Social Skirmishes: Difficulty obtaining services

social skirmishes

Rosie Warlock, a senior practitioner in children’s social services, tells us what’s on her mind

● How difficult is it to see a social worker? Very, if you are not in the loop or services are not talking to each other.

I recently met a single mother and her child who had been desperately trying to get hold of some help and support for several months. By the time we met for an appointment I had several pages of e-mail correspondence between the mother and agencies she also gave me verbatim reports of her various other phone calls and e-mails.

This included several e-mails to children’s charities requests to her GP, phone calls to the council, who then didn’t get back to her or, on one occasion, put her on to a unit that said that they couldn’t do anything but still didn’t pass her to us more e-mails to my department and then a wait as they filtered down to my team.

All this took a couple of months.

Luckily her case wasn’t an immediate emergency and we have been able to start the ball rolling in obtaining services for the mother and her child. However, with budgets getting tighter, any delay in dealing with requests could result in the client being refused help.

So maybe a one-stop shop for services would be a good idea. Something like a GP surgery, or better still actually part of a GP surgery where a person could walk in and make an appointment to explain what they want or what the problem is and then are forwarded on to the specific service or allocated a case worker.

There, Rosie’s big idea. Watch this space for progress – watch for a very long time.

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