The social workers say it wasn’t my decision it’s management. Then you go to managers and they say it’s not my decision it’s the head of social service. They always blame someone else and don’t take any responsibility. All those consulted were very aware that ultimately decisions were taken on the basis of resources, particularly which placement they ended up in. They felt decisions were not based on their needs or views but on the resources available. At the end of the day all it is down to is money.
They are not bothered about us they are just bothered about how much it is going to cost. It is not all negative and a few of those consulted had positive things to say about their social workers. What they valued from these workers were also the qualities and skills identified by the others as making a good social worker. My social worker is all right, the one I have now. He is understanding and he doesn’t but in all then time and he listens to what you say. All the ones before wouldn’t listen. I would have liked more help and support from my social workers, for them to spend time with me, to sit down and have given me the opportunity to talk and sort things out.
It would have been good to have had some emotional support. I didn’t get any from my social worker. A good social worker is someone who sits down and listens, who you see once a fortnight or a month expert property conveyancing lawyers and they come when they say they will. For them to spend a couple of hours with you, doing things together like going to the park, for them to tell you what’s going on and showing some interest.
A good social worker is one who does what they say they will, instead of saying it and not doing it. All the young people identified major differences in their relationship with their social workers compared to NCH project workers. While we recognise that social workers operate under a statutory framework, they could still learn from the way workers in the voluntary sector engage with children and young people.