Thursday 17 February 2022

System Literacy

I'm being chased by a metaphoric and actual storm. On my bike heading to the station to catch a train a day early as LNER have informed me it's all gonna go 'Pete Tong' due to storm Eunice. 

The phone rings, I pull up and take the call. 

It's early help, the duty social worker is calling back after we called the duty team to ask them if the duty social worker that came out to see us after the allocated social worker had been unavailable after they'd not come out for two weeks after they had promised cos a thing had happened to them, anyway this duty worker has spoken to that duty worker who had come out and now she understands why we called. 

Yeah, you know how it works.

We talked, I explained, she understood. She said there's been a referral for early help. 

Time slowed, I chose my words carefully. 

"Actually, at the fear of becoming the person that doesn't want early help causing an escalation in concerns, can I say that I don't want early help and I won't be having it thanks....................."

"Ah, ok." was the reply, phew we dodged a bullet. We talked some more and I made sense of why a referral had been made and why we'd asked for it to be made. It's all a bit of a dance. 

It is worth noting that MrsC's views on the impact of an earlier early help 'intervention' if articulated in full would make a pirate blush. 

System Literacy is a real thing, as a parent with ongoing social care involvement it's the difference between disaster and success. We know it's a terrible thing to fall into the hands of an angry social care system. 

A couple of years ago I spent two hours on the phone to a friend walking her through roles and responsibilities, pitfalls and dangers encouraging openness but warning against naivety, how to speak, how not to speak and how to get help and not get trouble. 

Adoptive parents understand that they will need to support thier children and hopefully they are prepared to do so in the process. We need to prepare and support them for the lifetime of professional interactions, how do dance with services, how to advocate and keep our children safe. 

There you go a little story from my day. 

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