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To ask for a different case worker from social services...

(15 Posts)
TheMitsubishiWarrioress Thu 16-Jul-09 17:26:04

Long story but DS has anger management issues at 11 (they have been going on for nearly three years), which resulted in social services getting involved.

Our case worker was, I was lead to believe going to establish a 'bond' with him to gain his trust and get to the root of the problem.

(which does involve his relationship with his dad).

A year down the line and he has taken him out 3 times, with other children, barely talked to him, and the problems continued.

However, he spent what in heinsight was an extraordinary amount of time with me, (I do suffer from depression and self esteem issues) and over the last few visits started to pay me carefully worded compliments.

I am CRAP at people, and if he said building my confidence up was part of helping DS, I naively accepted that to be the case.

Recent events have transpired and I find myself having a serious lack of confidence in the man.

I repeatedly asked him to address the issues between DS and his Dad and he would say what great people they both appeared to be.... Even after I reported that DS had punched a window out in rage over some bullying issues, he said school said he was OK and he seemed balanced, and that my mental health was of greater concern.

Do social workers pay you compliments or am I extraordinarily thick? Is it part of establishing a rapport (albeit with the wrong person..surely DS was the one he needed to establish trust with?)

And can I ask for the case to be transferred to a female worker because I don't feel comfortable with the man? Or am I making life complicated for myself?

One of his colleagues has asked me a couple of strange questions about how I think things have gone.

I have to go out but will be back later..

Mamazon Thu 16-Jul-09 17:32:05

you can of course request to change to a female SW. of course it will very much depend on whether someone else is available but it shouldn't be too big a deal.

as for the compliments it very much depends on what he has said.
from what you've said so far it sounds as though he has spoken to school and school are saying they don't have any issues so maybe he thinks its more your ability to cope with DS appropriat;y that is causing his outbursts.
(obviously i am not saying that this is the case, just trying to explain how it appears)

It may be that he is trying to build a good rapor with you in order to find out how your coping. to see if there is anything that you haven't told him yet.
some people are so terrified of having their children taken away if they admit they aren't coping that SW's often have to work with families for months in order to build enough trust to find out whats actually going on.

As an aside, have you considered asking for a mentor for your DS. if he is yearning for a good male role model who is independant of family but is willing to spend positive time with him and listen to him I would always suggest the moentoring system. your SW should be able to put you in touch with the local scheme.

ScummyMummy Thu 16-Jul-09 17:34:56

um, sorry to ask lots of questions but am not really clear what your exact worry is... Are you worried the worker is flirting with you? Or that he's seeing you as the source of your son's problem? Is it a CAMHS team or a generic children and families team? Is your son's dad involved in the process or just you?

TheMitsubishiWarrioress Thu 16-Jul-09 20:56:23

He is from Social services and I was under the impression that the man was supposed to be DS's mentor... but has paid him little attention.

Do I think the man is flirting with me? I can't put my finger on it but he makes me feel uncomfortable...

My depression IS a part of my ability to deal with my son's problems, but we have been trying to get DS some help for 5 yrs now.

I haven't felt like this about the treatment from anyone else. (we have dealt with camhs and a family liason officer) Nobody else comments on my personal appearance, (practically every time he visits). I don't think the bloke from camhs would notice if I turned up wearing a nun's habit and I respect him for that.

My son's dad is inolved and has had little respect for the man from the start. It is not simply an authority issue though...H really like one of the camhs workers but we don't get to see him very often.

Oh god .. i don't know. It is an uncomfortable niggle. But I don't know if I should just put up with it instead of causing a stink by asking to change to someone else...or at least for me to talk to. The truth is, after nearly a year. I don't feel comfortable with him, and yet when I spoke to one of his colleagues on the phone, I felt comforted and reasssured that I was dealing with a proffessional.

slowreadingprogress Thu 16-Jul-09 21:07:54

I imagine that he is trying to establish a rapport with you.

I worked in social services/children and families for a long time and to be quite frank you simply can't help a child unless the parental situation is better.

A depressed mother and a split family and problems with his dad; ime a child is simply not going to make progress given that background unless things are better with the parental situation. It is good to mentor a child yes, but that will go only a small way to actually helping the situation.

However if you're not comfortable with the person then you should certainly ask to change; it shouldn't be a problem at all. Good on you for asking for help for so long; don't give up on it. No reason why you shouldn't ask to change workers.

TheMitsubishiWarrioress Thu 16-Jul-09 21:21:50

srp...i completely agree with you on how best to help the child....we have been in a negative spiral for quite a while, partly as a result of our frustration and impotence at not getting DS any help.

With or without a dx , he is a very challenging child to parent...

I asked DS why he hadn't felt able to talk to this man and he asked what the point was...

I do have issues with peple crossing a particular personal line when it isn't really necessary. Maybe my expectations are wrong, but I didn't want a 'friend' to tell me he likes the way I dress or made his head spin when he saw my new hair colour. I wanted a proffessional who I could trust to help me help my son.

I write it down and it makes sense but I am so mute when it comes to speaking my thoughts in RL....

shigella92 Thu 16-Jul-09 21:21:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Grandhighpoohba Thu 16-Jul-09 21:28:04

If hes a Social Worker, its hugely unlikely that his role would be to mentor your DS, they can have more than 30 kids on their caseloads, many of which will be much more chaotic than your situation sounds, and they just don't have the time to do as much one to one work as they would like. Its best to think of them as a case manager - they can find and co-ordinate services which will help, and monitor the situation.
Ask specifically for your DS to be refered to an organisation which offers mentoring if you feel thats what he needs, you know him better than the SW.
He could be paying compliments to boost your confidence, but if you feel uncomfortable,trust your instinct and ask his manager for a change of worker. It may be nothing, but if you are not comfortable with him then it will be difficult to build a working relationship. You could say that as their involvement seems to be more focused on you, that you would prefer a female worker. Thats perfectly reasonable. It may take a little while for them to rearrange tho, as another worker will need to close a case before they have room for you. Good luck, and remember that they want to help.

ScummyMummy Thu 16-Jul-09 21:28:54

If you, your son and his dad all think he's rubbish I think you should definitely ask for a change. He does sounds a bit odd, from what you've said.

slowreadingprogress Thu 16-Jul-09 21:32:32

no those comments are inappropriate, warrior.....don't hesitate to ask to change.

I know it will be nerve wracking but you really do have the right to change; and if you do it calmly, just explain that your ds is unable to confide in the mentor and unable to see any point in doing so; therefore you are concerned that progress will not be made unless another mentor is tried. You can explain if you want to that you feel there is no fault on any side simply that sometimes things need to be 'adjusted to fit'.

I work with older people now but the principle is the same; at present I'm working with an older man who needs a volunteer to help him with daily living tasks; there is no way that I as his social worker or the voluntary agency who provide the worker, would put any old worker in and expect them to get on with it. I would want the RIGHT worker and for both people to be happy and content, and if they weren't, I would be more than happy to try another person.

Be strong - it doesn't have to be a big drama. Of course you are quite within your rights to note down those comments made by the man and take them to his manager; they're inappropriate. But maybe that might detract from your main aim which is to help your ds?

good luck

Grandhighpoohba Thu 16-Jul-09 21:34:26

Just read your last post TMW, and he does sound like he is crossing a line with the compliments. Is there someone you trust that could sit in on your meetings with him?

TheMitsubishiWarrioress Thu 16-Jul-09 21:46:18

He works FOR SS Grandhighpoohba, but is apparently not a socialworker as such. but we were definately led to believe his primary concern was establishing a relationship with DS...that is what he appears to do in general.

DS's rages come in cycles and camhs, SS and the doctors wanted to 'close the case' in december when he calmed for a while, but i appealed that they should leave the doors open so I didn't have to go through GP's referrals yet again as and when they kicked off again, which they had done by about late february.

I am super sensitive at the moment which I know doesn't help, but I wouldn't have this feeling if I had an appointment due with the bloke from camhs, so I know something is amiss.

I just worry about asking and SS being off about it. I am painfully aware that they are trying to help....

Thanks for your thoughts though...it is good to hear different perspectives..

slowreadingprogress Thu 16-Jul-09 21:52:06

yes don't second guess yourself warrior...if you feel this way then it's for a reason. Just because you have some mental health issues doesn't mean you can't trust your instincts.

and please don't worry about asking to change. I guess he's an un-qualified support worker - he's not super-human, he's quite capable of doing things wrong, as he's proved already to you. So why should you not speak up?

Grandhighpoohba Thu 16-Jul-09 22:05:54

Ok, had assumed he was a Social Worker.

So his role is meant to be with your son, and not you. So if they have decided to change their focus, and feel that you need support, it is reasonable to ask them to change the worker too, as he is not suitable for your needs. And if you feel that your son is not recieving mentoring, or that it is not working, then you can ask for a change for him too. Theres no point from anyones perspective in continuing with an intervention that isn't working.

I think you ask for a female worker. Its a perfectly reasonable request. You haven't done anything wrong, so why should you have to have meetings with someone you are not comfortable with?

In the meantime, a supportive friend/relative present at the meetings might make you feel more comfortable, and could confirm for you if he is being inappropriate.
If you can't think of anyone suitable, you could explore whether any local agencies offer advocate services for people with depression, they may be able to help.

slowreadingprogress Thu 16-Jul-09 22:12:16

also, if he feels your self esteem needs bolstering to help you deal with ds in some way, really he should be feeding that back to the SW who can talk to you about referrals for help with this from a professional - NOT making clumsy and inappropriate 'compliments' re your physical appearance......

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