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Supervisors at work...? - Carers UK Forum

Supervisors at work...?

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I may have posted this post in the wrong section so please forgive me.

I need some advice. I am a community support worker supporting adults with autism and learning disabilities. I love my job 99% of the time. I have no qualification because I was sent from the jobcentre. I took to the role really well and the service users like me a lot.

Recently, supervisors have been appointed to do staff supervision and appraisals. They do this to support us, but I just feel that they are being petty. It has got to the point now were I have to watch what I do and what I say. There are some staff in a non-supervisor role who are pally with the supervisors and any little thing out of place will be reported. I work with service users who are particularly troublesome and they run off and do their own thing and yet you have to watch them. We are short staffed but that is not taken into consideration it seems. We get given scenarios such as 'would you run into the road to save a service user?' Well, some of our users like to run off and you can only shout after them or bribe them to come back, all the while another user is shoving leaves down my top and another user is running the other way. Another user is shouting in my ear. There are times like these and those incidents are noted as if I should have wrought a miracle. What can I do? I cannot be in two places at once.

There are other occasions where I got in trouble (or was criticised) because I asked a question the wrong way; another when a service user got disruptive and stopped the class session; I tried to take him out of the room but he would not move and just started screaming and shouting. I am not allowed to push or shove a service user so what am I doing wrong? I got in trouble for abandoning the session (which I did not).

There is also some lies going around: that I hate my job or that I've said that one of the users was a "nuisance". None of this is accurate or true. There's also this notion that a male member of staff is 'having a negative influence' on me. I know who this person is and I would not be able to do this job if it was not for him supporting me and being my friend at work. And in fact, we hardly see each other these days.

There's a clique of women here and I hate it. There is another male staff member and he said that he has been "mortally wounded" by these appraisals and has to think twice before doing anything or saying anything. It is like walking on egg shells. I noticed that previous staff members had quit their job here because of staff-issues. Even I now have to watch what I say because I know it will get back to the supervisors.

And we get little praise. It is mainly criticism and some of it seems to me to be exaggerated or poorly understood. If I had my bag on whilst preparing a meal for a service user (I actually didn't realise I had the bag on), is that really cause for putting that into a supervision record to be discussed? During a staff meeting, I asked whether a 1-to-1 user can be left alone (i.e., can you leave a room with the user left behind) and that did not go down very well; the manager's words were "I am very concerned about these issues..." I thought she was pulling my leg.

There's also lies and rumours. I do not hate my job and I have never verbally attacked any of the users. But for some reason I am accused of both of these and they won't tell me who spoke of it.

So what's the beef with these supervisors?
So sorry Martyn, but this is forum for 'unpaid' carers - those supporting/caring for family or friends and not a site for professional care staff.

I would suggest that you need to take your complaints to your Human Resources department in the first place or maybe to ACAS who should be able to help you.
As Susie says we're all unpaid Carers here, not 'care workers' like you.
From what I can make out your doing a grand job and I fear there could be some jealosy amongst these so called supervisors.
Hang in there long enough and you might even pinch one of their jobs and supervise yourself one day.
Good luck. :)
I agree with you Pete but just wanted to say something else, as as my Caree has LD and challenging behaviour. In this case, we have a careworker who is obviously caring about the people he looks after but it is obvious how challenging his clients are.

If we look at this from the other angle, these are vulnerable and unpredictable people, whose safety and welfare is being put in the hands of somebody who had been sent by the Jobcentre, unqualified in any way. Can you imagine if it was a person who didn't want to do this type of work? Qualification doesn't mean diddly squat in my book, as long as the person is willing to learn about the people they care for, and have some empathy for them.
But not everybody is as caring as Martin (I've had experience of this) and LD folks are at their mercy. No experience or qualifications needed - it's really not right.
I agree with Ladybird.

I am rather concerned that a completely unqualified but well meaning person can be put in charge of people with challenging behaviours and autism.

Nothing against you Martin but I have a daughter with a learning disability so I look at it from the other side too. It makes me very sad for both the client and the paid carer in cases like this.

Last week I bumped into a young woman who went to special school with my DD. She was with a paid carer (she lives in sheltered housing) who showed no interest in her whatsoever. We sat in a cafe for nearly an hour and even from across the room we could see that the paid carer spent the whole time looking at her phone and ignoring X completely. She used to be a lovely chatty, outgoing girl with Some LD and epilepsy. I felt so sad for her because she deserves better than this. The paid carer gets paid whether she engages and interacts with X or not and there is nobody there to witness what's going on.