Diary: a social worker in a local authority adults team writes
My bottom barely hits my seat before the hospital rings to tell me to expect a call from a friend of a woman they have just discharged. The friend is on the warpath. I start to look up details of the service user on our database. Her needs are high. She has no family. She is demented. Her mobility is zero. I wonder to myself why she’s going home and call the friend before he calls me.
An office-based day. I work my way through some case closures, which have built up rapidly. I complete a review and make a referral to our direct payments worker. I meet with one of the social workers for supervision. He is highly experienced but feels he is getting stuck in a rut so we discuss ways of injecting some excitement into work. We discuss professional development and agree on some shadowing within other teams. He is also interested in attending a conference later in the year and I agree to discuss funding with my manager.
I attend a social care conference. As I wander about and talk to people, I feel my enthusiasm for my job reignite. I bump into a few former colleagues and we exchange news and gossip. There many different workshops on offer, so much so I need to sit down and work out exactly what I want to attend. Luckily, there is free coffee available and a tempting array of cakes. I leave feeling invigorated and supported.
In our team meeting I give feedback from yesterday’s conference. My colleagues are surprised at my enthusiasm, as normally I’m known for my cynicism. Feeling like the class swot, I even remember to add the event to my PRTL list for registration. I arrange to visit some service users. As I read through previous reviews on our database I curse as I come across incomplete entries. For some service users there are no entries at all, even though they are receiving a service. I complete a form to access some carers support. I know that this information can be found on other reports but I have been told in no uncertain terms that I have to complete this extra form. I do so, but fume as I do it.
Another morning in the office of closing cases, checking assessments and making telephone calls. I meet briefly with my manager who is full of beans as he’s off on holiday next week. Makes me think I need to book some time off too. Having agreed to take two kittens from a friend, I dash off after work to get the necessary bits as I’m picking them up at the weekend. The responsibility feels huge!