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Any social workers out there managing their job and even enjoying it?

(24 Posts)
ginorwine Sat 14-Jun-14 08:48:53

Have been sw for 20 years and I always try to do my upmost for the people I work with and regularly do a day extra in my own time a week to manage my caseload - my choice -this is to meet what I call my me test- ie would this be good enough for my relatives as I try to treat all service users as if they were my own in terms of outcomes.
I'm really struggling with all the cuts and having to do fast assessments were time and skill is required. It's affected my mood and I'm struggling.
Anyone got a positive framework on this ? Words of wisdom ? Encouragement? I've been told by families I have really helped them and I wd like to focuss on the good as I'm fearful I won't be able to do this much longer! Hence request for positives !! Thankyou .

Weathergames Sat 14-Jun-14 08:58:37

I am a counsellor working for EIS and we have been merged with SC.

I always think any time you spend listening to a young person or a family makes a difference.

Stay positive what we do is important smile

bucketofbathtoys Sat 14-Jun-14 09:16:50

We recently had 1st ever involvement with a SW re elderly parent with health and mobility issues and needing care. SW was amazing and within a fortnight had transformed a hellish situation into a much better one. SW work is vital and a life line

headlesslambrini Sat 14-Jun-14 09:22:36

I think you need to talk to your manager and tell them that you are struggling. They either reduce your caseload or you will end up on sick leave, then no service users will benefit from your support.

Freckletoes Sat 14-Jun-14 09:33:50

I have no experience of SW and my only knowledge is from media, forums etc. The impression I get is you're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't. I hope you get the support you need as I think it must take a special kind of person to do your jobs! Good Luck!

Morethanalittlebitconfused Sat 14-Jun-14 09:36:34

I think that if you're a children's social worker you're pretty much screwed. Seems to be the adults side of things, whilst pressured, isn't so stressful

WhataMistakeaToMakea Sat 14-Jun-14 09:45:08

It depends what day / month you ask me on. Sometimes I just feel I am catching up and then five things happen and I am back to square one. It's the sped up proceedings in childcare that are a nightmare (better for children though which is important) it's just when two cases suddenly end up in court within weeks that's it all your other families have no chance of your time and then you feel guilty again.

It's sad but not I've resigned myself to the fact that my assessments will be late and I won't get to see children as much as I want to. I refuse to work at home now after nearly losing it - especially as i would get paid more for admin jobs in the same council I work for than I do for trying to protect children.

ginorwine Sat 14-Jun-14 10:19:22

Thankyou all for your replies !!

ComposHat Sat 14-Jun-14 10:25:33

I was a social work assistant working in a youth justice team, a lot of social workers transferred in and liked the fact tge intervention was focysed on the offence and tome limited and had a tangible aim.

ginorwine Sat 14-Jun-14 10:29:28

Ps how you you cope with the public image of sw s - on a. Individual level I have had wonderful feedback fro.m families but sometimes we have to start at a minus position as I feel that some people dislike sw in general and we have to get past that perception before we can work?? I find this hard and it knocks my confidence and I loved the comment be proud of what we do and the feedback that a sw helped as right now I really need that as loosing the plot a d embarrassed when we are forced to give less services and I feel guilty when I know it's not my doing but I'm the face that they see and Are angry with and I'm really hoping to get a more positive stance.
I have a new inexperienced manager who is struggling themselves.

MardyBra Sat 14-Jun-14 10:47:19

Why is this in Aibu?

ComposHat Sat 14-Jun-14 12:45:24

Wgy do you care mardy?

ginorwine Sat 14-Jun-14 14:20:34

Ma rd y ; put this here for traffic ..

Frolicacid Sat 14-Jun-14 15:27:32

Depends what day you ask me! I work for camhs. Some days are great, others not so much. The workload is high and there is lots of pressure on the nhs at the moment. But I don't feel as pressured as I did doing LA frontline CP work. I ennjoy the job most days but don't always feel like i'm managing.

Beavie Sat 14-Jun-14 17:12:46

Starting a sw degree in sept as I have had involvement with social workers (cafcass) and they really helped me out.

Hoping to read some positive stuff on this thread! Mostly the reaction I get from people when I tell them my plans is pretty negative.

Canthisonebeused Sat 14-Jun-14 17:32:33

I have just qualified and due to start my first job very soon. Whilst it's not essentially a social work role, It is a community intervention role and I will be holding case loads of up to 40 to 60, Im finding this prospect very daunting and I'm hoping to do my ASYE also.

I think you need to focus on positive feedback, from employers, service users other professionals and students who you come into contact in with in your day to day role. Feedback has been a very big part of my education, how you give and receive feedback is crucial to positive engagement both with colleagues and service users. Find some articles related to the psychology of feedback to read and techniques that may help you reconsider your own value in the work you do.

Look into mindfulness, it's not something every one can connect with and I'm sure particularly in a busy life it's hard to allocate some time just to focus on your own wellbeing but it's important to enable you to be that supportive branch for others.

ginorwine Sat 14-Jun-14 17:56:48

Canthisonebeusex: thanks for the info re feedback. I often get v positive feedback but tend to then focus on when casework does not go as planned and give myself a hard time. ! Any articles you can suggest please? Thanks again!!! Have bee. Reading about mindfulness!!

Canthisonebeused Sat 14-Jun-14 18:24:43

Search for articles on systems analysis but particularly social work agency as their are lots of very new and up to date thinking around agency and how this fits in with workers and users perspectives of current political and structural service delivery.

Marylou62 Sat 14-Jun-14 18:25:27

No advice, just to say keep up the good work. What a hard job and be proud of yourself. x

minidisco Sat 14-Jun-14 20:01:27

No I absolutely hate it and am dreading returning after mat leave! Not very helpful sorry!

ceres Sat 14-Jun-14 20:21:11

another one who is planning to get out.

there is more to life than work - and my work takes over my life far, far too often.

MrsDeanAmbrose Sat 14-Jun-14 21:11:39

I love frontline children's social work (although that's easy for me to say right now as I'm on mat leave). However, I'm not going back to duty work as it's just not compatible with a baby and a husband who does shiftwork and no extended family able to help.

The changes that are happening in all parts of statutory social work at the moment are incredibly unsettling, and I think there are more to come, however if you work in childrens, the job is entirely worth it when you get a child out of a shitty situation and you see the change in them, or you get a parent the help they need and never hear from them again.

Workwise, you have to have a strong manager and you have to be strong with your manager. We've all had full caseloads but the inevitable 4.30pm s.47 comes in, and you'd never refuse to work it because the children's safety comes first, and you support your team, but I always set my stall out - yes, I'll pick up the case, but in doing so x, y and z will be late. If assessments are late, they're late.

I don't work at home, never have and never will. Home is my downtime and I don't want to be staring at my laptop thinking about the work I could be doing.

wewillmendit Sun 15-Jun-14 09:03:52

I work in an adults team, we hold a wide range of cases, age 18 upwards. I'm not the best at completing the paperwork on time, but I always get out and do the client assessments as needed.

No, there are never enough services but in my area we do have a good voluntary sector, so I often use lunch clubs, free social sessions etc as fillers.

I do work at home, probably do an extra 10 hours per week. But I take my time back, I have a 'secret' day off, as in I don't tell dh and I just sleep or meet friends, just have me time!
Canthisbeused, good luck in your new role. Hope you enjoy the ASYE. It can be difficult for managers to find time for it, but don't feel bad about asking them to keep on top of it. Out newly qualified staff are coming to the end of their ASYE's and have really benefitted from it.

Canthisonebeused Sun 15-Jun-14 11:19:14

Thank you wee, yes I'm a little worried about ASYE as the other problem I feel is I'm not in a social work team so it may be difficult to really advocate and promote me doing this with in the team, if priorities are going to be very different.

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