Social Workers, don’t you just love them? Being a Foster Carer means you get involved with all sorts of Social Workers, from the excellent to the ‘oh my god how did you ever qualify?’ If you are working with the excellent ones then it makes life, and the placement, so much easier.
Regular placement meetings, regular phone calls and putting into action what’s been agreed at meetings are all the type of things you can expect from a clued up Social Worker.
At the other end of the scale, well, non-attendance at meetings, lack of support and lack of awareness of regulations are some of the issues I have experienced. These problems aren’t with new qualified Social Workers either.
The worst Social Worker I worked with had 18 years’ experience!
I remember her taking a placement to a contact with a sibling in North London. They were due back about 5pm and when it got to 7pm I started to worry. I called the Social Worker and she answered, obviously very flustered. She had got on the wrong train and was in Hertfordshire, I lived in Kent!! Other than being hopeless on public transport she actually fell asleep in a review meeting.
James (name changed) is a happy little soldier. We did some school work today (yes, we) and he got some great remarks from his teacher. We had a zoom meeting so I could introduce myself and we established some areas where James needs assistance, especially with Maths. Now I haven’t actually done any maths work for probably 40 years but it helps having a son who is a teacher. So my son did a zoom lesson with James which seemed to work very well.
I also have a friend who is Head of Languages in a private school and he, very kindly, also agreed to do a zoom lesson with James. I left them to it but when I returned to the room there was lots of laughter and James learning to say ‘your cooking is rubbish’ in Spanish. We had a phone call from his Social Worker today regarding the thorny issue of contact with Mum.
Mum has, again, asked for contact and, of course, money to help her travel to the contact centre. I put the phone on loudspeaker so that James could be part of the conversation. He said that he missed his Mum but he didn’t like the upset of her not turning up for contact.
He stated that he was happy with telephone contact and it was agreed that the Social Worker would go back to Mum and discuss it further.
Mums kicked off! Apparently it’s my fault James doesn’t want contact, face to face, and she is saying that the Social Worker should insist on her having contact.
I heard James’ phone ringing constantly and I asked if he was ok. He said that Mum had shouted at him down the phone and he had disconnected the call. In the end he actually switched his phone off as it was becoming too much for him.
So we did the best thing and binge watched football and ate pizza, thus saving him from using the Spanish he had learned earlier.
A blogging foster carer’s Diary.