I had a very interesting conversation yesterday afternoon with a lady from the council. She works within the Educational Psychology team but was given my message because no-one in the Social Care department was available, or perhaps they just had no clue as to what to say to me (I assume) and were hiding under their desks.
She has recently worked with Jude within his school, recording him in various settings so we and his direct teaching staff could evaluate behaviour and see how we could progress in terms of management and encouraging development. Also, the recording is great to see all the positives on screen as you so often miss that little smile or happy glance up at the teacher he so adores.
Anyway, I explained that I was told by my non-Social Worker how I would be transferred to the relevant team in order to create new professional links and that with these links, I would be able to find out who our actual Social Worker is. This lady was as confused as me and literally had no idea why I had been told this information. She looked on the system (!) and it apparently details that the non-Social Worker finished his episode with us in April however there is the name of a Manager within the Social Care department outlined within Jude’s care team…seriously, stop falling asleep. This is only going to get clearer.
So within Jude’s support team, we have the lady I was talking to (Educational Psychologist) and a Manager I have never spoken with or met and who has never met Jude. No-one else as far as I’m aware.
Is it just me, or is this a bit ridiculous?
I know Jude was turned down for literally every type of therapy going because “he can already walk” (physio), “his concentration is too poor” (Occupational Therapy), “he isn’t priority” (music therapy) But COME ON, how hard does this need to be??
So let’s start at the beginning of our Council saga…back in December, I requested an assessment for Jude as I knew it would benefit him massively to have a Social Worker and that hopefully we could access some extra facilities. Fast forward through a few months of me hassling the Social Care department we eventually had our assessment in April. It took another month to get the report through that basically said we aren’t entitled to anything I want but we could have forty hours a YEAR to use however we want in terms of one to one support, clubs, etc.
Maybe I’m particularly stupid but I still have trouble understanding where and with whom we can use our hours. I’ve made the assumption…and so far it appears to be correct…that the hours can be used with most charities and within settings organised through the council. No idea where else.
I then requested an increase in hours and our non-Social Worker managed to increase them from forty to ninety five hours a year by going through panel (another enigma within the council. I have a view of three or four people in suits, literally sitting at a panel table discussing whether my child or the next child is worthy of getting any additional support, even though they have never met them, the family or anyone involved in the child.)
So here we are, eight months on from my initial request and we STILL. HAVE. NO. SOCIAL. WORKER!
Maybe we don’t actually need a Social Worker – did I imagine someone telling me it would help? Or did they actually say, it would help but it’s a complete impossibility.
I have the manager’s email address so have written to her tonight asking for an ounce of clarity. Let’s start taking bets on how long it will take her to reply and how many times I will have to send email prompts.
The Educational Psychologist was really lovely on the phone and said she understands my concerns and because my exasperation was pretty evident, I was given the names of a few people to ask for on the phone if the manager is unable to help me. Honestly, how hard does this need to be?
If I find this difficult, I feel utterly dejected for all those people who are unable to hassle the council like I am, or who aren’t able to be such a bitch on the phone as I am, when necessary. The Social Care department is meant to be there to help us but so far, over the last few weeks I have failed to navigate their telephone line obstacle course to get through to anyone at all. And because of the complexities of their insanely detailed network of individuals, teams, departments and panels, I am just as confused as I was back in December regarding what we can do for Jude. How depressing.
In an attempt to placate this rather negative post (sorry guys), here are the three members of our family that I spent most of the day with. Patty the box loving cat, Stups who is obsessed with feathers and our beautiful Emmeline.