find work. There are jobs but I realised that as a mature student with two dc in education and a DH that already earned far more than I ever could as a SW I would need to stay in the same area.

I even went to a couple of open days, most of the people attending were mature and most were women. I reckoned that once qualified they would all be chasing the same local pool of jobs. A lot would have established lives and dc and need to stay in the area, just like me. So it did get me wondering about the chances of employment afterwards. So I guess I wasn't right for the course, well my heart was over ruled by my practical head as usual.

The SW I knew had to be on call on a rota at weekends and over night, they worked in child protection though so assuming it may not be the same in all branches of SW.

Canthisonebeused Sun 29-Sep-13 10:43:36

It's valid because they have so far not appeared to prep their new students with up to date information or ensured they have done this themselves prior to interview, they have so far provided out of date text.

That's a good start in generating a critique and an opinion. The education of social workers is one of the biggest critiques of the profession in pretty much everything you will read and study during your course and through out your career. It's a good basis to start now with the course you are attending.

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 10:47:17

I agree littlemiss and I am sure this is something we will go through in class, I was asked to do an assignment based on the little information that we already had, in order to establish where we needed to develop etc, it's not being marked it's a test essay.

I agree and have always agreed that I have a lot of learning to do.

I'll take your advice on board, thank you

FavoriteThings Sun 29-Sep-13 10:48:17

Oh dear filee777. You took exception to "I would chuck that book out". Oh dear.

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 10:49:43

Yes I did favourites it seemed really over the top! As was the subsequent attack on me for not knowing the correct name!

indyandlara Sun 29-Sep-13 10:52:50

It's worth remembering that those students who seem to you to be bolshy may be those who, in the long run, have enough resilience to survive and do a good job in an underfunded profession. Just as you say your uni felt you were right for the course, they also thought the same of your fellow students. If 1 week of the course is not long enough for you to have been given the basic background to your course, then it is also not long enough for you to write off your fellow students.

FavoriteThings Sun 29-Sep-13 10:57:17

filee. Can I say something.[ I dont think we have met on a thread before so I have no idea of any back history. Also, I have seen Mrs Devere around, but that is about it].
From a casual observer Mrs Devere was being very helpful. That is it. And since you two seem to have some sort of internet history, however brief, she has been generous with her time in trying to help you. That is what it looks like to me, just observing.

The other point I would like to make. You come back with your posts remarkably quickly. In life, sometimes, it is best to sit back and think. Amd sometimes take a few extra moments to think, before pressing the Post Message button. Some times, our first thoughts are not always the right thoughts. Some times they are.
Best of luck in your studies.

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 10:57:52

I haven't 'written them off' I just find them annoying.

It's not up to me if they pass or fail, they just seem a bit lacking in certain things.

littlewhitebag Sun 29-Sep-13 10:59:33

I would also take exception to someone telling me to chuck out a text book. Ideas may be outdated and no longer in use or even valid but they can be used to show what was once thought compared with current thinking. I would never chuck out a text book and I go to library to seek out the crumbly old books so I can cite from the original text.

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 11:00:56

Hi favourites I am afraid I didn't see it like that, similarly I didn't see her last two posts as anything but passive aggressive. I really just wanted to know what people's opinions on social workers in general are, rather than having some sort of dissection of my course, the material or my ability to be a social worker. A lot of people have answered my question which I am grateful for.

I think I would probably have been more responsive to certain things had they been about the subject topic, rather than what I perceived to be a dig at my course or abilities.

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 11:02:17

Thanks littlemiss

I was wondering if I brought up the fact that we do a whole section on Karl Marx would just cause people to go into panic stations ;)

FutTheShuckUp Sun 29-Sep-13 11:07:46

I think you're the only one who did see it like that, and the fact you won't acknowledge that isn't a good start really. The way you perceive what people say is a very important part of your future job role.

Canthisonebeused Sun 29-Sep-13 11:08:23

You seem to be glossing over what you don't want to take on board. I suggests you work n this before your first placement otherwise it will even more uncomfortable than it will already be.

FutTheShuckUp Sun 29-Sep-13 11:09:33

I wouldn't bother cant. She just wants to see what she wants to see.

FutTheShuckUp Sun 29-Sep-13 11:11:33

I can just see it now.
Service user: get out of my house you useless piece of
Filee: no I'm not, what would you know. I didn't ask for your opinions on me....

Canthisonebeused Sun 29-Sep-13 11:16:07

grin though I found my first practice educators far more challenging than any service users I encountered! but do you know she prompted me to learn more about my self and my own mind than any course units or text I had so far used.

AgentZigzag Sun 29-Sep-13 11:20:58

Talk about sticking the boot in FutThe.

Why is it so important to you to drag the OP down?

She doesn't have to agree with you or see it how you think she should.

It's a bit rich you calling her a know it all when you've come across as nothing but.

FutTheShuckUp Sun 29-Sep-13 11:24:25

It's nothing to do with dragging the OP down. She's been nothing but chippy to all but those indulging her on this thread. People like Mrs DV who have a lot of experience in this field and she has just been rude and played the victim.

littlewhitebag Sun 29-Sep-13 11:24:33

filee On the subject of your fellow students. You will come across many different personalities in your class. Some will spout drivel at the drop of a hat, some will turn up late for class and not pay attention, some will be quiet to the point they never say anything. However, you may find that as the course twists and turns and things get hard you will all find a common point and find ways to support each other.

When i did my qualification i was a mature student with small children as were others in my class and initially we stuck together. Others who were pretty much right out of school seemed immature and 'typical' students. Other had very radical views and spoke out constantly. What happened eventually was that we really bonded as a group. The older students like myself could 'mother' the younger ones if they were struggling. The young one took us oldies out to the union and made us dance and have fun. I would say keep an open mind. I loved my group even though we were all so different.

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Sun 29-Sep-13 11:25:33

Filee, yes, this is where the bad name comes from!

In summary id say these things i believe would make you a really good sw:

- law knowledge
- record keeping
- a questioning mind
- analytic skills
- the ability to listen without defensiveness
- and for bonus points, the ability to 'manage upwards' and be persuasive about putting your case.

And then what I'd regard as the basics but are probably the hardest:

- never put your job above the people (ie keeping in with your boss so carry out their instructions to lie)
- always remember that you are dealing with humans, who deserve your politeness and respect, and your competence

LittleWhiteBag I realised I'd split my posts over two as waa getting too long, so without the first the 'rules' wish list would be a bit random. Hadn't realised they'd got split by other posts in between so would have been hard to follow. I've had three years of this awfulness, and if one person walked through my door having learnt my basic 'rules', I would probably kiss them (well, not literally!).

MrsBW may I please borrow one of your better social workers just for a few weeks?! and thanks, yes I do now know sw cannot walk out with my child, but thanks for telling me - I wish I'd told anyone when the threats were at their worst, as I could have been put out of my misery a long time ago.

Thing is, I was too scared and too ashamed of what was happening to dare tell anyone. I thought it was my fault for being too ill and not handling them right, I thought that they could take him away as I was disabled and that I was 'lucky' they were letting me keep him. This is what I was told and I think one of them genuinely believed that disabled people were only allowed to keep their children if ss said so. (rather than being allowed the same rights & respondibilities as a 'normal person'.

I baked them biscuits and gave them presents trying to make them like me so I could keep my baby. It was like I was trapped in a nightmare and all I could do was obey the rules and hope. But they pushed it once too far and I told someone and then found out the truth. Great way of controlling someone though. Worked for over a year.

olidusUrsus Sun 29-Sep-13 11:26:34

A social worker, whatever their field, should have the capacity to attain the situation best for their charges interests quickly, efficiently and with empathy.

I think a starting wage of 26k p.a. is very good looking on paper, especially as a fresh-out-of-uni wage and definitely for a graduate without children or a parter or a mortgage, but personally I don't think the aptitude to be a social worker and I wouldn't enrol when I know I can earn more money doing things I am better at.

You seem to have gotten a bit hung up on the whole regulatory body thing, OP. Can I just say, it doesn't really matter. Yes, you need to know who regulates you, you need to know how the absorption of one body into another changed framework and guidelines, but it's background knowledge.

You should be aware of it and not much more, just as I am aware that my institution is the research department of a larger body but it has no impact on my day to day practice.

I know the book is a sore point by now and no, you shouldn't chuck it. There's probably very good information in there but I wouldn't recommend using it as a reference for your essays nor as a guideline for your practice, when it comes to that.

If you still want to do so and you think the information can still be applied to modern social care, by all means go ahead, but don't be surprised if you are pulled up on it. You should of course cross reference it with modern material but I don't know if that will be enough as the book is so out of date.

I know you said it's core text of your course, do you mean the first print was in 04 and you have a newer edition? That would make more sense.

My advice would be to remember that you are responsible for someone's wellbeing, no matter what field you practice in, so always listen, react appropriately and be empathetic as well as getting the job done.

Anyway, best of luck with the degree smile

Souredstones Sun 29-Sep-13 11:26:54

OP you will need to learn, and learn fast, to drop judgemental attitudes and develop an calm sympathetic listening ear. Arrogance will not endear you to a family under stress.

I wish you well in your studies but please drop the self righteous holier than thou attitude

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 11:27:17

Yes, there are definitely different personalities! The loud ones aren't even the young ones, they are just loud and don't seem to have a great deal to add.

I'm aware that may change and a friend on the course told me when the first assignments start to come back, people tend to pipe down and learn a bit.

I will quietly look forward to that.

littlewhitebag Sun 29-Sep-13 11:27:54

canthisonebeused Me too! My first practice supervisor pulled me up by my bootstraps and made me start to think critically. She was a fearsome woman but i have a lot to thank her for as the way i practice now is due to her persistence and analysis of every little thing i did.

FutTheShuckUp Sun 29-Sep-13 11:28:52

It's a week in as you said yourself and you are sat judging who has nothing to add?
Your arrogance is absurd.

Canthisonebeused Sun 29-Sep-13 11:30:37

Every one willing to talk has something to add OP. Maybe not valued by you but it is something important to add.

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 11:31:44

Thanks for the advice old I am certainly not hung up on regulatory bodies, I am sure we will learn all that in my course and don't see it as some terrible omen that I don't know it right now. Or rather, I didn't know it yesterday.

Honestly, the book, I don't know, it might well be a later edition, I used it to clarify a point in my essay and it mentioned the GSCC, it's not an essay about regulatory bodies and it was a quote being used to clarify something wholly different, so it's not something I went into particularly.

I am sure they will clarify everything in the classes, for all I know they clarify it in the book, I haven't gone back and looked yet.

Canthisonebeused Sun 29-Sep-13 11:34:00

On nee to know it now!!! You need read it off your own back today.

olidusUrsus Sun 29-Sep-13 11:35:04

What essay have you been given to write? Only a week in to your course! That's hardcore (but v. exciting!) What's the topic?

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 11:35:07

soured I already deal with families under stress in my job role and thought I am sure it is very different, I have some experience there.

Definitely a huge learning curve which I will embrace!

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 11:38:33

Before we started the course we were asked to prepare a 1500 word essay on 'what is social work' it's due in on the sixth. I did my best with the limited resources I had and then when the college library opened to us I did some more exploring and honed it down a bit, added lots of references etc.

IME of SW (having a severely disabled child) they're often off on stress - wrong audience for that really.

Having said that I have had 2 excellent social workers (including the current one) who have been in to panels, stood up for ds1 & the rest of us & got things sorted.

Social work assistants in comparison are on the whole hopeless. Not particularly their fault - they just have no power, are not listened to, are not able to use their discretion. They're just sent round to dish out management service decisions.

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 11:38:53

Sorry, seventh.

Lazyjaney Sun 29-Sep-13 11:46:37

A social worker's job is to be the whipping post and take the blame for other peoples gross stupidity, negligence, cruelty, fecklessness etc, so that naice people don't have to get their hands dirty and can crtiticise from their armchairs.

I reckon no one should ever criticize a social worker, teacher, nurse etc until they have done one of those jobs and seen how crappy people can be at first hand.

PeriodFeatures Sun 29-Sep-13 11:48:23

All I am is a caring person who works in the community and who is studying to better myself, I don't think I particularly deserve such animosity. My study is born out of a wish to work with people and help people, nothing more

in the nicest possible way OP i shall say this.

If you are not willing to take on board criticism, are already judging your more vocal classmates as knowing less than you, you are setting yourself up for finding your plaCEment extremely difficult.

you need to

1) approach this learning as an opportunity to iron out your personality - i.e reflect and learn

2) listen to others, even those who annoy you.

I work in a role which enables me to rake sw over hot coals on behalf of SU. Your current 'vibe' would worry me in practice.

Start at the bottom. always assume you know less rather than more.

you have in yr own head put your self in a superior position to yr classmates on day one!!

If you can't see that, you might as well give up now as i guarentee you will rub too many people up the wrong way and wont survive placement.
sw students on placement are frequently viewd as cannon fodder.b get some humility now otherwise you will not be 'bettering yourself' perhaps consider the language you are using there too

PeriodFeatures Sun 29-Sep-13 11:49:33

sorry typos nak

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 11:53:09

I'm not judging them so much as I want them to shut up and let us all learn! I am certainly not the only person in the class to feel that way I can assure you ;)

I embrace the journey, I know it's going to mess with some of my views on life and make me approach and think about things differently, we met the second years last week and they said they all changed dramatically in their first year. I really welcome that change.

I suppose that's one of the reasons I am far more interested in hearing about people's views on social workers they have met than on me or my abilities, because really they are just not there yet, I am just starting out on something that will change me so much and I have no idea what sort of social worker I will be based upon who I am now.

It's going to be a big journey, that's for sure!

Canthisonebeused Sun 29-Sep-13 11:53:57

Why did you have limited resources?

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 11:55:41

Because I didn't have access to the libraries or e study or online journals that I do now.

FavoriteThings Sun 29-Sep-13 11:56:24

filee. I think the point that keeps cropping up in my head is that you may well end up being a social worker to any of the people in your class, people you dont get on with in real life, anyone and everyone, and MrsDeVere for all I know! In short, I presume, that some of the skills you learn will how to be and how to treat nicely, absolutely anyone you come across.
And you will learn I presume that none of your clients and what they say can be dismissed. They have to be talked to nicely and talked through things with and sympathised with etc. Forgive me anyone, if I am being horribly naive.

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 11:57:51

I wouldn't be a social worker for someone in my class, it would cross professional boundaries.

Souredstones Sun 29-Sep-13 12:00:18

You can't snap at people like that!

The point being made was you will encounter all walks of life including people you will not like. You have to remain impartial and professional at all times.

Hopefully you can learn it because it doesn't appear to be a natural skill for you.

Canthisonebeused Sun 29-Sep-13 12:00:26

Metaphorically you could be a social worker for anyone in your class.

FavoriteThings Sun 29-Sep-13 12:01:14

You might be for their grannie, aunt, brother? Perhaps not.
Or the person who you dont get on with eg a neighbour, her sister? Whoever really.

PeriodFeatures Sun 29-Sep-13 12:09:57

Climb down OP. There are no places for high horses in sw!

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 12:13:29

soured I am sorry if you feel I have snapped at you, it has not been my intention to snap at you at all.

Who am I snapping at?

Why am I on a 'high horse'?

I am really quite confused by this thread, surely I have made it clear that I am aware I know nothing?

onadietcokebreak Sun 29-Sep-13 12:17:23

social work and rurality .

Do you not do any placements in yr 1 now? i did 40 days week

Canthisonebeused Sun 29-Sep-13 12:18:33

But you have failed to take any of it on board your defence can't simply be I started this thread to ask what people think a social worker does or to say but I already said I know nothing. You have given off an air that you know more than you actually do, you have been quick to shoot down others on this thread as well as those on your course because their insight agenda or contribution is not valued by your self.

When someone wants to enter into a discussion or debate it's important to not only recognise you know nothing or defend your stance, but to also be open to advice and criticism and debate.

It's not possible to simply ask what you think a social worker does without giving a reasonable response to your ideas, experiences or expectations.

You have not opened your mind and that is not a good position for you to bed in at this point in your career.

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 12:23:11

What haven't I taken on board? I've changed my essay and reiterated that I don't know anything right now and am looking forward to learning, that I expect to change dramatically over the next three years.

I have continued to express that my wish is to hear other people's views and experiences because I think it's valuable that I keep in touch with that. This thread is not about a dissection of me, that would be pointless, none of you know me.

I agree any input into a debate is valid but when there is a debate going on and someone continually shouts about how much they feel chocolate would aid their learning and other such pointless crap, it's hard not to feel they have really nothing relevant to add!

There are judgements going on here but they aren't from me. I am fully aware I am starting at the bottom (as I've said a number of times now) and just wanted to hear about people's experiences so that I could learn both what people thought a social worker was and, conversely, what they should be.

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 12:24:09

No one there are no more year 1 placements.

Souredstones Sun 29-Sep-13 12:28:23

You didn't snap at me. But you did at someone else with your 'but I won't be a sw to my uni friends' comment.

Slow down



Then respond

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 12:30:05

I can't see how you read that as snapping, there was nothing negative in it, it's words on a screen, you read it how you want to I suppose.

candycoatedwaterdrops Sun 29-Sep-13 12:30:08

"*You seem to have gotten a bit hung up on the whole regulatory body thing, OP. Can I just say, it doesn't really matter. Yes, you need to know who regulates you, you need to know how the absorption of one body into another changed framework and guidelines, but it's background knowledge.*

*You should be aware of it and not much more, just as I am aware that my institution is the research department of a larger body but it has no impact on my day to day practice.*"

I respectfully disagree with this. I can't speak for other professionals but for SW, it is crucial to know the HCPC Standards of Proficiency inside out. (Incidentally, I just looked and they were published on 25th June 2013.) OP will be assessed against these on placement and they will form a large part of any exam work and/or coursework. She will fail her academic course and placements without an in-depth knowledge of these standards. Just a little heads up, file - read them, read them, read them!

candycoatedwaterdrops Sun 29-Sep-13 12:31:12

Bold fail! blush

You seem to have gotten a bit hung up on the whole regulatory body thing, OP. Can I just say, it doesn't really matter. Yes, you need to know who regulates you, you need to know how the absorption of one body into another changed framework and guidelines, but it's background knowledge. You should be aware of it and not much more, just as I am aware that my institution is the research department of a larger body but it has no impact on my day to day practice.

I respectfully disagree with this. I can't speak for other professionals but for SW, it is crucial to know the HCPC Standards of Proficiency inside out. (Incidentally, I just looked and they were published on 25th June 2013.) OP will be assessed against these on placement and they will form a large part of any exam work and/or coursework. She will fail her academic course and placements without an in-depth knowledge of these standards. Just a little heads up, file - read them, read them, read them!

There are 'unqualified social workers' doing the same job as sws. I was one for 8 years. I held a caseload of looked after children, held lac reviews, wrote assessments and did exactly the same things that a SW in my team would do. No reduced or easier caseload. Plenty of local authorities do this.
I also disagree that £26k is well paid. Social work is highly skilled and extremely responsible. It is extremely hard work and deserves a much higher salary. £26k is a lot compared to a care worker but the jobs are incomparable so the salaries are also incomparable.

onadietcokebreak Sun 29-Sep-13 12:32:31

so how many days at uni do you do in yr1, 2 and 3.

how many days placement in year 2 and 3?

FavoriteThings Sun 29-Sep-13 12:33:49

fwiw, I didnt think it was snapping or took it as snapping. smile

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 12:34:15

We do 3 days a week, 100 days placement in yr2 and I think it's 200(?) in year 3

onadietcokebreak Sun 29-Sep-13 12:34:25

so how many days at uni do you do in yr1, 2 and 3.

how many days placement in year 2 and 3?

PrincessFlirtyPants Sun 29-Sep-13 12:40:29

I don't think £26k is a very high salary for the level of responsibility a SW has.

My belief is that social workers are there to help people who could be deemed to be 'at risk' or 'vulnerable'.

I think it's admirable career to embark on.

Good luck on your journey, OP. There is a lot to learn, I'm sure. smile

Fillee - as well as experiencing social workers in RL through having a severely disabled child I also worked in academia with them. I mentioned above I had a couple of good ones, but as an aside my default position to dealing with social services is to tell then I will hold them personally & departmentally responsible for anything that goes wrong (which might tell you what you need to know about my experiences with then).

In my research work I spent some time talking to SW who teach student SW's. You mentioned above that you 'want to help people' (or something like that). The tutor I spoke to said students always say that and her reply is 'well get out of social work & go & work for a charity then'. Yes sometimes SW's help people (our 2 good ones helped us), but a lot of SW is not about helping people at all. And in the cases where you are meant to be helping the system may make that very hard.

olidusUrsus Sun 29-Sep-13 12:41:26

Yy candy of course.

But surely it's not any help to be up to date on regulations of old, dissolved bodies? Not in your first week, anyway.

Canthisonebeused Sun 29-Sep-13 12:41:39

100 days placement y1 and 100 days placement y2, that is a legal requirement.

Some masters students have this broken down slightly differently but it's going towards a standard 100 each year.

Yy what candy says the proficiency needs to evidenced throughout other wise no progression through fitness to practice.

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 12:43:02

Funding has been removed this year for first year placements. They don't exist anymore.

FutTheShuckUp Sun 29-Sep-13 12:44:37

Candy means the current ones

Oh and it was actually a SW who gave me the best advise about getting the help we need from SS. He said 'you have to remember SS is mainly a protection agency, they are supposedly there to help support you with your disabled child, but actually they don't really give a shit how easy or difficult your life is. They just want to know whether you with bash your child. So you have to make it clear to them that you are reaching the end of your tether'.

I think he had a point. When ds1 was assessed the forms & terminology used to assess the support he/we needed with his disability was exactly the same as the ones used with children at risk. Very different reasons for needing SS support. The same set of tick boxes.

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 12:46:04

That's very interesting saintly

Canthisonebeused Sun 29-Sep-13 12:47:55

I ment placement 1 and placement 2 100 days each. Those are in y2 and y3. Sorry

Canthisonebeused Sun 29-Sep-13 12:49:57

He standards from the HCPC and the proficiency from TCSW also include pre entry requisites. Therefore there is an expectation that those entering or considering entry do have a knowledge of the regulatory body.m

olidusUrsus Sun 29-Sep-13 12:50:04

Then I agree candy. Cheers Fut for clarifying, brain is mush. Not sure how to explain myself now because mush brain has forgotten what I was trying to say in the first place.

I'll try to summarise: certainly in your first week of your degree - it doesn't matter if you know the names or acronyms of defunct regulatory bodies.

There. I think wink

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 12:50:13

There used to be a 40 day placement in the first year but not anymore. There also used to be a bursary.

How absurd to rag on the OP for not knowing about the hcpc. I only found that out during my first term at university and she has barely started.

I think this thread exemplifies many of the issues in social work now. People are so jaded and fed up of attacks on their profession, role and integrity that they feel impatient or frustrated with people who are going into social work but don't have a proper knowledge of what it's about. Of course first year BA students don't know what social work is about - but they will find out. Sadly some will make many fuck ups while finding that out.
No offence meant to the OP but I see this as a problem with BA courses. I think there should be a greater requirement to have experience in social care before applying, the way there is for MA courses. I think that trying to fit that knowledge in during your 3 year training is unrealistic.

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 12:51:54

I absolutely agree old

That is exactly what I said in previous pages.

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 12:53:08

Thanks ehric!

olidusUrsus Sun 29-Sep-13 13:09:04


I think SWs take a lot of shit, filee. I think it's a bit unfair to tarnish them all with "they don't give a shit" though, because there's people who don't give a shit in every job.

But as a service user dealing with a shit SW, it just feels more personal because they're meant to be responsible for helping you in a time of vulnerability or crisis. I think even a saint would be branded a total waste of space by their charge if that charge was having a truly terrible time - because a SW can, in a single person, represent everything that's gone wrong.

But ultimately you are there to help, and I'm sure the majority of service users know this. And I'm sure you will do brilliantly on your course.

PeriodFeatures Sun 29-Sep-13 13:09:19

Why am I on a 'high horse'?

I think your attitude towards your more vocal classmates has narked me.

You assume that some of them won't pass the course, assume that they know nothing, and discuss them with other class mates because 'they are annoying you all by dominating the lectures'

I haven't got time to go back over all your posts and copy and paste everything you have said but it alludes to that ^^ and that you think you are better than them.

You would be very wise to avoid getting into cliques, discussing other people and making judgements on others. This can breed the kind of attitude that is really not compatible with quality social work practice.

If there are people who rub people up the wrong way they will quietly alienate themselves through there own behaviour.

If you can't see that you are looking down on other students then there is little hope for you being any good at the job, or even qualifying.

There was a women like you on my course, she and her little gaggle eye rolled their way through lectures and criticised others. She presented well otherwise, and was the course rep. Sadly she didnt make it past first placement.


filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 13:20:06

Wow period that is a whole lot of assumptions you have made about me.

I have not 'rolled my eyes' at anyone, nor have I assumed people won't pass, I have said there is a high drop out rate and that I think some people will be quieter when the first essay results coming rolling in.

Yes, when i am in a lecture, talking about something relevant and important, i would rather listen to people who have something to say than those who blindly defend social work or simply shout the loudest whilst saying not a lot (for example shouting out 'I really think we all need chocolate in every lecture' when the tutor is asking us what we feel we can get from them)

I feel that way, I'm not going to pretend I don't feel that way, Its certainly not going to make me a bad social worker, if anything biting my tongue in the wake of such idiocy will help my development and that is what i will take it as.

I am not on a 'high horse' I am sure everyone in the class has much to add, its just hard for us to add it when one person is making stupid, irrelevant comments because they want to appear 'funny and cool' rather than just commenting on the topic at hand.

Someone posted something on facebook the other day that said 'There is always someone in the office who everyone thinks is a pain in the arse, if there isn't one in your office that person is YOU'

I also haven't been 'bitching' about classmates with other classmates, something came up (unrelated and fairly pointless to go into) which made another classmate contact me and say 'dont worry about them, they will pipe down when the essays come back'

thats all.

So please, dont make random assumptions about me based on nothing at all, ask me to clarify and I will but assuming you know me based upon a few lines on a screen is very silly. I am actually very humbled by the enormity of social work and i know and embrace the change that is going to happen in me. It will be tough, i know it will because of issues i have going on but i will do my very best.

BookFairy Sun 29-Sep-13 13:22:04

This thread is quite interesting and a clear example of how words on a screen can be interpreted every which way. filee I wish you the best in your course.

I work with LAC Social Workers: endless paperwork/record keeping/case noting/supervision/meetings/visits/LAC Reviews. I must be lucky as the SWs I work with all want the best for the children/families on their caseload.

BookFairy Sun 29-Sep-13 13:23:42

Cross post with you there OP! Hide the thread and enjoy your weekend and everything you have ahead smile

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 13:24:22

I think its a really interesting thread too, its been good to hear peoples experiences (good and bad)

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 13:25:11

Thanks book all the best to you x

PeriodFeatures Sun 29-Sep-13 13:26:38

Good Luck Filee

I mustve miss interpreted your posts.

I'm sure you'll be great grin

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 13:34:39

Thanks period all the best x

FavoriteThings Sun 29-Sep-13 13:50:14

From what little I know and have learnt, sometimes it is the system itself that appears to be at fault. Or the law?
So going back to your op, what do people think a social worker's job role is, I would say, part of it is to uphold the law, and dare I say, hopefully question the system if it works against the child or adult that needs some help.
And even more, I agree with whistleblowing. I dont know if that is frowned upon or worse, in social work. [Not sure, op, whether that should be put in your essay or not in your first week. Dont want you kicked off the course].

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 14:08:15

I doubt I would get kicked off the course, they welcome debate smile I have, however, finished my essay and just need to print it tomorrow.

The system is difficult to work with. Being stupid leads to deaths, and in social work, there is no such thing as a 'small mistake' because every action impacts people.

I have a seriously vulnerable sibling who has a social worker, and DD has a social worker for a few reasons too. Both DD and DSis have been supported and helped well and have had their lives change for the better, so from personal experience, I would hug every social worker I met. I know some people with horrendous experiences of social workers. It's a real mix, depending on what areas they work in, and why they choose the job.

Altinkum Sun 29-Sep-13 16:55:31

I cant believe the turn this thread has taken.

filee, MrsDV did not in anyway "attack" you, she simply advised you throw away a book, I will repeat ONE book, not books as you have repeatedly stated, because it wont help you, I bet 75% of the book is outdated, none of it will be useful to todays laws, policies, guidelines etc...

you keep repeting you don't understand this thread, you have 10+ people telling you, advising you, the reality in working in this profession, what its like, their is no textbook that will give you what people are giving you hear, and that's real opinions from those doing the profession for many many years. Listen, Learn and always your a student.

*You don't have a career, your not a professional, and your not a social worker, your simply a first year student learning policies and procedures, and how social care works.*

Even the term social worker is outdated now, its children's services, and children's care workers, so I'm led to believe by my ex colleagues, and I've only been out one year.

your a student, nothing more!!!

indyandlara Sun 29-Sep-13 16:58:55

It's important tho remember that people deal with nerves/ stressful situations in different ways. This kind of behaviour in week one means absolutely nothing. Nor does it mean they are poor students and will have to pipe down when marks of essay one are published. Calling out etc does not mean someone is stupid.

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 17:01:05

*mrsd made it quite clear from her more recent posts that she has some sort of Internet based 'issue' with me based on threads from ages ago.

She told me to 'throw away' a text book and I thought that was snappy and unhelpful.

I know I am a student.

I don't understand why people are being so negative about me personally when what I asked was a pretty simple question aimed at everyone.

I don't think being negative and nasty to someone in the first week of a degree is acceptable really, I think some people perhaps need to have a little wee break from the Internet and remember that they are speaking to real actual people and that they are, in fact, people themselves.

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 17:02:21

I really hope so indy I would really like to continue with reasonable debate without constant irrelevant interruptions.

indyandlara Sun 29-Sep-13 17:06:56

Text books date. That is a fact of life. I think it is really helpful that someone pointed out that a recommended book may actually be incompatible with current practise. It happens across every profession, especially those which have constant governmental updates. While theory may be useful, quoting regulations which have been superseded is not. You will soon learn that many universities are staffed by people who have not been in the field doing the job for a long time. Their knowledge of current developments may actually not be as up date as you imagine.

She suggested that you throw out a book which is not current, not to burn own the whole library. A wee bit perspective OP.

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 17:10:38

indy I have changed my essay to reflect what I have learnt, I have checked the edition of the book we were given, I have most certainly taken things on board.

I do think she was snappy and a bit rude, sorry but I do! She's actually said since then that she 'remembers' me from other threads which is a bit stalker/creepy really, given I don't post all that much.

I think she had every intention of coming across as snappy. As did other members of this thread.

Anyway, it's not relevant to the question I asked, or the essay I wrote.


Even the term social worker is outdated now, its children's services, and children's care workers

Um no. We are definitely still social workers.

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 17:26:03

That's what I was saying in my essay, that 'social worker' is a protected name. I didn't think it had changed!

Altinkum Sun 29-Sep-13 17:31:48

If your interpreting posts, prints like this, then I personally believe you will struggle in social care.

MrsDV GAVE you advice, which is correct!!!, its outdated, it wont help you, I honestly fail to see how you came to the conclusion that this accurate advice was unhelpful and snappy!.

you then blamed MrsDV helpful comment on someone else, first and then decided that the helpful advice was snappy and unhelpful.

Mrs DV pulled you to say that she was being neither, you then posted another comment again, and MrsDV remembered that you've disagreed occasionally in the past, and SHE feels you have a issue with HER!! you disagreed!!!

Many people on here have said numerous times that you were incorrect in your opinions, that MrsDV was being helpful, even those working in this field have said a decade year old book, isn't going to help you, however as I mentioned I blame that on youre educators, however your opinion on MrsDV is wrong!!! she was being helpful and she wasn't being snappy far from it.

you really need to read texts, and not misconstrue what you want to believe from them, you honestly wont get far if you continue to do this, social care is based on facts, and laws, those cant be interpreted as something else, because simply they are facts, and laws!!!

I pulled you on your student status as a few times you've mentioned your career, and on occasion have mention being a professional, you are neither of these yet.

Ive been far from negative to you, these are the simple basics you need for this job, many people on here have been far from negative, only a select few have, however you cant see this, and that worries me.

Out their, in peoples homes (the real life, and stomach punishing of the job) you need to read between the lines, because believe me, the families you visit, will have believe that theirs no food in the cupboards because payday is the next day, that their house is vile, because they need a new kitchen, even tho every bedroom is disgusting, and no one is sleeping on the bare thread bed bugged pissed matresses, and they are infact sleeping on the sofas, even tho the children are covered in bites etc.... these cases are the ones you dream of having, because the rest, when you leave that house, you feel you need to do more, but the bloody red tape stops all that, or if you will next see the child in hospital or dead!!!

oh believe me, you need to read between the lines

you really need to listen, and learn!!! because on this thread you've jumped to a lot of conclusions!!

amawhoisayiam Sun 29-Sep-13 17:32:45

From my experience Social Workers are on a total power trip and you would not believe the lies they tell.
It would make sense if the lies were about child protection but a lot of their lies there is no reason for other than they can.

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 17:35:43

I've never called myself anything other than a student (confused)

I haven't 'blamed' anything on anyone, I've said I took exception to someone telling me to throw away a book because it was older than six months old.

I think you need to take your own advice al the only thing I can constantly reiterated is that the purpose of this thread was to find out others views on social work, not to receive criticism for something I have just started and don't have a comprehensive understanding of yet.

PeriodFeatures Sun 29-Sep-13 17:35:58

I don't think being negative and nasty to someone in the first week of a degree is acceptable really, I think some people perhaps need to have a little wee break from the Internet and remember that they are speaking to real actual people and that they are, in fact, people themselves

You should use the community care forum not AIBU then.

Why are you canvassing mumsnetters on this forum to answer an essay question? seriously? Be interesting to see what you have written. Are you going to reference this thread? you should.

You have taken on board nothing anyone has offered you unless it supports your stance. You are hoping for a career in one of the most challenging occupations there is but you can't deal with being challenged.

Good luck seriously.

I am massively proud of this profession and what it stands for - social justice. how can people who are unable to reflect or be self critical be agents for social change i really dont know.

On a supportive note, i can see why on day two you might not know about the regulating body. no big deal.

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 17:36:45

I've already written my essay, it has nothing to do with this thread!

PeriodFeatures Sun 29-Sep-13 17:37:06

mumsnet has removed this post

^^ sparing them the trouble

amawhoisayiam Sun 29-Sep-13 17:37:23

And I should add I've known families where there was Sw involvement and rightly so as they couldnt cope and there was neglect.
But I've had a couple of dealings with them and they told lies about the daftest things, that they actually went bright red when their lies got proved otherwise.

Altinkum Sun 29-Sep-13 17:38:04

Eric, was speaking to my friend today, she is part of the EDT,, because she was told, that from Monday she cannot say she is a social worker, she has to say she's from children's services, because apparently the term, scares people hmm

I'm out now, so only go by what colleagues say, I came out after my sons accident. Just didn't have the stomach to do it anymore.

Altinkum Sun 29-Sep-13 17:42:06


read you posts...

I'm very early on in my career.... is one...

erm you blamed MrsDV for being unhelpful and snappy, said it a few times actually... when the reality is she was neither...

Do you know what my point is proven.

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 17:42:31

It's sad to hear that social workers are telling lies and cutting corners. Hopefully as time goes on, social workers are trained to a higher and higher standard and such stories will become a thing of the past.

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 17:43:12

You think studying is not part of a career?

Okay then.

PeriodFeatures Sun 29-Sep-13 17:43:25

I've already written my essay, it has nothing to do with this thread!

ok, but its still the wrong place for the thread.

AIBU is for women who are wondering whether they need to be told about themselves. grin

the great thing about it is that a load of people can tell you you are being a twat and you go away and reflect on your twattery and then think..'thank fuck someone told me about myself'

I love it. i have had my own personal twattery addressed twice now blush and have gone off into real life and dealt with my bullshit.

grow up OP, if you cant face a bit of criticism, don’t come on here..sorry.


filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 17:45:35

I posted it in here because it's the part of the forum with the most traffic and because I wanted different opinions on the subject matter.

Had I asked 'am I being unreasonable to study social work' I could understand all this stuff! But I absolutely didn't.

And suggesting that I throw books away and that I've let Mumsnet write my essay is not controversial, it's just ludicrous.

PeriodFeatures Sun 29-Sep-13 17:50:24

My gosh you are infuriatingly stubbon OP!

I guess that will at least help you dig in when the going gets tough. Or you might be a crash and burn type....?

Altinkum Sun 29-Sep-13 17:51:43

so what did you expect, that people not in this profession, were not going to address the subject??? hmm you asked people about social services, evidently people who are in this profession are/were going to comment.

the book issue, is a issue YOU brought up by quoting the past governing body, hence why people rightly telling you to throw away a decade old book, the book may as well be used as fire lighter.

your simply only wanting people to support your views, not those in the real world doing the job!!!

PeriodFeatures Sun 29-Sep-13 17:55:15

actually why not print this thread out and keep it. read it at the beginning of your first placement, and at the end.

I'm serious. You have a huge capacity to filter what you dont want to see. I'm thinking you might need to adjust that filter at some point and sit with the discomfort and do a bit of searching, that's all.

I hope you can build a good relationship with your tutor and PE too. Youll need it.

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 17:55:20

What 'views' did I want people to support? I've not mentioned what I think a social worker is or should do.

I specifically haven't mentioned that because I want other people's views.

gordyslovesheep Sun 29-Sep-13 17:56:48

You will need to relax the attitude to cope with social work - if you take offence at Mrs DV correctly telling you to use up to date information and check facts carefully god help you when a half pissed father tries to lamp you one while calling you a c*nt ...seriously chill out

you got good advice - because of the poster you chose to take umbridge

I am going to bump this thread in 3 years and see what you think then

Education gives you chance to grow and change

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 17:57:21

With respect, I'll leave this thread to disappear, I'm sure I will get a better grip on myself and from the subject matter than the opinions of lots of people on Mumsnet who don't know me.

Once again I thank those who answered the question, was interesting reading.

onadietcokebreak Sun 29-Sep-13 17:58:03

I suggest you do some reflection. Ive found your complete inability to take some valid points concerning.

Im assuming the book was Trevithick btw ?

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 17:59:23

For the very last time, I had issue with someone telling me to throw out a book because it was more than 6 months old, I couldn't care less which poster said it. I have better things to do than have Internet 'issues' with people.

Altinkum Sun 29-Sep-13 17:59:37

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

PeriodFeatures Sun 29-Sep-13 18:03:19

What 'views' did I want people to support?

any that don't challenge you or make you feel uncomfortable...?

You come across as arrogant.

I was like that and it took me learning to listen to and develop respect for those more experienced before my learning had any real use.

i suggest you look around at your tutors and course mates and find a few who you look up to and respect hang on to their every word and learn learn learn.

again. g'luck!

PeriodFeatures Sun 29-Sep-13 18:05:37

With respect, I'll leave this thread to disappear, I'm sure I will get a better grip on myself and from the subject matter than the opinions of lots of people on Mumsnet who don't know me

seroiusly, if you cant deal with the views of mumsnetters there is no hope for you in social work.

Canthisonebeused Sun 29-Sep-13 18:05:41

But you don't really want people's views do you, what you wanted was a self prophesying thread where everyone came and praised you to hills for being such a wonderful person for studying social work.

And before you ask I know that from your responses on here, what you have said and what you have failed to say in your responses.

You continue to fail to recognise such a question will rightfully cast some light on the person asking such a question. And that's what has happened. Not to your liking but that's what happens when you ask questions that contentious, you will come under fire and scrutiny. Personally I like such debate but clearly you don't appear to.

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 18:06:36

I haven't put forward any views. I wanted views on what social workers are, not views on who I am. That's something people who actually meet me can do.

This thread is very strange and I am going to stop defending myself on it to people who, I can only assume, have some sort of hidden agenda.

It was meant to be a topic of general debate, not personal.

filee777 Sun 29-Sep-13 18:08:27

Why is 'what is a social worker' a contentious subject? It's a very individual subject sure, invokes debate, sure. But why does it cast the asker in a bad light?

Anyway. I'm done i think. I am still very excited about the course and looking forward to my learning and development.

Will stop posting now

PeriodFeatures Sun 29-Sep-13 18:08:33

YABU grin

PeriodFeatures Sun 29-Sep-13 18:14:24

Oh go on op, you know you want to post again.

i love these threads where people start an Aibu and are relentless in defending their position! even when all are telling them they are being twATS!

yes, that's my hidden agenda I guess, to get you to relent and say

'you know what I have been a bit of a judgy pants an I also overreacted to mrs DV'

but you wont and i'm going to cook dinner. No result for humanity here folks!

onadietcokebreak Sun 29-Sep-13 18:15:06

You say you wanted a Job where you see your children evenings and weekends.

Interested on hearing sw views on this. My understanding as a third year student is there is alot of work, reports and cpd that you undertake then.

Canthisonebeused Sun 29-Sep-13 18:16:06

I Didn't say it casts you in a bad light, maybe read some more around social work and you will begin to understand why it's such a contentious subject if you haven't already gathered from this thread alone.

And for the record you haven't appeared to say anything in your own defence, you have just repeated the same limited points without considering nor looking deeper into your own and others posts.

candycoatedwaterdrops Sun 29-Sep-13 18:17:00

Filee I know this is only a forum and it is AIBU after all but I would agree with the comment that learning to take criticism is very much needed in this profession and indeed, throughout your whole course. You are going to be criticised in every possible way - from your essays to the fact that you are in someone's home. You need to be able to take it and accept it and learn from it. You are going to get torn to pieces but you'll learn from it but only if you allow yourself to.

Altinkum Sun 29-Sep-13 18:19:36



so Il go back and ask YOU what you think social services role is???

because, social services isn't one "role" its a multitude of roles, so specifically what are are you asking about, or do you want us to do your essay for you.

funny your asking such a question, it was also my first assignment I was given also, I believe if many SW on here think back they will see it was theirs also.

if you cant think for yourself then, you've got no chance!!!

candycoatedwaterdrops Sun 29-Sep-13 18:19:46

From what I've heard, 2nd and 3rd year are the same. 100 days placement broken down as 2 days uni and 3 days placement per week. Last year, I had to write 25,000 words for my coursework and I'll have about the same this year. I had virtually no social life and any free time away from the books, I could be found in my bed. I was fucking exhausted but I loved it mostly.

Canthisonebeused Sun 29-Sep-13 18:22:26

Altinkum my first essay was 'what do you consider to be the attributes of a poor social worker'. I loved it made it far more interesting to write about.

AnaisHendricks Sun 29-Sep-13 18:22:27

A social worker who makes snap judgements, refuses to keep an open mind and consider subsequent facts is a very dangerous person indeed, and likely to bring disrepute on the profession.

You don't want to be one of those, do you?

AnaisHendricks Sun 29-Sep-13 18:23:42

x-posted with Canthis. Did you put anything like that in your essay? grin

onadietcokebreak Sun 29-Sep-13 18:24:25

Our was split 40,60 and 100 in final year. With 3, then 2 and now 1 day at uni.

Im so close to quitting. This thread hasnt helped!

onadietcokebreak Sun 29-Sep-13 18:26:19

ps my first essay was what is social work. What i wrote then and what id write now are completely different .

Altinkum Sun 29-Sep-13 18:27:08

Newcastle uni, I say no more lol.

Mine was shit, I think I done the same boring lines of protecting vulnerable people, helping them see a change is a good thing etc.

I came out with a 2.1 not too bad with someone with dyslexia.

Canthisonebeused Sun 29-Sep-13 18:33:14

Keep going one diet, I think we are about the same way through. I'm pretty overwhelmed this year to be honest. But I'm loving my placement so far only one week in and someone already told me to basically give better consideration to something grin.

candycoatedwaterdrops Sun 29-Sep-13 18:45:03

What year are you in? I'm in my 3rd year and it's hard to believe that in less than a year, I'll be a qualified social worker - out on my own. I feel like I have so much more to learn and I'm quite apprehensive about my statutory placement (I start Tuesday week).

GoshAnneGorilla Sun 29-Sep-13 19:06:16

Goodness me this thread!

I am certain that lots of people are absolutely nothing like they are in real life on here.

You are all making yourselves look very silly trying to make massive assumptions about someone is like based on some internet posts. Especially as a lot of it seems to stem from the O.P disagreeing with a known Mumsnetter and people rushing to defend them.

I'm a nurse, lots of nurses post on here, I'd have no idea who would or wouldn't be a good nurse from their posts on here. I'm pretty sure it's the same with sw's unless they give you special powers during your training.

AnaisHendricks Sun 29-Sep-13 19:16:03

Not just a known poster. A well-respected and knowledgeable poster who works in a similar capacity and has had years of dealing with social workers due to having fostered and adopted.

slapandpickle Sun 29-Sep-13 19:18:10

can I just say after 16 pages - all I wish to add to this thread is that one takes UMBRAGE not UMBRIDGE.

Umbridge is Imelda Staunton in harry potter... keep having confusing thoughts of people popping her in their bike basket and cycling off, etc.

Some people seem to have felt the need to take OP down a peg or two.

I assume none of those people have ever been a bit annoyed when others are disruptive, and have the patience of saints in a non-professional capacity. I bet they go round handing out thank you cards to people with loud headphones on trains as well grin

Canthisonebeused Sun 29-Sep-13 19:19:33

I'm third year as well, I started placement last week. It's not statutory as such but is government body. I'm really going to enjoy it. It's in an area which is not covered enough in our education and is very very pertinent in many service users lives across all sectors, so I think it will really do me well when it comes to evidencing and developing my learning.

I'm not overly concerned about the prospect of qualifying. I'm more concerned about actually reaching what with placement, research project and running a family.

Canthisonebeused Sun 29-Sep-13 19:22:00

My posts have nothing to do with what has gone on between OP and other posters.

AnaisHendricks Sun 29-Sep-13 19:24:02

Neither have mine.

Well, until the last one.

GoshAnneGorilla Sun 29-Sep-13 19:28:24

So? You can still disagree with people. I can't be doing with the "How dare you talk to so and so like that! Don't you know who they are?"

Criticising someone for being rude - fine.

Criticising someone for who they've been rude to - rubbish. Particularly if you wouldn't have said anything otherwise.

MiaowTheCat Sun 29-Sep-13 19:50:21

I'll give you the benefit of the doubt because you're not coming across very well at all in your posts and I'll assume it's because written text can't convey good intentions well.

However - why did you start this thread? Did you HONESTLY start this thread to hear people's opinions and get their advice, take that on board and use it as part of a background bank of knowledge to draw upon to improve your own practice - and even those who hate social services can give you some valuable input as to WHY they do so, which you can then use to help you deal with those who are scared/hostile/suspicious to you when you come across them in your career... or did you start this for a chorus of "oooh you're going to change the world and how fab and caring and knowledgeable you are already" validation?

My brother is finishing his SW training at the moment, and, I have to say, he has an attitude very similar to that you're coming across with in your posts at the moment. He thought he knew it all, and that the training was simply going to rubber stamp it and give him the go-ahead to go into the job (like you - his primary interest is mental health related as well)... he learnt a hard lesson about his reluctance to take on board advice and feedback and thinking he knew it all already when he ended up failing a placement and having to repeat it... and it did boil down to the attitude he'd developed of thinking he knew it all and just needed to chuck a few course textbook references around.

He's also become in real danger of driving a wedge between himself and the rest of the family because he's taken to sitting there and almost interrogating us (that is really what it feels like) about every single aspect of our domestic arrangements. He's on the brink of being told he's no longer welcome in my own house (I've only held off because he adores DD1 and it's mutual) when he sat and decided to quiz me for 30 minutes about why we had her bedtime routine set up how we did (and DD1 is generally a cracking sleeper!)... you could see him mentally running down his course checklist in his head and it felt fucking awful to be on the other end of. I just mention all of this because you're coming across as so similar to him that it's quite scary and I'd like you to prevent the pitfalls that other people have fallen into if I can.

The one thing I'd say, please take on board - as someone who's had to have social services look into her life (as a result of a totally vile malicious allegation, ruled as such very rapidly but we still have the tag of "known to social services" and I feel it hanging over my head every single day of my life) is that you have the power to utterly change someone's life. You can change it for the better or you can destroy it completely - and even if it is, like mine was, a totally false allegation - it stays with you, long after the "no further action, no case to answer" letter's been written, and you feel like you will never ever escape the tag of having been looked at. I had nightmares every night for a year, and I still do occasionally, that SS would come back into our lives and take my kids... it really did ruin my life, and I'll never feel 100% confident that I'm trusted to look after my little girls as a result. No doubt you'll reply to this that it's a necessary evil because of Baby P and the like... fine, all well and good - I just want you to keep in mind that even actions closing a case and ticking it off can have life shattering consequences for those left in the wake of it all - not to do anything differently, but just to understand and possibly empathise a little... and if you come across me years down the line - perhaps you'll see that previous history and understand why I trust none of you and seem incredibly defensive and not just chalk it down to some kind of "negativity" that must be eliminated.

I probably haven't phrased that well and I have to say I doubt it will go in. At least I tried.

Oh and please for the love of all that's holy - proof read letters you send out - the one dealing with us didn't and, well... it's a good job I'm not the complaining sort as it had errors including wrong names in places and all sorts!

AnaisHendricks Sun 29-Sep-13 19:59:00

So sorry to hear of your experiences.

Someone will no doubt be along to say that social workers don't remove children, only the courts have that power.

But the courts look at evidence compiled by SW and when it is given by people as monumentally stupid as this senior social worker for example you do wonder how much of it is accurate.

Altinkum Sun 29-Sep-13 20:08:11


onadietcokebreak Sun 29-Sep-13 20:10:53

Im a third year. Im hoping the placement gives me some motivation and bring my passion back but if Im still feeling this way after 6 weeks in I will withdraw. I don't think its right to stay in such a difficult profession without having your heart 100% in it.

AnaisHendricks Sun 29-Sep-13 20:15:21

Hello Altinkum, hope DS2 is doing well now. I was on his FB / fundraising page for a while.

What is your question?

Canthisonebeused Sun 29-Sep-13 20:17:32

That is terrible Anais, yet another self fulling, self indulgent spew. How can someone brag about such power and plaster it on Facebook, it's very sickening. I bet all her friends indulged her self important view.

Your post meow is very thought provoking, I'm glad you shared it. Thanks

Ledkr Sun 29-Sep-13 20:21:37

I didn't realise we were so hated.
I feel as if I really do my best for people and often really worry about them and go above and beyond.
I've bought shopping for clients on a Saturday with my own money and I've given my own stuff away so their kids can have Xmas presents (spare x box) I even baby sat a Saturday night so a young mum could have a much needed
night with friends.
All my colleagues are really professional and caring.

AnaisHendricks Sun 29-Sep-13 20:23:02

Terribly insensitive to the parents and more importantly awful for the children whose privacy she compromised by leaving her FB page wide open.

Altinkum Sun 29-Sep-13 20:24:34

I do t have one, I didn't read all of miaow post. Sorry

Ds is fab, no more surgery thank god, he's 4 now, and a little shite darling smile

He's physically ok now, he just needs to catch up developmentally.

We added up all his surgeries and appts at his last appointment he's had 28 general anaesthetics and over 50 physical therapy apps and countless hospital check up appointments. He's only just turned 4, amazing isn't it.

AnaisHendricks Sun 29-Sep-13 20:27:46

Really amazing! What a brave lad, and so lucky to have you smile

Altinkum Sun 29-Sep-13 20:29:08

Thank you and I him.

He really is our star.

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Sun 29-Sep-13 20:38:49

Ledkr I'm sure it can feel quite upsetting. I'm not sure what the solution is to that, but competent, skilled and kind social workers should be praised and get positive recognition.

Perhaps if it were clearer that good social workers were leading the profession, it might help. I get the impression (from my own experiences, so only one area of sw, and one council), that incompetence is accepted as the usual standard and abuses of power are not looked on as unacceptable. The immediate stance to any complaint is to defend by attacking, covering backs, mislead, discredit and accusing the person who dares hold them to their statutory duties and expect a professional job done.

As I said, I'm talking from my experience (which I wrote about earlier). In spite of everything that's happened to me I don't hate social workers as a whole, but I am very wary and basically, scared of any interaction as i am still deeply affected by what keeps happening.

If I met a social worker who was kind, professional and competent, I would make sure everyone heard about it as I'd be so grateful and relieved.

hardboiledpossum Sun 29-Sep-13 20:53:14

Bloody hell this thread is horrid. All i can see is that the op didn't know one thing but explained that she had only just started her course and would learn it soon and dozens of posters have jumped on the op and called her names. Nasty behaviour.

BrianTheMole Sun 29-Sep-13 21:15:04

It is a weird thread. I'm not seeing the justification for the name calling here. Particularly as the op is only in the first week of her course confused.
Theres a lot of learning to be done, it never stops really. I found that it was only after finishing the course and actually started work as a social worker, that I actually began to truly understand what social work was all about. The course content and the actual job seemed worlds apart.
Good luck with the course op, its nice being a student as you have the time to stop and reflect on your practice. I have worked in teams where I had over 100 people on my case load. I felt like a hamster on a wheel, no time to stop and reflect in the way I would have liked to. Very exhausting, stressful and dangerous.

gordyslovesheep Sun 29-Sep-13 21:18:49

I think the suggestion to reflect is a really good one - reflective practice is a vital part of SW - it's good to start doing it now you have started training

think about the thread, the responses and what could have been done differently

and work on the chips x

Ledkr, all your colleagues have the same attitude as you? I suppose I'm a bit cynical as my job means I get exposed to many Social Workers in various statutory sectors. A fair percentage of them have not been very good, in my opinion of course.

GoshAnneGorilla Sun 29-Sep-13 21:26:41

Pfft. Chunks of this thread look like a bog standard AIBU kicking with a herd mentality to boot.

However, the posts where people have talked about their personal experiences have been very interesting.

Oh, and as far as that link to the newspaper story, she's an idiot for posting such things on FB but apart from the word "three" there really is nothing identifying.

BrianTheMole Sun 29-Sep-13 21:36:43

Horrific thing to do though flummox. I can't begin to imagine how the parents felt reading that. A final kick in the teeth and completely unnecessary.

AnaisHendricks Sun 29-Sep-13 21:52:06

The entire message string was printed but has been removed, as have the comments.

But it can be read here

She was very pleased that the solicitor complemented the nice nails and shoes that she and her named / linked colleague had. Bit flippant. Then writes, "of (sic) to do the massive grim task" of removing children from their parents where presumably they will have a much better future in care. Because outcomes for LAC are so good.

Ledkr Sun 29-Sep-13 21:54:50

flummoxed I can honestly say they have. It's a team of about 20 and we cover adoption recruitment and support, we have one lazy one but even she is client focussed and caring.
I came from another team where two were awful bastards and I reported them both! Do I know there are bad ones but we have such a good manager in my team that we have no need to be anything but brilliant and dedicated.
We are also not overloaded like some if the child protection teams though which makes a difference

That's great to hear Ledkr, I IME Adoption & Recruitment tend to attract, and be able to pick, good workers, given the nature of the role. You must interact with other teams (LAC, CAFCAS etc.) and workers though, have they all been as good? I have had some poor experiences with those. Less so your field. Also, had not so good experiences with Adults, again not all, but a significant sample.

Canthisonebeused Sun 29-Sep-13 22:41:42

Reading that FB link is enough to leave a bad tast in anyone's mouth.

Ledkr similar team in our area is one of the toughest placements so I hear. It was enough for one person, who admittedly had lots of their own family pressures to end the placement and defere for a year.

Of course that woman was stupid and unprofessional to post that, and completely insensitive and basically a huge idiot. But she didn't actually espouse any view that I find objectionable. Many parents could do with a 'rollocking' from judges, removing children is a grim task and sometimes children are far, far better off in care, outcomes notwithstanding.

facebookaddictno300 Sun 29-Sep-13 23:39:26

A social workers role these days is to signpost to other agencies and not actually do anything - apparently.

AnaisHendricks Sun 29-Sep-13 23:40:31

But that stupid, insensitive, unprofessional idiotic woman, to use your own words, was the one who prepared the evidence that "His Honour Judge" hmm based his decision on. That matters!

Would you want someone who is all these things and semi-literate as well to build a case against you?

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Sun 29-Sep-13 23:49:15

Sorry, only read the OP and first couple of posts as it's long - but I wanted to ask, do you get taught how to explain what a social worker does? Because I had a vague idea of it but even when I came into contact with social workers as a child, they never actually explained what their job was or what they were there to do. I don't know if there was a reason for that or if it was assumed it was obvious?

I think they're there to safeguard people, and to try to coordinate the ways vulnerable people can be looked after. I've come across brilliant ones and also total complacent idiots, but haven't seen enough to have much sense of what is typical, and I'd err on the side of assuming the complacent types were anomalies. I do think it's a common perception, though, and I wonder why.

wewillmendit Mon 30-Sep-13 00:06:39

filee, I haven't read the whole thread, but get the gist.
As a social work student, you are in a position to shape your future career to some extent by considering carefully your placements.
I am a social worker in an adults team. I am lucky enough to work with a diverse group of clients. Yes, my caseload is high, but my priority is the safety of my clients.

filee, if I can help you anymore then please do PM me.

Twinkleandbunty Mon 30-Sep-13 00:24:23

Having worked along side many SWs both in social care and in hospitals (I'm an OT) I agree that as with all professions there are excellent, good, bad and indifferent.

I have known a SW clean the house of an elderly lady by herself over a weekend so that she could be discharged home safely.

My best friend is a hospital SW working with vulnerable adults, and although she is usually exhausted, challenged and occasionally horrified by what she deals with every day, she still does a fantastic job under increasingly difficult circumstances.

OP, I have read this thread with interest, and initially thought some posters were being a bit hard on you, but please reflect on what has been said.
Defensiveness and a lack of self-awareness will not help and may make your placements very difficult.
However, you are very tenacious and as another poster said, that could also stand you in good stead!

Good luck with your studies.

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 30-Sep-13 00:31:52

I think that a SW's job is to ensure that those in their caseload have what the government deem to be necessary for survival.

It was the only degree I felt drawn to as a school leaver. And it would be my nightmare job. I'm so glad my family put me off doing it.

Katrose Sun 27-Apr-14 10:16:49

Filee- have you changed your mind about social work since starting this thread? I'm curious smile

OurMiracle1106 Sun 27-Apr-14 10:21:25

To put their clients best interests forward and get them whatever help or support they need or is needed for those around them.
They can do this is a variety of ways. By doing assessments of needs, providing visits to support and check on progress and referring or signposting to other services in the area and helping them access them if needed. They can also go to court with/on the persons behalf.

MarieSchrader Sun 27-Apr-14 10:28:24

Zombie thread. Filee has name changed.

MarieSchrader Sun 27-Apr-14 10:35:35

Pressed post too soon. N/C or left.

Swanlake123 Sun 27-Apr-14 11:28:01

My DH has worked within this industry for many many years, starting off as a support worker, pastoral care, family and child liaison and is now an educational pyschologist. He has dealt with social workers on many different levels and in different situations and different companies/institutions and his generalised opinion is that they are all useless and let everyone down, not only who they are working alongside but more importantly the people they are supposed to be helping

ginorwine Sun 27-Apr-14 12:31:57

I love make up and the fallen: I am a sw - I am in no way work shy. I work ten to 12 additional hours per week in my own time to get the best outcome for people and regularly go into work on Sunday evening to catch up onpaperwork which is essential to keep care in situ.i read in my own time
Re legal stuff I must is that work shy?
I also treat each person as well as if they were my own family.

ginorwine Sun 27-Apr-14 12:37:31

Facebook yes we do sign post the moresime tasks - this is because we are instructed to do statutory work .this tends to e the more comes work often with attention to national and legal frameworks .we do of make these decisions - we act on I struction from politicians and council leaders - it is not our choosing

drudgetrudy Sun 27-Apr-14 17:23:46

This is a really weird thread. Someone asks what people think is the role of a Social Worker and all this ensues!
I worked as a Social Worker from 1975 until last year, initially in several different settings and then for a very long period in Child and Adolescent Mental Health. Obviously there were multiple changes over that period and Social Workers work in a variety of settings but there is a common basis to the role. Basically Social Workers are there to support and protect the most vulnerable in society. They work with individuals, families and other agencies (police, schools, health services,etc etc) to help achieve. >
the best possible quality of life for their clients.
They have legal duties to ensure that basic minimum standard of care are upheld and , if this can't be achieved through co-operation they can invoke legal powers eg Mental Health Act, bringing Child protection cases to court etc. They are advised on this by local authority solicitors and these decisions are usually taken when they have convened multi-discipinary case conferences and have opinion and evidence from doctors, nurses, teachers , police health visitors and others.
My last role was in a multi-disciplinary team.
I have met wonderful committed hard working social workers. I have also met arrogant power-crazed social workers. I have met a few lazy social workers. BUT same can be said for the community psychiatric nurses whose role was very similar, some dedicated and wonderful, some prejudiced fools. Even the consultant psychiatrists, one a dedicated man worthy of sainthood, one an arrogant fool who I privately hold responsible for at least two tragic outcomes if not more. (My own opinions obviously).
It does seem to be the social workers who get most flack.
Re salary. Yes Social Workers start off on better pay than nurses but by the time the nurses are CPNs , health visitors etc working in the community they are often paid more than the social workers (given that neither have management role).
My role changed from working as a LA social worker to working for the NHS, my salary increased and my responsibilty was reduced.
Re governing body-what a fuss about nothing-I remembered who they were every three years when I paid for the privilege of re-registering. I would have remembered pdq if someone had reported me to them. Otherwise I was more concerned with keeping up with research and legal changes that would benefit clients.
Some days I got a decent lunch break with colleagues, some days I hadn't got time to pee as I was dealing with three urgent situations and three sets of crying, angry distressed people ( one serious attempted suicide, one disclosure of serious abuse and one parent who had made a suicide pact with her teenager and barricaded them both in the house for example). not much time for Costa coffee on a day like that.
Personally I think child protection should be a separate profession with extremely rigorous entry requirements on a parr with medicine and much more rigorous training. Off the soap box now- could write a book. The young know-all types on the course will soon either leave or settle down. A few will persevere and become the worst type of opinionated ,ill-informed social worker

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