Thursday 25 September 2014

Sweaty palms & Social Workers

Not unusually we had a bit of a fracas, you know the usual stuff, pushy, shovey angry, kicky, shouty, pretendy call the policey and so on. But as it took a turn for the worse towards the end and new behaviours manifest we thought we'd better inform the powers that be.

So, we dutifully called the local Children's Services Duty Team and briefly let them know what had happened. Though we have ongoing and weekly access to a range of professionals they have a more therapeutic role than statutory protection so the Social Workers seemed to be the right people to tell.

I think they where a bit perplexed.

We asked the Duty Social Worker to record the incident and they offered to come out, well we said we weren't that bothered about seeing them but if they fancied a trip out they they were welcome. 

Lo and behold a letter arrived and they were going to pop out and have a chat. 

I then started to get a feeling of uncertainty, perhaps they thought we were hiding something. That us not being 'bothered' about seeing them was interpreted as something more sinister.

Perhaps we would get a Type A Social Worker. That wouldn't help.

Also, what the hell would Flossy say. An unceasing torrent of utter tosh normally pours out of her mouth, bless her,  and at best it's just irritating and at worst it's catastrophically dangerous.
(I must blog about the time when we were returning from holiday she threatened to tell airport security that I'd stolen Madeline McCann*). 

I rub shoulders with Children's Services Social Workers on a daily basis so they normally hold no threat or mystique for me. On the whole they're a good bunch, overworked yes, but malicious no. 

But to have one come to the house on a professional basis is quite a thing. What presumptions would they make, what conclusions would they draw.

Sometimes when I visit a home in my professional capacity I can feel the brittle anxiety experienced by a parent when a  Social Worker steps into their home. Now their feelings of loss of control and impotence where creeping around Mrs C and I and it wasn't nice.

As it turns out all was well and as suspected it was more a case of being thorough than of being suspicious.
For me it was a good lesson professionally and personally.
It made me consider my manner and actions as a Social Worker.
I made me think about my children's parents, yes very different circumstances. However, I know the system and my rights and I'm able to communicate effectively yet still I found the experience challenging. Being an average white man the system favours me but I thought of the challenges they faced and the failings they experienced.

All in all, an interesting experience. 

*I didn't


  1. Oh dear, I absolutely roared at the Madeline McCann comment! They're mustard aren't they?! I suspect the whole thing wasn't quite so funny at the time!

    1. I don't quite understand the condiment reference, however I don't think I've quite been so astonished and scared at the same time.

  2. I roared at the 'I didn't' at the end!


  3. I thought I'd better clarify that I didn't.

  4. Amazing how a SW visit can instil fear in the best of us, I've got one this week, I may have to dust. And I'm glad you clarified your final point. Thanks for sharing on #WASO

  5. I'm starting to wonder about some of the homes I visit, they're always clean. I should get some white gloves and check the picture rail.

  6. When we started our adoption assessment it really gave me insight into how famillies feel when I visited through a work capacity. Useful and made me realise how hard it must be when you don't know the system yourself or that social workers are real people!

  7. I'm not are Social Workers are real people. Tee hee