Alice – Fostering Blog
Whilst social services are at breaking point being for lack of resources, social workers being overstretched and carrying far too many cases, unlike many families we have had a fair bit of consistency in terms of having the same social worker and seeing her on a regular basis (a little too regular in my opinion) over the last few years. She is consistent in her visits and length of time she gives us, what we don’t get is any action when it comes to providing us with the resources that we need. I would settle happily for more support and resources in the areas we need rather than the time he gives us doing statutory visits every month. So I was very surprised this morning to get a call from the Duty Social Worker to say that our social worker was on sick leave and they would be sending out a duty worker to do the stat visit. I did mention that we weren’t overdue a visit and we’d happy to wait until she was back. But they insisted they would send the duty worker to carry out the visit.
What a waste of time. I could have told them it was totally pointless. Yet another new adult for Alice to impress, for her to climb up upon and flutter her eyelashes and show how sweet she is. Another person to distract from what is really going on. Another person for me to fill in with on her life story because she won’t have had time to read the notes, she certainly won’t be writing many notes up from today’s visit, and there will be no action on what we actually need help with. I can’t help feeling that it is simply a box ticking exercise for them, to show that they are taking due diligence and not missing any visits. They are insuring against a bad result from their next Ofsted inspection.
Whilst that little box is being firmly ticked, a number of boxes are being ignored – ones that actually matter to Alice and to us. She has still not started her life story work – if I hear one more excuse about parents not being cooperative I will get very cross. It only takes five minutes of facebook stalking to find enough information to get the life story work started, social services along with her nursery provider and health service have enough information in her records to fill in the gaps – and we have everything from age 3. We are also still awaiting therapy to start and help getting our house made more accessible.
These things are at the bottom of a very long list of things social services need to get on with – however the stat visits will continue. As suspected, the duty worker came, I made her a cup of tea, Alice was charming, I tried to fill her in on the last month or so, and she was out of the door before I could raise the things that really mattered. It is very easy to feel disillusioned by the whole thing.
We have to keep reminding ourselves about the difference we have made to her life!
A Less Ordinary Fostering Family Blog.