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Final thoughts for a student social worker

Georgiana_ScopeGeorgiana_Scope Member, Scope Posts: 47 Connected
edited July 2 in Coffee lounge
Hello everybody

For anyone that didn't see earlier posts I am a student social worker on placement with Scope and am coming to the end of my 4 months with the charity and wanted to reach out for your final thoughts.

I'd love to hear what your concerns, loves and hates are at the moment. How is Covid affecting you? What's occupying your time and importantly your thoughts and what advice would you give to me going forward in my career.

It has been a fantastic opportunity to work with so many dedicated staff and volunteers at Scope as well as talk to so many of you and I wouldn't have swapped it for anything.

I  have learned a lot about the issues that affect those that have disabilities and hope this will improve my future practice. 

I wish you all well and look forward to hearing from some of you 

Best wishes



  • lisathomas50lisathomas50 Posts: 4,310 Disability Gamechanger
    I have found it difficult to access help for my mum who has dementia and social services weren't very help ful at all because mum cant get help because she has to much money 

    I have managed to find carers for the days I need them but I am haveing an eye operation and only need someone to sit with mum for four hours and that is hard prople are asking for 100.00 just for the four hours it's ridiculous and not fair being penalised for working all her life 
  • Georgiana_ScopeGeorgiana_Scope Member, Scope Posts: 47 Connected
    Thank you for responding and I'm sorry to hear you are going through this. That sounds like an awful lot of money for 4 hours. One of the things I have learned in my time at Scope is that people with disabilities are often unfairly penalised financially - having to pay above and beyond for things like taxis and home improvements for example and now it seems care as well.

    Im sorry that she is not able to access social services because she has means of her own. 

    I didnt realise it worked like that.

    Did they refuse an assessment?
  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 713 Pioneering
    I'm sorry you have managed to get through all this  time at Scope without knowing that.   An assessment is no use if you have modest savings, because you must be severely punished for two crimes:  for being disabled and for depriving yourself all your life of the extras others take for granted, in order to attempt some security and independence and dignity when old and/or disabled. 
    Even for those who can get council help, there is not enough money for children, but even less for adults, and, extraordinarily, there is open, blatant Institutional Age Discrimination (illegal under the Equalities Acts, but who cares about Age discrimination?),  because there is a different, far lower, maximum per person budget as the punishment for the third crime: becoming old.
    Even for those who do need one, assessments may be a theoretical entitlement, but the local authority will not race to do one, especially between December and April, i.e. the quarter when all the budget is already spent. In theory, they are meant to assess according to needs, regardless of  budget.  Hmmm..... What could possibly go wrong with that system of judge, jury and purse-holder    all-in-one?  Even in front of witnesses, one social worker admitted her line manager had issued a blanket instruction (illegal, but who cares about disability discrimination?) that nobody at all must ever be 'assessed' as having any night time needs, because it was too costly.
    You will see else-thread someone needing a wheelchair and looking at over £2,000, and perhaps you think all she needs to do is get a note from her G.P and the N.H.S will come running with an offer of wheelchairs suited for her needs?  Hmm....again, some areas are so short of budget they won't assess for need, because they would have to put people on the waiting list, but that is impossible because they are only allowed to have a maximum waiting list of two years, and demand would require one of up to ten years.  Disabled people must wait for the gaps when someone dies or becomes bed-confined, although extreme needs and children do usually jump to the top of the list.
     There are various charities exclusively for children's wheelchairs, and the children do get priority on the N.H.S.   As everyone knows, these children are all miraculously cured on their 16th birthday, so they never have much further need.  All special needs schools have hydrotherapy pools, so do footballers, injured ex servicemen's rehabilitation centres, and most animals. Ordinary people are not allowed hydrotherapy exercise once they are ex-children, because it is likely to maintain their health and strength, reduce pain, improve movement, and prevent them being a burden on the health service.  That would be good for them, and good for the public purse, so health officials ensured it never happens.. Instead, they can "go for a brisk daily run" (the universal advice from publicly funded public health officials) , or go swimming in the cold pool temperature favoured by athletes, and subsidised by the public  but to the exclusion of disabled people (illegal, but who cares about disability discrimination?).
    Once you are a social worker, you will have a secure well paid job for life, with luxurious pension entitlement, as long as you never, never rock the boat by using your initiative or humanity, and stick to box ticking .  You will also have enormous power to help or to wreck people's lives.  We all know what all power tends to do.
  • FraserFraser Member Posts: 2 Connected
    I’ve had real problems with getting my regular medications with the pharmacy being administratively hopeless and supplies not being available at their suppliers. It’s meant having to take stronger tablets that I’d reduced dosage from to fill a gap of several days, to having to go onto a completely different medication with all of the upset that causes to your body and the cocktail of drugs that I’m taking. It’s not great not knowing from one month to the next if you’ll be able to function even within my limitations. 
    I’ve also just received news that the town council on which I serve as town councillor has decided to make all meeting face to face, as they legally have to, but they are not going to the town hall where there is loads of parking, they are going to a larger hall where there is no parking, so nowhere that I know I can park my WAV. This is a council that promised 5 yrs ago to have disabled parking spaces at the town hall but to this day have not provided them, so have not lived up to their reasonable adjustment responsibilities. I’ve had this same fight with 2 previous employers and now where I volunteer as a councillor. I’m tempted to resign and tell them to stuff it, but that gets them off the hook. Any suggestions? 
  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 713 Pioneering
    Fraser as you know your past employers and the Town Council are acting illegally But who cares about disability discrimination? Nobody. 

    It was blackly humorous to read  a Government Equalities Impact Statement by people you and I employ, since that is their job in Whitehall. They had been asked to report on the Impact of a proposed Building Regulations alteration, which would have begun to correct the  near-total absence of disability-friendly housing.  The question being considered was, effectively, " should disabled people have a) nowhere to live? b) a few potential homes they could live in?   c) a reasonable proportion of new-build homes which they could live in? 
    The conclusion of the Impact Assessment was that a), b), or c) were all absolutely fine, so there is no equalities impact whatsoever.(!)*   

     [i.e., disabled and old people do not need anywhere to live, which is a running theme from government]
    (In other words, they have totally re-interpreted equalities to mean "will this affect B.a.m.e.s"?)

    *Within the last 12 months, in a public consultation report on the government website, prompted by councils getting irritated about their budgets being drained by pesky old or disabled people, in increasing numbers, all  stranded helplessly because of  unsuitable housing (for them, effectively,  uninhabitable) and forced to depend on social services sending people to keep them (just) alive by 'cleaning out the cage and leaving food and water for it'.   The motive for even suggesting  changing the Building Regulations to increase the number of old--and-disabled-usable housing  was not to improve the quality of life, and absolutely not because the civil servants believed old and disabled people should have the equal rights supposedly protected by law.  No, it was openly stated that saving L.A. budgets was the motivation.  
  • woodbinewoodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 4,388 Disability Gamechanger
    Social care in this country is a massive problem, people who have savings don't want to pay and those who don't have don't always get the same level of service.
    The answer of course is that we should all have to pay more in taxes, I don't mean income tax as that would only be the workforce making payment, but a 5% increase in VAT would raise £7 billion which could be matched by the same from government.
    "Putting a child into care, isn't caring for a child" (T.Rhattigan)
  • lisathomas50lisathomas50 Posts: 4,310 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Georgiana_Scope they told us that we already knew what mum needed and that we didn't need to have an assessment to tell us 

    It has proven a point to me in one way becsuse I needed carers for when I worked o work two nights I got quotes off two company's one was going to charge me 490 .00 and one 510.00  I was a carer in the community for along time up until I hot corona virus in the first wave I have sat with people at night and only got paid 60.00 for that night the company get the rest 

    In the end I got in touch with a carer I used to work with  she is only charging me 145.00 a night  and the money goes to her and my Tuesday carer is only charging me 70.00 for 7 hrs another carer I used to work with so company's do over charge same as care homes people have to sell their house to pay for care when the money runs out then the family have to apply to social services for funding 

    I think its a sad thing when people have worked all their life got their own property's  a good pension and if a family member can't look after them then they lose everything I thing its awful 

    Yet prople who haven't worked and have no money yes they take most of their pension but that's a hell of alot less than losing everything 

    I will be looking after my mum however hard it gets becsuse she is my mum and my mum and dad worked hard all their life and I will be dammed if I let all her hard earned money go to a care home or over priced care company's 

    I worked in a care home and its not something I would want for my mum 

    @Georgiana_Scope it depends where you want to get as a social worker and what sort of social worker you want to be do you want to be a social worker that wants to try and change the bad things in social services to make change for disabled people and their children so thst disabled people get the help that they need so thst they don't get penalised by social services because children help their disabled parents??? Or will you in the end let them grind you down and end up being told from above what to do even though you know their wrong 

    Maybe when you have started your job as a social worker in a years time you could come back and tell us how your getting on 

    In my advocacy work I have seen social workers come and go I have seen good and bad social workers I have seen social workers come into the job eith passion and want to get things done but either end up leaving or losing their job or just plain lose their passion to the point where they do anything for a quite life and a wage at the end of the month 

    I wish you all the best and hope you get where you want to be 
  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 713 Pioneering
    @lisathomas50 those are wise words coming from a treasure chest of experience. If only the people  who make rules about what must be done, would decide it with input from the 'done-to', and the experts like you
  • Georgiana_ScopeGeorgiana_Scope Member, Scope Posts: 47 Connected
    Hi there
    It will be my next placement which will be statutory that I will be doing assessments . It was my understanding that you had an initial assessment to determine financial ability etc but I have since learned this is not always the case.

    I am sorry you have had such bad experiences.

  • Georgiana_ScopeGeorgiana_Scope Member, Scope Posts: 47 Connected
     Hi all

    I just wanted to say thank you to all of you who replied to my post and took the time to give feedback - it was really useful for me as a student to see how social work impacts members of the public and is information I would have been unlikely to get anywhere else so thank you

    Yes I have an interest in offenders/prisoners - helping them integrate back to society and assisting with housing work education family and friend connections and so on. I don't expect it to be easy but fulfilling work rarely is in my experience. I do have other areas of interest - I spent years volunteering in  a drug and alcohol service and also a mental health charity and of course there is a lot of crossover between the different areas. I have vast life experience (according to an ex manager in the drug and alcohol service) and an open mind and I hope I can make a difference in this area of work.

    My journey now is to complete my second placement which will be in a statutory setting, eg a council. It will give me all the experience of assessments and statutory intervention. I hope to hone my legal and theoretical skills in this placement and expect it to be fast paced and busy.

    I have enjoyed my time at Scope not least because I am disabled myself being unable to walk without severe pain. IT has been eye opening and enthralling to engage with Scope customers learning about what their concerns are and attempting to offer solutions where possible

    I think social work will be a challenging but fulfilling role - and quite different to my background in journalism - and I am excited and anxious to get started.

    Once again I express my thanks to you all and wish you the best in the future

  • Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Posts: 4,097

    Scope community team

    Thanks @Georgiana_Scope, I wish you the very best :) 
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  • lisathomas50lisathomas50 Posts: 4,310 Disability Gamechanger
    @Georgiana_Scope hope you get where you want to be and that you can make a difference and keep that passion going you will get knock backs and bad days it will be over whelming and you will be in a system that is hard going and not always appreciated 

    If you have that fire in your belly and the passion to change things get up and brush yourself down and forge forward stand up for what you belive is right don't let them grind you down to conform and be like they want you to be 

    Good luck and take care 🙂
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