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The role of the social worker is somebody that's involved in
the life of the young person under the guardianship of the Minister to make sure that that
their placement is safe
and that they
are being cared for appropriately
Also somebody that's involved in
all different parts of the young person's life
so... their placement, school
their biological family.
To really be involved that young persons life
to make sure that everything's going smoothly and OK and the young person's happy.
Things that made me feel really comfortable with my social worker was
when I was taken out of my house. The social workers would take me out
for coffee or out for lunch or take me away from that environment
where my carers wouldn't be involved in the conversation.
It was more like one on one time.
When I first got a social worker
they explained their role really clearly
In that situation
like a crisis situation so they had to be really clear about what
their role was.
After that I probably had social workers who weren't so clear about what their role was.
When I was just getting
a new social worker because the old social worker had left
or something like that.
They could have been a little clearer about the different things that I was entitled to
or what kind of support they could really help with.
But there were some social workers
that were really
open about stuff.
I definitely had social workers that I didn't feel
I could talk to. I definitely had social workers that I really didn't think
had an interest in
in the things that I was doing or knew me
on that kind of personal level.
I think it's really important to have those kinds of relationships
with young people under guardianship
because the social worker's there to help you.
If you're not comfortable talking to them about the issues that you're having in foster home
then that's going to put up massive barriers between you and that young person.
So I think that
they really could have made more effort to get to know me on a personal level
and really show that interest in the different things I was doing.
The personal qualities that
I appreciated in a social worker were the kind of qualities that really
followed through on actions that they were going to follow through on.
showed that personal interest in what's happening
with my care and with the
different things that were happening in my life.
It was pretty easy to always contact social workers if you really needed to
you could always
make a phone call or
catch up when you were seeing them.
There were times when it was dfficult and there were
you'd call a social worker and you wouldn't hear back from them for weeks
and the issue was
probably over by that time
and when that happens you can kind of
feel like they're
that they don't really care about what's going on in that situation
But most the time name you can get a hold of them and they will call you back
and stuff like that.
I did always feel that my social worker was accessible
I don't feel
like I was very welcome to just walk into the office whenever I liked to catch up
with my my social worker it was more of a pre-planned kind of meeting that was arranaged
with them beforehand
I could always call if I felt that I really needed something but
to to just walk into the office and see my social worker I don't think it was very
accessible in that kind of sense.
Quality contact means when a social worker takes time out
to spend with the young person one-on-one.
It's probably where
there's nobody else around and you really have that quality time to be able to talk
and not have the repercussions of
other young people being in the house or
foster carers being able to hear in on what you're saying.
that time where
as a young person social workers can make you feel really valued
and the things that you really need to talk about
and that they'll take the time out
to take that seriously and
really listen to what you have to say.