You’ll probably remember from the last couple of years my battles with the council and professionals involved in special needs care.
It wasn’t pretty and it certainly wasn’t fun. I had moments during that time where I was wholeheartedly in survival mode, just taking each section of the day as it came and hoping we coped without too much additional stress. There were days I cried more than I didn’t. But overall, my desperation for the sake and sanity of everyone in my family is what drove me on. There was no other option than for us to get this level of support that Jude truly needed.
I just wanted to highlight someone who has been doubtlessly amazing throughout everything. Our Social Worker (or Family Practitioner as I think she is formally known.) She’s fab. Noooo not the one who told me that “crying down the phone won’t get you anywhere” or who said that “there are two sides to every story” when I tried to explain the frailty of a situation involving emotional abuse from my past. Not that one. The one we were allocated last, following my refusal to work with the one who made me cry a lot (see above!) Prior to meeting this angel with a county name badge, we were simply a “case”. And I always had a very strong, analogous feeling of being a briefcase of notes, passed about to anyone who could fit us in that day.
However, we fell on our feet about ten-eleven months ago. A lady came to meet me, following the fall out from our last Social Worker and made a few suggestions of which school she felt would suit Jude best. I had zero emotional strength or confidence in anything positive happening but she carried on with her work regardless. She knew I wanted a residential setting and believed that this was best for his (and our) needs. She didn’t make me feel like an idiot or a failing parent for wanting to send my child away. She never judged me. She listened and still listens now. She couldn’t believe that I hadn’t heard of this wonderful school that she just knew was perfect for Jude and insisted I arrange a visit as soon as possible. She got the paperwork going, hassled everyone necessary within the council and fought with urgency to get our case to panel as soon as possible. I doubt that we’d be where we are today without her diligence and commitment to helping us as much as she could.
She could clearly see that I had hit rock bottom. But not just that. I think she takes her work very seriously because she sees the effect it can have on families and this is why she works in the way that she does.
Now Jude is at his awesome school, she hasn’t stopped caring. Every so often I get an email making sure we’re all fine and that everything is still working for us and last week she came to visit us at home. I know this is actually part of her job, I’m not deluded to think that we are anything out of her ordinary. But the appearance she gives off, the way she speaks, makes you realise that she genuinely cares about you. I don’t hear the jargon phrases that the last Social Worker used to spout out at me. That annoying “I’m a professional and I know complex, long and fancy terms” attitude that never makes you feel particularly warm. Anyway, during her visit we chatted about Jude and how amazingly well he is doing at school. We talked about his future and what will happen over the next few years in terms of his care and the professionals who will be involved and she made it all sound so wonderful.
Jude is a lucky little dude having her fighting his case. Once he is around mid-teens, his care will start to involve people who will help to transition him into adult services but I know she’ll still be keeping an eye out 🙂
Needless to say, if she ever leaves her job then I will cry once again!