I have been working at home since last Thursday and return to the office to find 97 e-mails. I also have to attend a team meeting where once again the main point on the agenda is: “don’t use the milk in the fridge that isn’t yours”. This, of course, starts a detailed debate. It overshadows an item on workload
management, which is met with silence until after the meeting when everyone complains about being overworked.
I chair two child protection conferences. One involved a seven year old boy whose mother refuses to believe that her partner, who is a sex offender, could possibly abuse her son, no matter what the experts say. How does the social worker work with this mother who is in complete denial? The second conference
involved children and their mother. But I came face to face with my past because I used to be the social worker for the mother when she was a teenager. Is this a reflection of my practice; a non effective intervention?
When I speak to my colleagues in the child care teams, they tell me that I am away from the realities of frontline social work and all that entails – and to some extent I agree. This makes me think wistfully of the direct and continuous contact that I had with my clients and, despite the difficulties and
challenges, I really miss those times. But I have been away from direct work with clients and wonder if I could still cut it back on the frontline or am I looking at it through rose coloured glasses?
During a looked-after child review it emerges that a 17-year-old boy is part of a notorious gang in the area and is trying to leave it. He has a social worker and a keyworker and I find it shocking that neither were alerted to the fact that he was involved in a gang when there were so many indicators. He was
describing some disturbingly violent and intimidating behaviour that he has been involved in after only 15 minutes with him and by asking the “right” questions. This is one that I’ll have to keep an eye on and hope that the social worker acts on the advice that I have given her.
I have a supervision session today with my manager and, as with the previous ones, it is yet another bland paper exercise and nothing like what supervision is meant to be. My manager does not show any genuine interest in what I have to say and therefore I have no interest in his robotic responses. In the afternoon, I try to chase up a social worker who has still not submitted a report for a 10am conference on Monday…oh happy days.