This week’s writer is a council social worker working with disabled children

Log on to the network and check my e-mails. Have managed
to make transition from computer-phobe to dedicated disciple in one
easy step. The machine was on the desk when I arrived in the job
last year. I couldn’t avoid it so I started to use it, with some
success. Type up a priority action list for the week (I’m
optimistic as ever) and return calls to a desperate parent whose
son’s care package has let her down again. I wish all these
agencies would just do what I want them to do when I want them to
do it.

Team meeting this morning. Much doom and gloom as we hear about the
huge overspend in the department and what we can, or rather can’t,
expect the funding panels to agree to. It’s obvious that it’s going
to be difficult remaining positive when completing initial
assessments under these circumstances. Suspect I need to take a
course in creative fund-raising. Will have to discuss this with my
manager in supervision. A separated father phones. His former
partner’s back has gone again and she can’t look after their
autistic son. After much negotiation with managers and parents, a
small daily package of help at home is approached to tide things
over. I’m suitably reassured there is life after

Attend care plan reviews at a nearby unit. One mother is annoyed
that unexplained bruising on her daughter resulted in a referral to
the local paediatrician for examination when the child’s known
self-harming behaviour makes her prone to falls. “As if caring for
a disabled child isn’t difficult enough already,” says the
exasperated mother. This is a very delicate area that is full of
possible pitfalls either way. But what else is a social worker to
do when the child can’t give an explanation for a

Duty day. Silently beseech the almighty to grant me a quiet day so
I can tackle the growing mountain of paperwork on my desk. Almighty
obliges and I am duly grateful. I beaver away and get quite a few
things done. Surface at lunch to take a breath of fresh air. The
sandwich van arrives and I award myself the “order of the sticky
bun” in recognition of all my efforts this week. Must be careful
though as evidence of too many “awards” is showing up on the
bathroom scales. Perhaps the team should have a sponsored weight
loss to raise much-needed funds?

Can’t believe another week has gone by so quickly. Out on visits to
my patch I’m again reminded of the immense amount of extra care,
supervision, money and time it takes to look after a disabled
child. Social care professionals really need more funding if we are
to expect families to carry on coping without cracking under the
strain. Perhaps that nice Mr Blair reads the diary column and can
ensure we have the appropriate resources to achieve this in the
future. That really would be nice wouldn’t it?

More from Community Care

Comments are closed.