Archive for the ‘social work’ Category

Tick Tick Tick

February 25, 2011

I am waiting by the phone for the head of childrens services to phone me with feedback about a job application which did not result in an interview :-(. I missed her call yesterday….Error error error! I know more or less what she will say, that my 3rd year placement wasn’t statutory and that I need to ‘sell my sw experience’ more. I also know that Plymouth do this kind of unofficial policy where they only invite you to interview after the second application (much research amongst colleagues). Better still the rolling recruitment programme has closed for the time being due to the ConDem cuts so I can’t reapply again soon anyway BUT I can apply to Devon and Torbay but I think I need to get this feedback first. This is not making me very motivated or productive right now.

I want to go back to work now! Its the last big hurdle post baby. Driving test passed, small is settled at nursery and we are way past the new baby chaos stage where doing ANYTHING seems like a huge effort.

The Final Furlong

August 10, 2009

1. In 2 weeks I just *might* finish my degree. Its quite a big might but I am plugging away at Asylum Seeker Mental Health, Children and Families, Social Theory and my practice portfolio. No one can say I didn’t try quite hard. I feel like a giant pumpkin at best and get tired all the time, especially on the days I am stuck with the feel hungry all the time but everything I eat makes me nauseus routine. Also I think I have lost my dyslexia tutor but i’m getting a bit past caring about that. I just want to finish.

2. In a month Shep will come home and hopefully fix the loo seats before I throw them off the balcony. He is trapped on his prison ship (oil rig) for a while yet. He is busy writing poems to the baby however.

3. In 6 weeks the baby is due. She at least now has a bedroom and lots of stuff, and some clothing. So far we are kitted out mostly by Ikea, Jojo Maman Bebe, ebay and John Lewis but the nicest baby clothes came second hand from a table top sale at my Sure Start. We don’t have a pram yet but I will be getting a nice red one from Quinny soon enough when I have decided who deserves the £600 the most (not toys r us). I’ve had some mixed reactions about this but well, tough – I wouldn’t put her in Primark shoes either.
Otherwise I am getting irritated by this whole reuseable nappy business. I find disposeables really quite vile so I am keen to have washable nappies but I just want to buy a kit with everything including a nappy pail and the detergent etc and theres seems to be some politics around that.

Meanwhile here is a lesson in manners:

‘Excuse me, whats it like to be pregnant?’ – is a reasonable question which will not cause offence.

(after my back has turned) ‘Oooh, I wonder what being pregnant is like’ is rude! I’m pregnant – not deaf!!

You can have it all but how much do you want it..

July 29, 2009

Being incensed always seems to tempt me back to blogging more quicly than joy. Sad as that maybe.

I am trying to finish my degree before I hatch. This is increasing difficult because a. I have until 21/08 to do it if i want to graduate this year. b. i keep falling asleep. c. i have tons of baby things to do and d. can’t seem to bloody think straight!!
I think i’d get a lot more done if i wasn’t silently ranting about a few things. I feel like i’m letting people down (mostly my daughter) if i don’t finish this year. I’m scared it will be even more difficult next year.

Sadly the main reason is that i don’t want to be at uni with or have to share my graduation with some people i can no longer tolerate being friends with. They would be ‘oh god i’m SO stressed about my law exam thats in 3 weeks and my 3 other essays i didn’t bother to do in the year i don’t know how im going to do it all but i’m going on holiday with my boyfriend for a week’ and also ‘oh god my observation was awful!! Bob was sooooo mean to me he’s so rubbish’ (thats Bob who’s a colleague and friend of mine who has assessed me twice (both v positive experiences) and whom i also trained as a practice assessor). Have you met my friends ‘get off your arse and do some work’ and ‘learn to take some fecking criticism and grow up’?? They are so much fun!

My midwife said yesterday very sagely that ‘its all well and good this idea that women should be able to still to everything while they are pregnant but the reality is – they can’t’ I felt a bit better after that.


Because theres more to me than just a bump (just about….still!)

June 18, 2009

We recently had a boss type person of Shep’s over for dinner with us plus PF. It was actually really nice and he was a very interesting chap. Today he sent me a thank you letter. Not an email/text….an actual letter – handwritten and more than two lines. I was astonished! And ever so touched. We have strict traditions in my family about thank you letters for christmas and birthday presents but even those have transferred to emails over the years. I’m just made up!

In other news I have had my second to last practice observation and my last meeting with practice supervisor, practice learning manager and academic tutor. I’ve had some really strong positive feedback which has been nice and a change from stupid assessors telling me I shouldn’t be letting the children I work with touch me (children i work with range from 4 months to 11 – the ones i see most are 2 year olds who climb all over me). Consequently I have been asked to speak at the uni in September to new social work students about social work in the third sector and opportunities to evidence theory in practice. I said yes, if I haven’t hatched by then.

Save the life of my child..

April 28, 2009

This is not news to me, but sometimes the absolute priviledge my child will be born into makes me a little bit ashamed.

For Leila

April 7, 2009

I would like to share this with you. I went to this exhibition last year at the Royal Festival Hall and found it very emotive.
I have so much to say just now about my work with refugees but not quite the energy to express all the anger, frustration, pain, laughter, joy.

Take some time out and look through the winner archive. I warn you though, no catharcism to be had here.

Hello Dolly

April 2, 2009

My friend showed me these in Time magazine last week. I’m still a bit undecided as to what I think about them but since they are now on display in the window of the play association I thought I might invite some discussion.





March 25, 2009

Lately I have mostly been busy having heaps on fun at my placement, having serious conversations with two year olds, running workshops to dispell myths about asylum seekers, having tantrums in meetings, laughing at myself and making friends with germans. Not to mention having the priviledge of working with maybe the most diverse and interesting people I have ever met.

I am in the middle of writing my dissertation at present. The feedback on my first draft pieces was really positive and I am pleased pleased. However the subject matter is causing me some anguish. The title is:
What is Social Work’s role in addressing issues of social exclusion and the marginalisation of refugees and asylum seekers?

I might get around to posting some parts of it soon. Right now I am trawling through legislation on immigration to the UK. As usual with this subject the more I read the more shocked and embarrased I am. I still hear people accusing asylum seekers of having children in the UK on purpose to ensure residency. Ha Ha. That right was revoked in 1981 with the British Nationality Act. This legislation also changed the rights of commonwealth citizens to only welcome/include whites. The most contradictory piece of law though just might be the 2002 Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act which brought in much stricter limitations on asylum opportunities in the UK (don’t let them in they are blatantly telling fibs because they are really economic migrants here to steal our jobs) but increased opportunities for British businesses to recruit from abroad (and what do you call a person who moves to Britain to work – you guessed it! an economic migrant). Another popular rant is ‘well we should make it very unattractive for them to come here’ Ta dah! we’ve had that by law for a decade. The 1999 Immigration and Asylum Act now ensures that asylum seekers have no recourse to public funds beyond what they recieve from the National Asylum Support Service (thats about £34 a week or tesco vouchers depending on the case and is officially support which keeps them below the poverty line). This means that however dire things are they have no rights to claim assistance either under the National Assistance Act 1948 (thats council houses and stuff and responsibility of local authorities to make sure the vulnerable are ok) or the Children Act 1989. After waiting a decade for refugee status, narrowly avoiding starvation and destitution theres a less than 12% chance of a positive decision. Then it gets areally good, after your claim is denied you can expect at best months on end in prison (sorry, i mean detention centre) and or more than likely the police will brwak down your door at 3am, snatch your sick children from their beds and bundle you on to a charter flight back to your home country (btw it won’t be British Airways because they have refused to fly anyone undergoing enforced repatriation under moral grounds). Don’t be litening to this rumour that you can nominate a third country to go to . Ha ha ha ha. I shan’t go on and on though I drive myself mad.
But I will include something. Although I’ve never had any doubt that tabloid journalism perpetuates prejudice, just in case you’re still not convinced – over a 10 month period the Daily Mail printed over 200 articles making negative claims about asylum seekers. The Daily Express printed 600.

Meanwhile, back in Social Work land…

February 22, 2009

My career is at risk. I came so close to punching a housing benefit officer in the face on friday. He really was a rude, officious, twat. And he looked like he’d done his own highlights with loo bleach. But I digress….
On the one hand I feel sorry for people who do jobs like that. The daily (hourly?) risk of being shouted, sworn at and or generally abused must be pretty high. I’m not sure I could handle although it was a job i applied for years ago in Leicester when i was fed up of working for Next (when was i ever not fed up of working for Next?). On the other hand surely that job is more bearable and possibly less hostile if one addresses people by name and not keep calling them ‘the claimant’. A lot of the Job Centre folk seem to have this approach too. I am confused by it all. Social Workers spend alot of time learning about effective communication skills but it seems as if a lot of other public sector employees do quite the opposite.

At uni, however I must choose an area of mental health to write a paper on. My first thought was anorexia but I have recently re-read Prozac Nation so might lean toward depression in young women with some conclusions drawn about whether its class dependent in both prevalence and rates of diagnosis.

At the chalkface…

January 12, 2009

So school has started again. Its my last beginning of term, hopefully forever. Feels like a total non event though. I have two new lecturers. One of them is extremely irritating. The other one is quite interesting. He showed us some quite disturbing docs about the history of psychiatry (an almost fake profession save for the last 50 or so years). I think the mental health module might be better than anticipated. Less popular lecturer has abandoned the uni portal (sharepoint) in favour of this WetPaint site thing. Much crossness was to be had about that. She has also changed the assessment back to an exam after lengthy campaigning to change it to an essay, mostly from the dyslexics on the course (which includes myself, allegedly). We’ll see how she fares with the angry social workers.