Carers' views on social workers sought.

Take part in research or give your opinion in a survey.
I am a postgraduate social work student seeking carers' views on the contact they have had with social workers. As part of my course I am making a DVD for a target audience of social workers and social work students. My aim is to raise awareness of what carers value and what they do not find helpful, be it in terms of their relationship with the social worker or the outcome of the social workers' involvement. I have not included any set questions, as some research does, because I do not want to presuppose what is important to you. I will not include any names in my presentation so as to ensure confidentiality. This is an opportunity for you to raise awareness and contribute to the education of social workers. Thank you for reading this and I look forward to your replies.
Social worker is every where in PCT and SS. Do you collect many stories from every directions of Carers experience with SWs?

I am Adult Mental Health Carer for my husband, who needs lots of support from SS. One of his Community Psychiatric Nurse was qualified SW but he was very patronizing. I can only share my experience with that SW. Do you count Carers Support Workers as SW as well?
As I have mentioned in other postings I do not have a particularly high opinion of Social Workers. They seem to exist to only save their departments money instead of helping those most in need. I live in one of the areas assessed as having the worst social work department in Scotland. I together with my husband care for our severely disabled 24 year old son 24/7 and we both have health problems of our own. Good luck with your studies.

Regards

Eun
I have no faith in Social Services at all. They have failed our family many times, and ignore our needs. I care for my husband and son, who have varying needs. I have asked for support recently, I am at rock bottom after my younger son died suddenly last summer,and the Carers Assessment team have said they cannot help in any way. It seems to me that if your face fits, you get what you ask for. If you complain when something goes wrong, or stand up for your carees rights, or those of yourself as a Carer, you don't get anywhere.
I do not have any respect for most of the Social Services managers that I have come across. The staff who do the daily grind are usually willing,but do not have the support or teaching from their managers.
The standard answer from Social Services if I have any issues , is " well put in an official complaint then, and we will stand by what we are told to do". Too often, this is too much to cope with on top of my caring duties,and the twice I have done so, the complaint has gone in our favour and we have been proven to be in the right. Yet what do we get from it, nothing except more work, mosre expense,(all the paperwork and meetings), and a letter of apology.And that is it until the next time.
Good luck with your research. Just let your students out into the real world, and talk to real Carers and disabled people, without managers of Social Services listening in.
I would just like to add my experiance of the so called social services . For my years it was a case of , if you are coping fine on your own we will leave you alone . At the beginning when mum came to live with me i had a full time job 2 teenage girls at home , but the powers that be seemed to think we were all jollying along and there was no problems even after repeated requests for help . As the years have passed i now find i can get all the help i need albeit 13 years too late . I think it totally depends on where you live , postcode lottery again . This year for instance i have had 3 weeks respite and only yesterday was given dates for the rest of the year , another 6 weeks in total . I think it is ridiculous that ALL s.s departments don't give the same service nationwide .I know i am one of the very few really lucky ones and i know exactly what everyone else go through to try and get their needs met .
I think social workers are damned of they do and damned if they don't. They are often abused by the very people they are trying to help, and the help that it is in their power to give is severely curtailed by 'budgets' - often chopped up arbitrarily into sub-budgets only to be used for this or that. In this area, instead of building up working with relevant parts of the NHS, they have been cut off by new systems of working. In this council, I am told 49% have been off on sick leave in recent times. This may be why the council is now using non-qualified 'Care Managers' for as much as possible - I haven't seen or spoken to a Social Worker for some considerable time.
Social worker is every where in PCT and SS. Do you collect many stories from every directions of Carers experience with SWs?

I am Adult Mental Health Carer for my husband, who needs lots of support from SS. One of his Community Psychiatric Nurse was qualified SW but he was very patronizing. I can only share my experience with that SW. Do you count Carers Support Workers as SW as well?
Thank you all for your replies so far. I really appreciate you taking time to answer my request. In answer to your question Fluffycat, I have in mind Carers' views on their contact with Social Workers, be they qualified or not, and others who may be carrying out carers' assessments. The information I am looking for is what will get Social Work students thinking about how they can make a difference to the quality of the service provided themselves on an individual level.
what will get Social Work students thinking about how they can make a difference to the quality of the service provided themselves on an individual level.
The ability to recognise when to use clear, relatively simple language to explain fully, and when the person in front of them needs higher level communication because they already know much of what needs saying, and/or they are more articulate. fluffycat possibly got the patronising manner, because English is not her first language - although it is clear to us on this board that she is a capable and intelligent person. I found I could use higher-level language with the few Social Workers I have dealt with than the support people like the 'Care Manager' and the lady from the organisation providing support for DPs, who both needed simpler language. In order to communicate appropriately, the first requirement is to listen .

Listening will also help them find out what matters most to the person they are dealing with.

These points may seem screamingly obvious, but in welter of distractions like 'which form?' 'which budget?', 'who needs to be informed/asked?' etc, these basics too often get lost in the noise.
I think that Social Workers should have the confidence to stand by their own decisions and responsibilities. I do feel that some of the younger people who have visisted us have had senior staff breathing down their necks, stopping them making some decisions of their own.
This happened with us, and then a new member of staff, a trained nurse stepped in, and said "look, this family need some support". She worked really hard and involved me in everything, including research for our son's needs. She was employed by NHS. Social Work staff should be supported and encouraged to have minds of their own, it can make a lot of difference to a family.
We had a SW. She left for another area. A change-over meeting was arranged. It never happened. Haven't got a SW now.