Author Topic: Shortage of Social Workers  (Read 1508 times)

Sunshine Meadows

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Re: Shortage of Social Workers
« Reply #15 on: 31 Aug 2022 02:16PM »

Ditchdwellers,


That locum social worker sounds like a pencil pusher that relies on rules and procedures rather than her human brain box. I hope things improve but I cant think how to get her to be a person who cares when she is so focused on beans and county. Sending huggss.

On the Edge and Sunny Clouds,


Interesting posts and worth further discussion
I am going to use your posts on a new thread so I need to move them.


 :f_peacedove:

Sunshine Meadows

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Re: Shortage of Social Workers
« Reply #16 on: 31 Aug 2022 03:42PM »
I wonder how much computer programs are used to decided if people get help or not? That social workers sometimes feel like input clerks rather than living breathing humans.




ditchdwellers

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Re: Shortage of Social Workers
« Reply #17 on: 01 Sep 2022 01:56PM »
I think maybe I had caught her on a particularly busy day so I will be interested to see what happens tomorrow.


Unfortunately, I'm in a council area that has been severely admonished for the state of Adult Social Services and there has been a huge turnover of staff and a recruitment issue. Each individual Social worker is now carrying the workload of two or three and it's not surprising that staff are getting burnt out so quickly. From what I've heard, morale locally is very low.


It's a job I once thought of going into; I went down the teaching route instead which was the right decision for me.


I remember Fiz told me she had been a social worker and she was so kind,  full of empathy, and practical ideas and suggestions I can imagine she was a first class social worker.






Sunny Clouds

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Re: Shortage of Social Workers
« Reply #18 on: 01 Sep 2022 03:09PM »
I definitely think burn out is an issue.

Not the same sort of social workers, but years ago, when I was a patient of a local multidisciplinary mental health team, I went into the clinic one day to see my nurse and was seen by an exhausted social worker who said that she and the receptionist were the only two staff in there that day and that the other 22 were off sick with stress.  That's a multidisciplinary mental health team.  Those off sick would have included psychiatrist, nurses, social workers, admin and probably (depending on rota) some out of counsellor, occupational therapist, welfare adviser, another doctor etc.

The service they provided was utter rubbish.  A few of them were horrible, but mostly just burnt out.  They were part of a team that also had an inpatient ward.  I later found that not only were some staff unpleasant to others, one, who was physically beating up patients with hard punches, was intimmidating his colleagues. 

But you don't have to have that sort of horrible stuff going on to make the job unbearable.  Just give people impossible targets.

I think sometimes you have to almost do their job for them, explaining stuff and suggesting the most practical way of sorting things.  How you do that diplomatically isn't my forte, as you'll realise.

(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

ditchdwellers

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Re: Shortage of Social Workers
« Reply #19 on: 02 Sep 2022 03:29PM »
My SW assessment was a bit of a disaster.


The SW was with us for hours and kept going over the same ground time and time again, and really wasn't listening or understanding what I and my PA were trying to say. Things were said in a very intimidating manner, and I began to feel angry, frustrated, bullied, and threatened.
It got to the point where the SW had me in tears and my PA firmly told them to gather their stuff together and leave. Now. But they kept on asking me questions and making me more upset, so I ended up swearing at them and yelling to get out of my home.


My PA just kept telling the SW to leave and I've never seen him so angry. He was furious at the way I was spoken to and is going to help me file a complaint to Social Services over this person's conduct.


I hate being made to feel vulnerable in my own home.

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Shortage of Social Workers
« Reply #20 on: 02 Sep 2022 04:04PM »
I'm struggling to find polite words to describe my instinctive response to what you've just described having gone through, DD.  Polite words like outrage, anger, indignation don't really cover it.

Whilst I acknowledge that there are SWs that are burnt out or not doing their job properly because they're rushed off their feet with an unmanageable caseload, I can see that that can't  be the case here, because if it was, they wouldn't have stayed for hours.  What's the expletive point? What the hell did they get out of it?

DD, you're human, therefore not perfect, but nothing you write in Ouchtoo would suggest to me that you wouldn't show an awful lot of patience in an assessment, so your reaction tells me you were treated horribly.

I feel expletive frustrated I'm not close enough to hug you or pop round with some gesture of comfort.  All I can offer is big, big virtual hugs.

 :big_hugs: :big_hugs:
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Sunshine Meadows

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Re: Shortage of Social Workers
« Reply #21 on: 02 Sep 2022 04:09PM »
Ditchdweller,
I am so sorry that happened  :f_hug:

ditchdwellers

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Re: Shortage of Social Workers
« Reply #22 on: 03 Sep 2022 10:20AM »
Thank you  :f_hug:


After reflecting on things and talking it through further with my PA and my husband, I tried to make a complaint to the County Council Social Services team about the meeting but there was no-one available for me to speak to. So I've put in a detailed complaint to my MP and will follow up with a similar complaint to the Head of Social Services.


To use an example of the bullying tactics used by this SW:
I explained that I couldn't change the bed and that was one of the tasks my PA did for me. I was made to provide exact reasons and explanations for why I couldn't do each and every task involved in changing the bed linen. I felt humiliated having to describe why my disabilities prevented me from changing the bottom sheet on my bed, or put on a clean pillowcase. I had already been through my list of conditions and how each of them affected me. I had even explained how many of the effects were compounded through having multiple conditions, yet here I was having to justify why the spinal tumours, severe arthritis, dislocating joints, neurological disorders etc made life difficult for me. But the SW obviously wasn't listening.


What infuriated both myself and my PA was that he wouldn't let my PA speak at all when he was questioning me, and would then ask my PA exactly the same questions  :f_doh:  So he asked my PA what problems he thought I would have changing the bed! My PA was fuming, bless him. I've never seen him get anywhere near cross before and he turned round to the SW and said "When was the last time you made a bed? It's completely knackering! There's no way DD can change the bed".
My lovely PA then challenged the SW to look up all my conditions when he got back to the office and try and learn and understand a little about how they might affect me. The SW looked at us blankly and continued with his questions.


We went through the minutiae of my problems with doing the laundry, to preparing food and cooking it, to my lack of socialisation. This particular SW is fixated on Day Care Centres being the key to getting me out more. Personally, I can't think of anything worse and I asked if it's possible for me to have support to visit my friends instead and this seemed like an alien concept! Why can't I have support to go to a tearooms or out to see a film like a normal person would? Why should I be limited to a minibus at a Day Care Centre?
This seems such an outdated idea. I mean I'm only 53 and have plenty of living to do yet!


Overall, this was the worst experience I have ever gone through. My first PIP medical assessment was a walk in the park compared with this.


So I'm determined not to let it rest until I get a full apology from Social Services.

Monic1511

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Re: Shortage of Social Workers
« Reply #23 on: 03 Sep 2022 03:51PM »
Hi DD


I’m sorry you met the ultimate pen pushing idiot. Every year the student social workers come in and they decide they’re going to sort the world but that the data protection rules  :f_steam:  mean you have to take the info from the client.  Complain about him, in my area it’s the social work manager and councillors in charge of the dept you complain to and then it’ll be the MSP as it’s a devolved issue.


I had an argument this week with a council tax worker who wouldn’t send the severe mental impairment form for a person within dementia to me or their adult daughter but had to send it to the person  :f_doh:  I explained that the person frequently puts their mail in the bin but since I’m not on the list of authorised people he couldn’t send a blank form to me.


Check your councils website for details of the complaints process and good luck

ditchdwellers

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Re: Shortage of Social Workers
« Reply #24 on: 04 Sep 2022 12:52PM »
Thanks for that Monic, I hadn't considered the data protection malarkey!  :f_yikes:


I had a long chat with my sister who is a senior manager in Social Services at a different council and that helped me a lot. She was outraged and helped me put together a really good complaint. She has to deal with staff complaints herself so advised me on what to say and what not to say and used her contacts to find the name of the SW manager for me. She also explained the complaint processes in detail and what I should expect as a resolution.


It certainly put things in perspective for me and I was glad I asked for her help.
I've never discussed my dealings with Social Services with my sister before or asked her professional advice as I prefer to keep the two things separate and I know how busy and pressurised she is at work. Does that make sense? That's why I prefer to ask my friends here for help and advice, but I was so upset by this I wanted to share it with her.


Anyway, complaint is now in and I will wait for the response!


Thanks for everyone's help and support.  :f_hug:  You folks are amazing  :big_hugs: