This week’s diary is by a local services manager at a housing association who helps single mothers maintain their tenancies.

Out of the office on Friday and there are an abundance of messages
waiting for me. Most are from potential clients or partner agencies
wanting to discuss our services. The morning is over by the time
I’ve answered all the enquiries. Attend a meeting with the
council’s social services department to discuss the support needs
of a young mother. She has learning difficulties and her child has
been in temporary foster care. The court will make a judgement over
permanent care in a couple of months, but says she can have the
child returned for a few hours a day in the meantime – as long as
she gets the help she needs. Social services will buy in extra
hours of support from us so we can develop the parenting sessions
she needs. Spend rest of day inducting three new workers from a
housing association for people from ethnic minorities. We have a
great arrangement with five other associations where we meet each
other’s new staff to explain how our own organisation and the
partnership work.

One of my staff has her six-month probationary review this morning.
She’s nervous but has nothing to worry about – she’s a real asset.
Later I visit an ex-client who still keeps in touch. She needs some
practical advice about a new tenancy that she’s been offered. She
has two children and has suffered abuse from her neighbours because
she is mixed race. Despite getting an injunction against the
neighbours for racial harassment, she felt unable to stay in the
house. She’s grateful for my advice and looks forward to moving to
her new home. The day ends with a meeting with another housing
association to discuss potential referrals.

Collate the quarterly statistics this morning. It’s a case of
getting updates on referrals from the rest of the team. Some of it
is monitoring required by our partner agencies, but the information
is really useful because it highlights where we need to focus more
resources. Meet a group of social services managers this afternoon.
My job is to make sure we reach more women in need, as research
shows there is high demand for our support locally. The meeting is
a chance to keep social services up to date with what we’re up to.
I was nervous before I went in but they were very positive.

Work on a policy on women and violence with a colleague from
another office. It should be adopted across the association and
we’ll finalise it and get second opinions.

Drop into social services to discuss referral of a new client and
get background information about her. She’s a mother of five from
another town fleeing a violent relationship and doesn’t know anyone
here. Spend the afternoon at a family assessment unit’s annual
meeting. It prompts me to think of ways of livening up our own
annual reviews by involving clients and a local solicitor.

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