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What would you change about your social worker?

(86 Posts)
Whatshouldmyusernamebe Wed 11-Oct-17 21:34:00

Just wondered what you found helpful or not helpful from your social worker during your assessment, matching and support after placement?

user1471555041 Wed 11-Oct-17 22:10:14

Through all parts of the process I wish our social worker had been better at communicating!! smile

JustHappy3 Thu 12-Oct-17 12:28:24

Nothing. Ours was wonderful.

Flower20166 Thu 12-Oct-17 16:57:09

Nothing at all, she's great! Same wave length and great at communication!

hidinginthenightgarden Thu 12-Oct-17 17:53:00

Time keeping was terrible. Right up to being late for our celebration hearing.
I wish ours were a bit more open too. I found it quite hard not having the full story (what happened in court) and her glossing over things was frustrating.

Bitchfromhell Thu 12-Oct-17 20:13:35

More communicative for me too. I understand why sw need to play there cards close to their chest but we feel completely in the dark most of the time.

Whatshouldmyusernamebe Thu 12-Oct-17 20:39:45

Thank you.

waitingforafamily Thu 19-Oct-17 21:00:35

A lot. They are all box tickers with no idea what it's like from our side as they haven't experienced what we have. They do not maintain consistency between LA or couples with same borough. They insist you are honest but do not give you the same respect.

We were told that the second opinion we had to have before panel was required by all applicants now. This was a total lie.

Can't wait for our final paperwork to be received so we never have to talk to another one again 🙄

Most of my friends who have been through this process are frustrated by their poor communication and the flannel they give you...

Jellycatspyjamas Thu 19-Oct-17 21:17:26

I think that's pretty harsh tbh, not wanting to dismiss your experience at all but bit all SW are box tickers. Ours worked tirelessly with us over a very long, drawn out assessment process when it would have been much easier for her to dissuade us from going forward. She was absolutely brilliant and is one of the key reasons we're sitting with two of the most beautiful children sleeping upstairs. I couldn't fault her work ethic or value base.

I'm sorry your experience has been so awful - the process is hard enough - but I'm not sure tarring everyone with that brush is fair (not that you need to be fair I suppose).

waitingforafamily Thu 19-Oct-17 21:54:28

It's my opinion and most of the friends I have made on this journey feel the same. They lie or tell you half the information. They have the cheek to ask you for your most personal experiences but do not respect your right to know what is going on with the process and why the delays for example.

The OP asked the question so I answered. I certainly didn't comment on people who loved their SW that they were being "too nice"...

Whatshouldmyusernamebe Thu 19-Oct-17 21:55:57

You do make some valid points waiting. Especially about the lack of consistency in different authorities.

Flower20166 Thu 19-Oct-17 22:08:59

At the end of the day there’s good and bad in every job.
Unfortunately you’ve had one of the ‘bad’ ones waitingforafamily.
I count my lucky stars that I got a social worker who is so understanding and really on my wave length.

thomassmuggit Thu 19-Oct-17 22:45:35

"At the end of the day there’s good and bad in every job."

While that is true, and every job will have its outstanding people, and its truly awful people, social work, and nursing, and teaching, and many other professions, are also very vulnerable to organisational culture. Some organisations will be good, will have a culture of good ethics, good practice, and strive that, despite budget constraints, everyone is doing their best. Sadly, the opposite is also true. Some organisations will have a culture of shoddy work, cover ups, being too busy to care, and will be unable to do a good job due to budget constraints. It's like what happened in North Staffs hospital, you can have good people, but once they get sucked in to an organisation that's lost sight of the human, the organisation, and subsequently the people, become abusive.

So, I would argue that the really awful, lying, lazy social workers aren't bad people, or even bad social workers, but that the organisation they are in has become toxic. And once an organisation has become toxic, it's almost impossible to sort out without something massive, which could be detrimental to those that organisation is looking after- some care is better than no care.

So, I don't know if I'd change anything about any social workers themselves. I'd love to put a rocket up the arse of a few social work departments, though, without waiting for children to be harmed.

waitingforafamily Fri 20-Oct-17 07:10:45

Couldn't agree more thomas and they are all following policy and procedures.

It is toxic. They make you jump through unnecessary hoops to tick their boxes.

I am not sure what your LA did but in ours there was a requirement to carry out 6 volunteering sessions at a kid related place. Like they think this is going to "prepare" you for receiving two kids under 4.

It was stressful finding somewhere that would take you, fit it in whilst doing a full time job and also taking all the time off required to meet them for all the meetings they wanted.

They did not feel that bringing up my cousins child (she was alone and we were there for her all the way) was relevant. They did not feel that any family/friends children around us was relevant. They felt that six 2 hour sessions was "important". Some people in our borough had to do it and some didn't. No rhyme or reason it would seem.

Also in our case, they did a home study and pointed out a couple of things we needed to do before placement. Do you think that they enforced it after placement? Oh no. They have visited our house post placement and no comments made. It's laughable quite frankly.

Flower20166 Fri 20-Oct-17 14:31:10

I agree that from what I’ve read that some LAs/agencies seem awful to work with.
But my experience is nothing like what waiting is describing and it seems s/he cannot accept that there ARE good social workers out there. She’s just been unfortunate not to get one.

waitingforafamily Fri 20-Oct-17 14:46:55

I can accept there some good ones, rare as it is. My experiences are not uncommon and I know that I'm now alone...

Jellycatspyjamas Fri 20-Oct-17 15:42:42

I think that's what I responded to - the idea that most SW reflect her experience. It's possible that the working environment in a particular area means workers are unclear or ineffective but in my experience and those of the adopters I know, SWs have worked very hard to support them through the process.

SW are a pretty easy target in most situations, particularly in adoption when most I know try to do a good job in pretty appalling circumstances. That's not to say there arent things they could do better - returning to the original post - but to label them all as useless is both harsh and inaccurate.

Jellycatspyjamas Fri 20-Oct-17 15:53:17

Sorry waiting - I didn't mean to refer to you as "her", I didn't check my message properly before posting. I wasn't trying to be rude but it reads rudely. Apologies.

waitingforafamily Fri 20-Oct-17 15:53:18

Please stop taking things and twisting them jellycats. No one said they were all useless. I am speaking on my behalf and the 6 other couples we know. We've all had incompetent SW. End of story.

CertainHalfDesertedStreets Fri 20-Oct-17 19:14:29

Sorry to hear your experience waiting. Ours was similarly depressing and in an 'outstanding' authority. Social services are in desperate need of some proper investment and management IMO. But it's not a vote winner so it's unlikely to happen anytime soon. sad

Jellycatspyjamas Fri 20-Oct-17 22:22:10

They are all box tickers with no idea what it's like from our side as they haven't experienced what we have. They do not maintain consistency between LA or couples with same borough. They insist you are honest but do not give you the same respect.

You said "all", I'm not twisting anything but I appreciate your clarification that you meant the relatively limited experience of you and half a dozen friends

Whatshouldmyusernamebe Fri 20-Oct-17 22:25:10

Lack of funding means they are all highly pressured and overworked so can't give the families as much time as they would like too.

TunnelofLove485 Fri 20-Oct-17 22:37:12

Ours drove me mad but it took until the end of the process to see that all the box ticking she did was so that they could not refuse us at panel. She made us put the process on hold due to something entirely not our fault and made us attend professional sessions (2 token sessions) that we didn’t need (long story!). However, when we got to panel, they kept talking about the sessions and the putting things on hold, saying how mature we had been and how it was great etc. I realised then, through all my anger with her, that she knew exactly what panel would be criticising us on and looking for. I had disliked her for months but our relationship was repaired and I trust her so much I will ask to have her back if we want a second child. I wish she had been more open about her decisions so that I hadn’t spent months hating her. I guess she felt she needed to be very professional? Either way, I really appreciated her in the end!

CertainHalfDesertedStreets Fri 20-Oct-17 23:04:00

Yeah some of it is lack of funding and time. But some of it is that it been mismanaged for so long that really standards can be very low.

My children's sw had been trained overseas and was lovely but really very unprofessional - she said, and occasionally did things, which were gobsmacking. I did feel she had our children's best interests at heart though. The sw overseeing our fcs was appalling - lazy, rude, incompetent. In any other profession she would have been disciplined for her behaviour. But everyone really just rolled their eyes in a 'yeah, she's like that' way and that was that.

It's really sad because ultimately, of course, children and families are the ones who suffer.

Whatshouldmyusernamebe Sat 21-Oct-17 07:28:03

Yes you are right some are just shocking

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