An anonymous diary entry by one of Circle’s family support workers, who has had a busy week supporting parents and their children.
Names have been changed
This morning I catch up on phone calls and e-mails in the office.
Nancy, one of the mums I support, is studying Social Care. She rings to ask about volunteering with Circle to gain practical experience of working with families. I contact Anna regarding student placements / volunteering. After several telephone conversations, Nancy decides to apply to volunteer for Plusone, Mentoring Project YMCA.
Mary rings to say her son Sam has still not found his house key, which he lost over a week ago. As he has only recently moved in to his own Local Authority (LA) tenancy, we fear neighbours might think he has abandoned the property. I make telephone calls to Carol his housing officer as to how best to gain entry to the property.
In the afternoon I make a joint visit with Lucy, Social Worker, to a re-referral of a family I worked with around two years ago. Sean is back in prison following an offence of domestic assault. Sean made a self-referral to Families Affected By Imprisonment (FABI) when he moved to HMP Addiewell from HMP Barlinnie. We arrange to meet at the family home – I was unaware the family had moved house since I last met with them – I ring Children and Families Social Work for the new address and thanks to Satnav I get there at the arranged time. There are now four children in the family and mum Mandy is happy to work with Circle again. Mandy asks me to accompany her to a Core Group meeting on Thursday morning.
I attend a FABI Team Meeting. A presentation from Welfare Rights officer of North Lanarkshire is very informative. It is good to share experiences with colleagues and catch up with organisational issues. We discuss new posts and funding as this is an issue for staff at this time.
I return a telephone call to Sam after the team meeting, he informs me he has found his keys. I collect Sam and his son Ryan from gran Mary’s house to go along to check his house. The door has been damaged but it is hoped the Local Authority will renew it, as it was not very secure when he was allocated the property. The house is fine as Sam keeps his home clean and tidy although the smell is terrible due to food in the fridge and freezer going off when the electricity ran out. Sam disposes of the rotten food while I clean the fridge freezer, then Sam goes to the local shop to put money in both his gas and electricity meters. This is the first time Ryan has been to his dad’s flat and is excited when he sees how near his home is to the local park and football ground. Both Sam and Ryan hope overnight stays will be arranged in the near future.
I attend the Core Group meeting with Mandy. The reports from School and Nursery teachers are the children are all achieving and appear well cared for and happy. Mandy takes the children to visit Sean usually at weekends. It is decided the children will continue on the Child Protection Register. Sean has not appeared at Court yet so future accommodation arrangements and issues for the family will be discussed at the next meeting.
I collect Len and Laura from their home and accompany them to a Children’s Panel. This has been a long ongoing case with Len not being able to have contact with his son John. During the drive to the meeting we discuss contact being authorised today and what day we hope it would be to fit in with Len’s work commitments. We are very hopeful that at last the long drawn out saga is nearing an end. What a disappointment – the panel members decide to defer making a decision, to appoint a safe guarder and to continue the interim variation of the compulsory supervision order. Back in another 21 days. Len is very disheartened as we leave. Laura continues to have contact with her grandson which is not consistent.