My working week – Adoption@Heart Social Worker

My working week – Adoption@Heart Social Worker

Posted on June 29, 2020 at 12:00 PM

The coronavirus has and continues to impact everyone. Here at Adoption@Heart, despite the challenges social workers are facing, support for adopted children and families continues – virtually for the time being. Whilst face to face work has been prohibited adoption support assessments are continuing as are new and creative ways of working with children and families.

One of our social workers has given you an insight below into her week working from home.

Monday: After an early morning run, I get straight into facilitating numerous virtual meetings with schools, parents and partner agencies developing support plans for children with significant needs and difficulties.

I supported one family where the child is the victim of human trafficking and therefore cannot live at home and this is breaking her adopted parents’ heart. I supported another anxious mother who adopted a child with life limiting disabilities and needs treatments to enable mobility - treatment that has been put on hold due to lock down.

Whilst my intervention today did not immediately change anything for these parents, they both said they felt better after talking to me.

Tuesday: I was part of a virtual meeting for a young person who I helped to move into supported lodgings; it was good to see how well she looked and to hear she is no longer using drugs.

I also chaired a virtual meeting supporting a little boy to go back to school. Being a voice for the child is one of the best parts of my job. In this case, the parents were not supportive of their son going into school due to their anxiety regarding coronavirus. After a meeting with the parents, school and the child’s psychologist, they agreed their son could go back to school. When the child received a call from his teacher inviting him back, he was delighted.

Despite the challenges of working from home, as I put the lid down on my laptop today, I feel really encouraged by how professionals and parents are willing to adapt and go the extra mile to support vulnerable and traumatised children.

Wednesday: Our team meeting discussed amongst many other issues, the Black Lives Matter movement and how we as social workers can challenge racism individually, corporately and for the children we work with.

After the meeting and for the remainder of the day, whilst writing up my assessments of need and talking with parents and professionals on the phone or virtually, I reflected upon the ‘humanness’ of social work and how, despite the often isolating experience of lock down the social work profession transcends the current situation as the profession is a profession that continues to challenge oppression and discrimination wherever it may lurk. Today, like most days, I feel privileged to call myself a social worker.

Thursday: Another day with lots of virtual meetings planned; including a meeting with parents I have not met before, who live in London. The parents have suffered sleep deprivation due to their son’s night terrors and his extreme and unpredictable behaviour has left them feeling powerless to help him despite their best efforts. Virtual working is not all negative, after all it connects people and I think it may have even helped these parents; not only practically in that I was able to access immediate support for them as I had more time available not having to spend the majority of the day travelling back and forth to London, but more than that, I actually sensed that my absence in person allowed a less intrusive and more considerate way for these parents to share their troubles.

With the wonders of the digital world, I leave London and after a short break I head to the North of the UK and then to Central England chairing more virtual meetings.

At the end of this working week, I must say that whilst there are many pros and cons to working from home, I much prefer being out in the workplace and rubbing shoulders with colleagues and the families I support. Nonetheless, reflecting on the many ways I have made a difference to the lives of vulnerable children this week, my preferences soon pale into insignificance.

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