Most of us have all moaned or complained about the social worker with the ridiculous amount of case loads and the tick box routine paper work.
Social workers are often criticised and blamed for issues and problems that are sometimes beyond their control, simply down to the fact that they are at the forefront. I think mistakes are commonly made due to poor practise, poor practise that should be addressed and dealt with accordingly to prevent mishap.
I believe that the relationship between a young person and their social worker is important for that young persons development and is often underestimated. Communication and regular visits are all key factors for this.
Have a look at what else I have to say (press play) :
I had 3 foster homes and a numerous amount of social workers (nothing new) but my experience in the care system was definitely more fortunate than other children and young people I know.
There were gaps in the system, with gaps comes forgotten children. There were the reoccurring issues; such as social workers with over bearing caseloads, lack of visits, missing files, too many moves. The sort of common issues that no matter what borough or authority you were with, if you were in care you most likely would have experienced at least one of them.
At the age of 16, I became the chair of my local authorities children in care council. It was called VOS, Visions of success and it was our Job to advocate on the behalf of the larger population of children and young people in care within the borough.
At VOS we look closely in developing the relationship between social workers and their young person. We initiated social work training (run by young people) called “you talk we listen”. Where we work closely on developing communication & trust. We also work on projects such as housing and entering care, working side by side with heads of services, attending board meetings and conferences insuring that young people are at the forefront of any decisions being made.
Being a part of VOS not only gave me a platform to advocate but also played a huge part in developing my confidence and ability to speak publicly.
My aim is to make the daunting, confusing, scary journey that a child my face during her time in care as less daunting, confusing or less scary as possible.
If your a young person in care and your reading this, get involved in your local aunthorities care council, if they don’t have one, start one up !
And for those that work for children services, your work and your effort matters. Make children and young people the focus of your practice.
Lots of Love,
Akira Kay x