Why are Social Workers so vilified?

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
132 posts
There may be a solution. Under the Care Act, you and mum are BOTH entitled to your own advocate, someone to stick up for you. I'm really familiar with the welfare system but several key people were just not listening to what I was saying. Now my son (with learning difficulties) and I have advocates, all of a sudden things are changing.
If mum is in YOUR home, then it's not up to mum to say what she wants and everyone has to obey!
Caroline my friend who has her father with dementia living in her home, gets her respite by hiring in a careworker to stay over while she has her getaway. It does not cost much more than putting him into a self-pay care home for respite would cost.

Given that your SW says that it's hard to find a placement for your mum, would they not consider at least putting the same amount of money that a respite placement would cost, towards you hiring a private carer who could live in while you took an essential break?

That said, I do appreciate that what you REALLY want is 'your own house back'....so you can have the' quiet enjoyment' of it.

Although, as BB says, since it is YOUR house your mum is living in, it isn't her 'right' to refuse to leave it to go into respite (or, indeed, permanent residential care if it came to it), I can see that the SW probably is not legally allowed to 'force her against her will'.

The actual practicalities of 'evicting' a non-willing 'lodger' (as your mum is!) are considerable. Grimly, your situation is not that unusual. There have been members here reporting that respite was booked, so was their own holiday, the day came and the mum/dad simply said 'I'm not going anywhere'.

The horrible horrible thing about dementia is that it turns nice, reasonable parents into 'selfish monsters' who do what they want, and don't do what they don't want. We have to work very hard at remembering it is not 'them' it is the 'dementia'.

That is why my friend bites the bullet and hires a private live in carer - at least it means both the least change for her dad, and he can't 'block' her going. She just lets the carer in, explains the routine, leaves a file for her, etc etc, and then gets into her car and drives off!
Further on that 'refusing respite' point, I guess one could walk out, leave the key under the mat/with a neighbour or whatever, and phone a social worker to say there is an elderly person with dementia alone in the house, and it's a safeguarding issue.

Just what the SW can do, I don't know. Phone the paramedics, have them 'taken away' to hospital? But what if the person won't go? Inject them with tranquilliser and load them into the ambulance?

I genuinely don't know!

I have to say that this was going to be my own 'ultimate option' if my MIL hadn't agreed to go into supported living/her first care home. I was going to leave her in her flat, phone Social Services, say that the neighbour had the key and basically 'leave them to it'.

ALWAYS REMEMBER, you - nor I, nor anyone - have ANY legal duty of are towards another adult human being. You are totally without your legal rights to 'walk away' from your mum if you choose to do so. But, of course, the heart has ties that are far more than legal rights....
We have got to make the point that Social Services are usually divided into Adult services and Children's services . However, my experience is that social workers generally do not listen to what service users are asking for.
When my son was a teenager, I found out that he had been taken off the respite and playscheme lists, the scheme on which I was the parent rep., because I had the audacity to make a formal complaint to SSD.
Two years without respite led to me being so run down I had 14 lots of antibiotics in 12 months. My GP insisted to SSD that he MUST enter residential care, boarding school initially, as I was so unwell. Had they listened and provided that regular respite, they would have saved a colossal bill.
Carers need respect and support, and sufficient time to look after their own health needs. The current cuts, cuts, and more cuts, especially affecting day centres and respite care, are going to lead to more carers becoming too ill to care any more, and more people needing larger care packages as a result.
Similar thing happened to our family some years ago.

The cost of dealing with the complaint must have been thousands of pounds

They hate saying that they made a mistake, I think
Colin_1705 wrote:We have got to make the point that Social Services are usually divided into Adult services and Children's services . However, my experience is that social workers generally do not listen to what service users are asking for.
The same principles apply but there is one significant difference, in Adult Services, by definition, the client can consent and if capable of giving informed consent it is their consent that will be sought not the Carer's.
In Children's Services, by definition, it is the parent's or carer's consent that is sought (some exceptions do apply e.g Gillick competency and Fraser guidelines.)
Do social workers ever ask their clients (ie, carees) if they realise how much of a 'burden' they are to their carers?

I don't mean that horridly, but this forum is full of carers saying 'my caree won't have anyone else in to look after them, it has to be me!' (and then falling over from exhaustion....)

It's all very well it being the care's choice that counts for the social worker, but it would make sense if the SW told the caree (if it applies) that their carer is on the point of keeling over with exhaustion and frustration! They could even remind the caree that no one has a 'duty of care' towards them in a family....

Maybe they do routinely say such things (in a tactful and sensitive way!) - I would hope so!

But I do see that SWs can all too often be caught being 'piggy in the middle'....
Actually Jenny you have a point. I do not have a Social Worker for help with my husband. However, I dealt with 2 when my late father was going downhill and in fairness both were actually ok. They said that they did not want to 'force' my father into a home and had done their best to persuade him and tried to enlist my help which I willingly gave. Max the latter one actually agreed that allowing my father out of hospital was 'an accident waiting for happen' as he too felt he would be taken back in as he would not co-operate with the carers....but they did not like having to go through the courts to get guardianship as it would take all of my father's savings and he too felt my father would not thrive in a home against his will.

My only critisism of him frankly was the inefficiency of the system. When my father was in hospital he left messages on my fathers phone which I did not get for several days as I did not live there. Although in fairness if my father had told him I was his carer ---I was not.

Maybe I have been lucky? However as someone who once worked in the VAT Enforcement, I have always tried to put myself in the Social Works shoes and realise they are just trying to do a job that frankly I would hate to do.
132 posts