Fed up!(14 Posts)
I'm truly not given to online forum rants but for goodness sake I'm so sick and tired of constantly fighting with incompetent social workers in an attempt to get anything done. I know they're not all bad (it's just feels like that most of the time) but what is it with these people and their inability to meet deadlines, communicate or do a half decent job?
We all know how hard it is to be a good foster parent but when I started this I had no idea the level of incompetence I would be dealing with when trying to 'work' with social services. I'm sorry but many of these workers wouldn't last 5 minutes working in any other job, the things they get away with is unbelievable.
I know their jobs are hard, I know they are underfunded but many I deal with just don't give a damn and in my opinion if you feel like that you should get out.
I do get you Cazzmags as we have made some interesting observations of our own:
1. Social Workers see the child for 1 hour once per month. F/children know who really hold the power and are absolute angels, or at least just naughty enough to delight the SW that the fosterkids are exercising their choices to be amusingly outspoken. We cannot get the SW to take us seriously about any difficult behaviour we see as the child is always presenting as happy to see the SW and engages well. Boxes ticked. Happy SW who digs no deeper.
2. Any behaviour we ask for help or advice with (and the child arrived with) is laid at the fostercarers door and we get the blame (like we caused it!) SW asks child if they wash and clean their teeth and the foster child smiles like an angel and says "of course I do" even though the flies are hovering around their heads, their bedroom smells horrible, and their new toothbrush is still in the original packet 3 months now despite our constant reminders to actually use it.
3. Any attempt to get help/suport for the child is met with the response "the child is ok, they are not doing drugs or underage sex" The foster carers are then asked to do work on their own parenting by SW's who do not have kids of their own, are aged about 12yrs old, fresh out of uni with the latest trendy ideas, but have absolutely no idea what it is like to be with a damaged and angry child 24/7 who presents with some pretty bizarre coping strategies. Another training session later and we see that our foster child is showing all the indications of having been sexually abused and we take this to the SW. Result: another training course and more questioning of our parenting style (we are too caring apparently and do not let the child exercise thier choices to wash once per week and hide their soiled underpants - hence the whiffy bedroom!).
That felt good! I do enjoy a good rant.
Sorry, Cazzmags, I got a bit over-ranty and forgot my main point.......
When you decide to foster you want any child placed with you to feel safe and loved and blossom into balanced adults eventually. We are the eyes and ears for the child's SW but are not taken seriously or treated like we know diddlysquat (unless the child goes off the rails then the child;s SW sits up and takes notice). Vistis are swift and tick box affairs usually. Yes, the child breathes and moves (unusual in teens I know) so is ok.
We can be valuable to the child's SW but are rarely made to feel that way and I do get fed up!
Our SSW btw is ok, not exceptional, but ok.
wow, and i'm just starting the whole fostering process. pray tell are there any good bits or should i just sack it off and spare myself high blood pressure and a merlot addiction??
Rolo thanks for 'listening' and your input. BTW I'm feeling your pain over the soiled underpants! I agree we should be very valuable to the child's SW but most of them treat us like 2nd class citizens at best or complete idiots. I agree strongly with your comments about the young SW's with no children and no life experience some of them are the worst culprits and need to learn a bit about themselves before they start patronizing others.
imoko I'm feeling bad now...sorry the last thing I would wish to do is to dissuade anyone from fostering. We need good carers badly but be aware that prep training although comprehensive does not tell you everything. In my experience as a foster carer our challenges have been as much with SS as with the children we care for. Having said that it is without a doubt the most rewarding thing I have ever done (along with raising my own children). Despite my rantings the good things do outweigh the bad and although I have come close to giving it up I don't think that I could now walk away despite my current frustrations. It is a rollercoaster ride and there is never a dull moment!
ps. I do usually have a bottle on standby though just in case of a crisis!
cazzmags, phwee. i'm off now to perfect my lemon drizzle cake making (just in case i'm expected to be able to bake) and google worlds strongest airfreshener. thanks
Call me sadistic but I quite enjoy reading the rants! Makes me remember I'm not alone in being ignored by SWs!
Having said that, the one I have at the moment is quite good, and the last one wasn't dreadful. Some have been shocking though - from wondering if a child was ill because she was grizzly (SW had called in, unannounced, at tea time and wanted to play with child rather than let them eat) to losing a whole years worth of assessments then going off sick!
Cazzmags and Rolo, your posts make me thankful I foster younger kids!! Although the baby I have at the moment is a vomiter and therefore also stinks quite often!!
Can I join in? I want to rant and tell you all but it would out me and I don't want that.
Suffice it to say I am dismayed and shocked and sad and worried and angry about something someone in social work has done and I am not sure I can get over this
Imoko I, too, am sorry you have to read this I am so passionate about fostering and if it was just the children I was dealing with I would not be unhappy but unfortunately it is not and I am very at the moment.
On the plus side our house is not smelling too bad these days
Wish NanaNina was my social worker
Foster mums unite, i'm not too worried (honest). I have a couple of friends who foster and they have mentioned the rose tinted glass wearing SW that visit and have an amazingly if short lived positive effect on the childs behaviour. I just thought they were over egging the pudding, possibly not. I shall make amends and take them one of my slighly flat lemon drizzle cakes.
are you ok bonnieslilsister?? Been thinking of you a lot lately...
anything you want to share?
I think we all want nananina as our SSW...
Amen to that BTD and BLS xxx
I think that most of the kids SW's I have had dealings with are desperate to fit in to their teams, please their managers, not cause ripples by sticking their necks out on foster carers behalf, and never asking to raid the budget until the child is in crisis (by which time more damage is done).
Just wish they would be honest when you do the introduction to fostering training. I am miffed at the difference between what support and services for the child they promise and assure you is there and what is actually there when the child needs help to overcome some pretty traumatic past history and some pretty entrenched and not helpful coping strategies.
Btw imoko, am training my dog as a sniffer dog to find hidden pants (air fresheners are nowhere near enough!).
Thanks Buster not really but check your inbox x
Aaw thanks you lovely foster carers - would if I could!!
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