Unhappy children with a very poor diet, aggressive and hostile parents, violence in the family home (particularly over the remote control), not enough funding for all the demands placed upon you- there’s no doubt Christmas is almost as stressful as social work.
To make life a little easier we have created the perfect gift wishlist for you that can be emailed or placed in a very obvious place.
For the stressed social worker (and let’s face it- who isn’t?)
Our stress survey last year showed more social workers turn to comfort eating than their manager when stress levels rise. So in that case you need industrial amounts of cake! Or at least a large slab of it once a month as a bare minimum. Notonthehighstreet £24
Who needs the new iphone or ipad. What you really want to unwrap on the big day is an eraser (to make all those troubles disappear), a rubber band (to stretch yourself beyond your limits) and string (to tie things together when they fall apart). However, the combination in this sweet little bag will at least raise a wan smile and social worker’s need a lot of those to survive each day! Etsy £1 each
3. Dammit Dolls
For more practical stress relief we like these Dammit Dolls (so named because that’s what you say as you hit them against any hard surface within reach multiple times). They come in large and small sizes and the aim of the game is to see who can get rid of the stuffing quickest….off you go.
Dammitdolls.com or Amazon £14.99
Variation on a theme. To make it even more satisfying feel free to add a picture of whichever manager/multi-agency partner/government minister is making life most difficult for you this week. Warning: Don’t try this at work. Amazon £70
For tricky service user visits
Clever social workers and postmen alike know who they need to suck up to the most when out visiting. It’s the dog- particularly if said mutt possesses a lively dislike of official looking intruders and very sharp teeth. Even the fussiest pooch couldn’t resist these luxury dog treats. Stock up. John Lewis £16.25
Struggling to know what the children on your case files are saying? Feel like you’re speaking two different languages? Take this urban dictionary with you to every meeting. It may well slow down the conversation but it will undoubtedly increase your street cred when you can throw around the words “snapback” and “bangin'” with casual ease that won’t seem at all strange for a 40-year-old wearing a tie. Amazon Kindle £4.52
For the social worker who wants to feel responsible happiness
Liked Jo Brand in Damned? Pick up one of her entertaining novels about- yes you guessed it -mental illness. Entertaining and informative in the one package. Waterstones £7.19
Feel guilty about our throwaway society but not entirely convinced you want to buy another goat or donkey for Africa? Ama Himalaya is run by former London child protection social worker Lizzie Lake. She supplies pashminas, ponchos, tableware and silk dressing gowns made by women survivors of the sex trade in Nepal. The money helps them stay independent and in control of their lives. Ama Himalaya £POA
Say it loud and say it proud
There’s nothing like a well placed coffee mug, mousepad or t-shirt slogan to get your message across. These are some of our favourites.
9. The tote-bag every social worker should carry: “I’m a social worker; what’s your super-power?”
10. The coffee cup that gives you a morale boost: “You can’t scare me; I’m a social worker”.
11. The magnet to put put flatmates/family/children’s complaints into perspective before they even dream about telling you how bad their day was: “You think you have problems? I have 100 people’s problems!”
All Cafe Press £4-£12
If you need a shot of inspiration then go for the incredibly cheap (simply register for our email alerts) but beautiful Community Care calendar filled with heart-warming photos to remind you every day exactly why you do this sodding job! Community Care £Free