Six months into my post as a newly qualified care manager and today
sees the end of my probationary period. The last three years have
been a life changing experience for me, as I had been working in
the NHS as a care assistant for over 20 years when I decided, in my
forties, to embark on a career change. I returned to college as a
Diploma in Social Work student and here I am! Appraisal over, my
manager is pleased and asks if I will stay. With a student loan to
repay, is there a choice, I ask myself as I return to the office
with the news. A colleague soon brings me down with a bump saying:
“You shouldn’t have worried, with the staffing crisis they can’t
afford to lose anyone!”


IT instruction this morning. My employing authority is awash with
computerised systems that require regular feeding with care
management data, whereas my training authority not only had a basic
system closely guarded by administration staff, but had also only
recently taken on the model of care management. Result? A big
learning curve for me, with the biggest lesson being how to find
the time to input all the data. Back to college in the afternoon.
Like many of my student group I have remained to complete both the
degree and post-qualifying year, and value the support of other
students and tutors. Today we talk about a forthcoming assignment
Ð therapeutic interventions – and with a wealth of ideas from
alternative therapies
to crisis management, it is difficult to identify which one to


A frantic phone call from a well-known client. She has a problem,
can I visit as soon as possible? I go to the house with some
trepidation, to be greeted by the client’s husband who informs me
that he has had two sleepless nights. Putting my best counselling
head on I ask him to explain the problem. He leads me to the
hallway and points out a damp patch under the stairs. It is with
some relief that I suggest that this is probably one for the
housing department.


Today I am going out to do a review with a client I haven’t met
yet. I read from her file that she has been a committed campaigner
for disability rights, a cause close to my heart and although I
sense she is anxious about the review I am looking forward to our
meeting. I am not disappointed. We strike up an immediate rapport
and talk at length, bouncing ideas off each other and time is soon
up. Back at the office she rings and thanks me, saying our
discussion has been inspirational and she feels renewed. I go home


Day off and time to start the assignment. I recall my tutor’s
advice in recognising the real value of therapeutic work with
clients, when so much of our work is restricted by eligibility
criteria and budgets and then, remembering the events of yesterday,
begin my essay.

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