Why oh why would I ever think that the new social worker wouldn’t be a complete numpty!
I liked the old social worker, but to be fair, she wasn’t brilliant, she told me a number of things I realised were never actually going to materialise. It is easy to offer hope to a very near desperate parent knowing you are leaving the team and therefore do not have to make good what you say. However it makes me look like a liar, well, it would to those who do not understand that social workers mainly seem to wing it and ask approval from their bosses.
So… As far as I have learnt there is manager A who works Monday and Tuesday. To me it seems she doesn’t think we need help and is trying to drop us. I have never spoken to her but she was the one that reviewed our child and family assessment after the whole ‘over sexualised behaviour’ incident at school (of which there has been no repeat and I’m not sure it actually occurred in the first place!). She said we don’t need a social worker and said we should go on CAF+. Yeah ok!
Then there is manager B pm she came to our mapping meeting and seemed to want to help us. However she didn’t seem sure and would have to talk to other people.
Now we have SW M (for muppet) who have me the royal run around!
Thursday I got a call from the new social worker, I am put with dinky so not much sank in at the time unfortunately.
She arranged to come visit and said that we have been granted childcare so I can get a break and she said to look for a childminder and find out how much it cost as they would need to input costings to the team managers.
So I began looking for childminders.
Friday morning and I wasn’t coming up with suitable childcare and I was given a website and I looked for someone with experience with special needs preferably autism and challenging behaviour.
I found one, she had space in the day time and sounded good. We chatted, and she said that she would do it, even after looking up PDA and what that entails. However…. She had other small children in the day time.
I phoned the social worker and asked how long I had been granted as the childminders needed to know.
I was granted 9 hours a week for a 3 month period and it would be reviewed after that.
I wasn’t happy with the fact that Dinky would be with other children and that she wouldn’t have that 1:1 that she needs especially if the childminder has very small children who are dependant on nappy changes and are just toddling, she wouldn’t have time for dinky, and dinky NEEDS the time.
So I remembered the volunteer from the special needs group who said she would be happy or be paid to help with dinky for a few hours a week.
I phoned her, she happened to be half asleep, so it wasn’t the best phone call. However she said she was still up for having dinky for a few hours. I asked her how much she charges per hour, she said she didn’t know, this would be her first PA gig, but she knows dinky, she always sits with dinky on the minibus and most importantly, dinky likes her.
I told her to get back to me.
The social worker phoned me later to say that the family information service would contact me with a list of childminders. I told her I had already found someone, she said if I found out how much she charged that she would give it to manager B to begin to process.
I didn’t hear from the volunteer about her charge, so I phoned the people that deal with direct payments as I was sure that social services were supposed to come up with how long we were supposed to get, work out a figure and tell me to find someone.
I was right.
They were doing it all wrong. She said £8 per hour is average pay for a PA and that social services were supposed to add on ‘on costs’.
So I phoned the social worker back. Told her that I had spoken to the direct payment independent advice line and that they said £8 is average per hour, and that they need to make sure they put in ‘on costs’ what ever they are.
SW-M says that ‘on costs’ are things like national insurance, tax, holiday pay, other insurances ect, she said if Dinky went to a child under there wouldn’t be any of that. Well, I wasn’t too impressed with that, it was a cost cutting exercise! I told her that it wouldnt be suitable for Dinky. She then agreed and said £8 seems reasonable and she would talk to the independent direct payment people and her bosses and come see me next week.
So, I now know
A) not to phone on Monday or Tuesday as manager A doesn’t seem keen on helping
B) always chase them and clarify because these social workers seem to be just one mark away from politicians!
C) still don’t trust them until I see it in writing!