There are many more social workers out there who are fantastic practitioners, striving to do the best for the families they work with but often hampered by uncooperative parents, lack of resources and paperwork! Like everyone else, we have to follow procedures. Sometimes the procedures are more of a hindrance than a help but nevertheless they have to be adhered to. Sometimes we get it wrong, but more than often we get it right. Yes we have to be nosey. We can't win though. We are continually damned if we are and damned if we haven't been nosey enough! Does the general public actually think we enjoy the grim aspects of our jobs? We take no pleasure in removing children or telling people that their homes aren't clean enough. Do you think we 'high five' one another when we remove a child. Hell no! Have you any idea how much paperwork is involved in removing a child, never mind the fact that we know most of the children are going to be distressed and they are going to see us as the cause of that distress. Have you ever had a child sitting in the back of your car throwing up with nerves because of the situation they are in? NO! You don't see that! We do!
However, just doing our job often means we are stigmatised and verbally abused. Being a social worker means I can't share pictures of my family on my blog. I can't tell you our real names and I feel vulnerable. Lets just get to a few home truths about social workers. We often work above our contracted hours, sometimes at weekends too. We often miss important events with our own family because we are busy looking after other families. I've missed school plays, parties and events we have paid good money to go to. My children tell me they miss me. My husband misses me. We often lose out on taking time off because simply we don't have the time! During our days off we do paperwork or think about work. We lie awake at night worrying about families or the list of jobs still to complete. We get death threats. Our cars are damaged. We get phone calls from work on rare days off, even when we are on holiday! We often pay for shopping or other essentials for families out of our own pockets because claiming the money back often takes months and sometimes we don't bother because of the paperwork involved! Hell, I've even rolled up my sleeves and helped people clean their houses!
Do you think about us and our families? I bet you don't.