A quick look at a typical week for me.
Monday’s always start with a rush and my Children asking for me to take them to school. Thankfully, they accept me collecting them later for their swimming lessons. I never worry whether I will find a desk or not as in our open plan office this can be an issue. I stopped being precious about that a long time ago. My first appointment is with my Manager and a Council Member who has been chosen as contact lead for our team. A productive meeting, and great to meet someone from the Council interested in Children in Care. As usual my next meeting is straight after; and is my Student’s mid way review. I arrive a few minutes late, and offer my apologise as we review the placement, and my Students progress. I have time for a quick working lunch, and finally check my e-mails. Sitting with the team means I am also able to respond quicker to their queries and offer informal supervision and case guidance. Monday’s I also leave early to take my Children to their swimming lessons, but today I left my work phone on and receive a call at 5.30pm as a Young Person has gone missing from their placement, and asking what she needed to do!
Even before I sit down today I know its going to be busy. The missing young person is still missing, and another young person living in London has been involved in some gang incident and has to move placement quickly for fear of retaliation. On top of this the allocated Social Workers for these two cases are both on training, essential for their practise. So as the Case Manager I am left to find a solution for these two young people. This quickly becomes the only thing that I am doing. I have also got a Young Person turning 18 that would benefit from a Adult service, however I quickly realise after checking the intranet and speaking with Adult services that this will not be happening. After some good work, my Duty Social Worker goes to visit the Young Person who had been missing and return them to their placement. I almost chuckle as I shortly receive a telephone call from the Duty worker “they have not turned up!, that never happens to me!” after giving some advice down the phone, the day has finished and I have to negotiate with the Police, EDT and the foster carer what will happen out of hours. This makes me late leaving the office, and means I am running late to collect my Children from their after school club. Thankfully both the staff and my Boy’s were happy.
Awful Wednesday or Black Wednesday as dubbed my Labour and the press. I started the morning by doing Peer Supervision, talking about writing Pathway plans and the significance for these. Sadly I was met with a lot of complaints from some of the workers that are under a lot of pressure. I can understand this, but explain the process again and supported by the team as they begin to understand the reasoning behind it. I spend the afternoon reading through paperwork, and making a referral to a residential unit for another placement move. The Sun is out today and this has also lifted the mood within the office.
I start the morning with a discussion with my Senior Managers, who were asking whether my student was okay from last Friday’s serious case management oversight meeting. I explained that she was okay, and wanted to join our team. (We are desperate for an extra post to be created) and I again stress the pressures of the team. I am given a glimmer of hope as this is acknowledged by the Senior Managers and confirm they have until October to create an extra post for the student! Thursday Afternoon I am out of the office and driving to a local Young Offenders training facility to attend an early release meeting. I have to admit I was impressed with the work they had done with this Young Person and could see how much the Young Person had needed and enjoyed the structure and education! I also made a good contact within CAMHS (Child Adolescent Mental Health Service) to look at an alternative therapy for LAC children who can not engage with group work sessions.
After dropping my Children off to school I rush to my first meeting at a Children’s home to attend a professionals meeting to review the risk surrounded one of their Young People moving on. After the meeting, a change in perception was created from the Children’s home so I requested an update to their assessment report, and a detailed chronology to understand the Young Person’s behaviour. The Social Worker, stays on to explain this to the Young Person and the plan created. Who does not accept this and packs his bags to leave. I spend the afternoon with my manager, discussing cases, case allocations and development and implementation of the New Regulations.
The week ends with some small steps forward for the Young People and for some, Monday will mean we will start again to help them reach their outcomes.
Diary of a Social Worker
A quick look at a typical week for me.