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What's the stupidest thing a SW has ever said to you?

50 replies

donquixotedelamancha · 24/01/2017 19:32

It's meant to be lighthearted. Yes its mean to professionals who work hard and try to do their best under difficult circumstances, but I think a bit of gallows humour is can be healthy.

Go on, you know you want to :-)

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donquixotedelamancha · 24/01/2017 19:37

When she arrived (late because she went to the wrong building- she worked in the right building) to our matching panel:

"Do they asks a lot of questions? Do you think they will ask about why we've matched you with DD?"

In fairness we'd had panel before, she hadn't; but it didn't inspire confidence.

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JustHappy3 · 24/01/2017 19:52

Now you can all go to Rome!
To be fair it was one of the Panel not a social worker.
We'd explained in panel how carefully we'd thought about taking on this dc who was very young as their potential health issues could mean future independent living would not be a possibility. So our retirement plans as we'd always envisioned - being able to swan off for carefree weekend breaks in eg Rome might be very different and we were ok with that.

Thought it showed they'd not listened to a word we'd said.

Kr1stina · 24/01/2017 19:58

" all these problems will go away once she's settled in a permanent placement "

conserveisposhforjam · 24/01/2017 20:00

I will brain sift the many possibles...

But I will never do better than the MN regular who was asked what contraception she and her (same sex) partner would be using Grin

Mrscollydog · 25/01/2017 06:28

I asked our SW about our daughters terrible sleep in the early days. I was at the end of my tether, ruined by lack of sleep
I kid you not his response was "well you could try some different things" no further elaboration on how I might stop myself going slowly mental. He is sweet but like a chocolate teapot!

flapjackfairy · 25/01/2017 07:48

We had a truly terrible sw at one point for our long term fc.
She went to see a friend (fellow fc ) who was due to have our child for respite for a few days.
The sw was most concerned about our child tripping over a rug on the floor that she had in the living room and grilled her on what healthy snacks she would give in between meals??
Reasonable enough ?
Yes except our child has complex needs and cannot even walk (wheelchair user) and due to his difficulties cannot swallow and is entirely tube fed!!
She had been his sw for 2yrs at this pointConfused

DINKY2016 · 25/01/2017 08:00

My favourite question in stage 2 "Do you toilet with the door open?"

Kr1stina · 25/01/2017 09:58

SW for DD arrived at our house for a suprise visit and we show her into the living room. Every surface - table, mantelpiece, coffee table , shelves, piano - is covered with " in sympathy " cards ( we had about 80) and several vases of flowers .

" so how you ? " she chirps brightly

" as well as can be expected under the circumstances " we answer, slightly confused by her happy tone

" what do you mean ? " says Mrs Insightful

" DS died last week, his funeral was yesterday" [ he had been in hospital for weeks and was receiving palliative care]

" oh well " she says crossly " I should have been told, why didnt you inform me, we have a right to be told these things you know"

" actually we informed DSs social worker and we have a letter of condolence from the director of social services" we reply " would you like to see it ? "

" that won't be necessary " she responses tartly " next time make sure you inform me personally "

Then she proceeds to go ahead and hold a meeting to discuss matters to do with DD as if nothing had happened.

Kr1stina · 25/01/2017 10:12

Actually they have form for this. When aforementioned DS was 5 , FIL was terminally ill and was sent home from hospital to die at at home, which was what he wanted. DH and his sibling sat with his dad through the night and he died the next morning.

DH came home that afternoon to get clean clothes and have an hours nap . The doorbell rang and it was DS social worker and another SW who were here for a prearranged meeting , which we had forgotten about ( entirely our fault ) .

Dh apologised and explained that I was still at his relatives with the children , he had been up all night and his father had just died a few hours ago.

" don't worry, this won't take long " they said, as they pushed their way into the house and proceeded to hold a meeting with DH to discuss (completely non urgent ) issues to do with DS schooling .

GirlsWhoWearGlasses · 25/01/2017 12:34

"Oh, you're my baby, you're MY baby. I'm going to put you in my bag and take you home with me." as she smothered DD in kisses two weeks post-placement. Hmm

dibly · 25/01/2017 12:48

Some corners here, but Kristina, that is awful!

I can't think what the worst was, maybe when we asked for help and got threatened with 'well do you want to keep her or not.'

dibly · 25/01/2017 12:52

Oh and her nephew, every concern that we ever voiced 'my nephew does that' ... um, you were the one who gave us training about the unusual intensity of behaviour that adopted kids can exhibit!

flapjackfairy · 25/01/2017 15:01

Kr1stina i thought mine was bad but your stories are truly shocking!
Sorry for your losses xxx

QueSera · 25/01/2017 15:13

Oh Kristina that is insane, I'm speechless. I'm so sorry for your loss.

My contribution:
When we wanted to begin the adoption process, I rang the relevant department, enthusiastically told them that DH and I wanted to adopt and how do we begin the process. They cut me short with 'First can I ask what race you and your husband are?' Baffled, I replied 'white'. To which they said 'Sorry, we're not accepting applications from white couples.' Still baffled I asked if we could at least meet with someone, we felt that we'd be great parents, had a lot to offer etc. They said 'well there's no point but I'll send you the forms anyway'. They never did send us the forms.

gabsdot · 25/01/2017 17:06

Right back at the very start I built myself up to ring an adoption agency to enquire. I explained that my husband and I were considering adoption, the guy interrupted me to say "What do you want?". I stuttered a bit and explained again about my husband and I etc. He interrupted again and said "No what do you want?" I realised that he meant what kind of child did we want. I told him we would like to adopt a young baby and straight away he said "There are no babies".
That was it. I thought our chances were over before they had even started.
Also we had 2 SWs in our house during our assessment for our first adoption. We don't smoke or drink for religious reasons and they found this totally weird. I said "Surely you know people who don't drink and smoke". One of them said "I don't know anyone who doesn't drink and smoke".
I know we're Irish but still.

donquixotedelamancha · 25/01/2017 17:51

"Oh, you're my baby, you're MY baby. I'm going to put you in my bag and take you home with me."

I had the exact same thing. Could have been word for word. This was during intros while we were supposed to be doing all the care- I had to wrench DD away from her.

@ Kristina. I wish I could express shock, but the one social worker who all my stories are about was almost as bad on occasion. It's bad enough during the normal hassle of adoption, I can only imagine how tough it is in such horrible circumstances. So sorry.

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MintyLizzy9 · 25/01/2017 18:47

Kristina Flowers

Mine was also at panel, my SW has rightly been pushing me to consider how I would share with DS some of his birth heritage as it would for sure come up in panel (he is duel and I am not) and she had been really helpful sharing personal experiences with me as she was carribean herself and was a mine of information. So get to panel all prepped and confident and someone finally asks the question so I whip out my books that I plan to read with DS, all aimed at kids with duel heritage and about the things I planned to do when another panel member started to rifle through her paperwork and loudly interupted me with "eh...but he's only a quarter caste what's the big deal he even looks white" whilst waving a pic of DS to the room!

conserveisposhforjam · 25/01/2017 21:02

In response to a possible medical issue with dd raised at a meeting (w fcs, us, family finder, our sw etc etc) dds sw v loudly and dismissively said 'Well it's not going to kill her is it?!'

Yeah 'cos that's the threshold for concern. ..

Kewcumber · 25/01/2017 21:31

Not social worker but panel member

(I adopted from a very multi racial country and child could have been any number of ethicities)

"If you get an asian child, will you feel that you have got second best?" says (asian) panel member

"Ummmm, no" says I wondering if it is a trick question.

After placement discussing DS's (fairly normal) biting phase with SW ( I had to think of something to tell her), I explained that CM and I had agreed how to handle it consistently between us...

"Oh perhaps you should consider a nursery" says she
"Oh, really?" slightly surprised
"Yes they have policies about that kind of thing"

"yes but DS is 19 months and too young to be able to read them" I didn't say.

The sex convo was also mightily amusing.

Rainatnight · 26/01/2017 09:08

I'm so sorry, Kr1stina. Unbelievable.

Holy moly, these are so terrible. We were incredibly lucky with the SW who did our PAR. A sensible, bright, empathetic man.

It's a different story for matching. LO's SW is incredibly vague and disorganised. No communication, didn't show up for matching panel, there's lots of stuff outstanding for intros which is stressing me hugely. But no doozies like on this thread. Smile

DorcasthePuffin · 26/01/2017 10:35

When the SWs came for the matching visit, they brought a list of questions from the fc. Top of these was: "Why do you want to adopt a mixed race baby?" (I am white, dp is black, fc is white). I said, "Um, because that is what you have said we will get?"

Also the review visit when dd had been with us several months. Her (pathologically stupid) sw had been tormenting us with tales of how dangerous the birth father was ("He has criminal contacts everywhere! He'll probably track you down!") and I raised this and asked whether the risk had been assessed. They (my sw, dd's sw, reviewing officer) hummed a little and then one said, "Well, why don't you change her name?" I said, "Because you told me I'm not allowed to?" They said: "We always say that! Nobody ever listens to that!" Well, I did. And what might have been an option at 6 months old was certainly not at 18 months.

Oh, and Kr1stina - OMG.

Kr1stina · 26/01/2017 13:19

Kew - do tell us your sex and social workers story .

And was it you who told me the " paediatrician and not a doctor " one ?

jingscrivenshelpmaboab · 26/01/2017 14:16

When our SW threw us under the bus at panel, her manager later remarked that it was often the people who went on to become the 'best' parents who had the most problem getting through the process Confused...we bit our lips and didn't suggest that perhaps it could be that there was something wrong with their process?

Chair of approval panel was appalled that DP went to the pub at the weekend sometimes, claiming that both parents had to be available at all times....chair was a working single adopter.

During assessment, SW griped that we hadn't had enough crises in our life, how did we know we could cope? (well, we were coping with her...)

So called 'expert' delivering training session on effects of trauma talking about the third eye and the reptilian brain...

Some I heard from other adopters, like the SW who wouldn't consider a match as the child's and adopters' signs of the zodiac were not compatible, or SWs talking about attachment like it was an on/off switch.

Kr1stina · 26/01/2017 14:55

SWErs talking about attachment like it was an on/off switch

There must be a lot of this about, because every so often we get someone posting here saying things like

" Our child has been home six weeks now and our SW says they are very well attached , so we are just about to send them to nursery / take them on holiday to Australia / leave them with my parents for the weekend / do sleep training with them "

donquixotedelamancha · 26/01/2017 17:47

"So called 'expert' delivering training session on effects of trauma talking about the third eye and the reptilian brain"

Those are colloquialisms for the pineal gland and the basal ganglia. Either that or he was a follower of David Icke.

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