Archive for the ‘Trust me i’m a Social Worker’ Category

Getting down to business

October 11, 2008

I have had a better week this week. Nasty germ has subsided a little bit and things are on the move with the rest of life.

  1. Shep has returned from Norway and even *gasp* had some time off. We have been horse riding and eating out and going to the movies and lots of nice things like that. Later on we are going on the ferry to Mount Egdecombe for a walk and an ice cream.
  2. I have been getting down to it with my uni work. There is a terrifying amount of it but it is at least interesting and engaging.
  3. I have two new learning sets. One I have started working with and the next one I meet on Monday. Multi Agency Working set has already become a problem….After two whole years of shite group dynamics if anyone thinks i’m sitting back and complying for the sake of not arguing they are deleuded. I am many things but never a pushover.
  4. I have rejoined the Service User and Carer Consultative Group attached to my faculty. It has been good to be back. Sometimes it feels like I have my own fan club cheering me on through a difficult degree. At the least I feel like I have a few spare mothers.
  5. I am doing a module on disabilty. This week we have been discussing cultural representations of disability. There are often v stereotyped (either the super cripple – forrest gump or rain man or a villain – dr no, captain hook even or they are pity figures). Soaps are a bit guilty on this front. Disabled people are very underepresented in soaps even though they probably make up a huge number of the audience. Emmerdale I recall had a wheelchair user character for a long time. Eastenders has a toddler with downs syndrome but neither Hollyoaks or Corrie have any disabled characters (correct me if I am wrong). This sorts of presumes that the disabled are excluded from the very ordinary things that soap characters spend their time doing such as chatting in the pub, shopping, getting a hair cut, talking to neighbours in the street or going to work.

I’d like some thoughts on point 5 please xxxxx


September 23, 2008

I have had the email. I am going into my third year after all. There goes my year out.

I might be a little bit pleased.

This is a picture of Bart, my Build a Bear. The pic is for Lisa.

Now watch me rise up and leave all the ashes you made out of me

July 22, 2008

If you look at my entry Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (i cant figure out how to put links in) you can see i had a bit of a drama about my practice portfolio this year and a meeting with all my tutors which made me break down in a big way. I got my results yesterday and not only did i pass it but the feedback from my tutor states that it was excellent and that id really turned it around from the interim point.

In yer face.

Please let me go with you, I’ll wear the smile on your face

March 27, 2008

I did some training yesterday about a tool developed by a similar runaways project to facilitate discussion around emotions with young people. One of the exercises was to choose an emotion and  give it a colour/feel/shape etc and then contextulaise it. For example ‘what does *** mean to you/those around you’. I chose happiness. I descibed it as being red in colour, sounding like music, feeling like a kitten and being heart shaped. After a while it gets easier and you stop over thinking and write the first thing that comes into your head. when I havd to describe what happiness means to me/those around me all I could think was that quite often I worry about telling people I am happy because I know that it has a good chance of causing resentment/irritation/jealousy. I think this is quite sad and an indication that I don’t feel very supported.  I think my supposed support system looks like this;

  • Mum. On the whole v supportive but has high expectations of me and this year has had alot of her own issues so shared joy is a bit sporadic.
  • Dad. One extreme to the other. When he is happy then he’s overjoyed by my smallest acheivements. When he’s cranky he only assesses information with regard to how it affects him and can be quite nasty. He also bitches to my sisters about me and vice versa so its a bit hit and miss.
  • My sister. Makes a big fuss about being there for me. Gives delayed, luke warm responses.

On the other hand…

  • Best friend A. Very supportive about everything. If i’m happy, shes happy for me. One of the few friends I have who I don’t feel competes with me.
  • Long standing friend S. Much the same as A. I’m lucky to have these two – wish I saw more of them.
  • MYF’s. Although I’ve underestimated them in the past they are actually very good to me. This was quite evident when I was ill earlier in the year.

But then theres…

  • Friend I have fallen out with: I hide things from her. I tell myself its to protect her feelings but actually its to avoid her covert meanness. She made some barbed comments recently accusing me of becoming ‘too materialistic’ since I have been with Shep. I am still f**ked off about this. I think she found it easier when we were both struggling with life. Maybe I make her feel bad about herself. i dunno really. I don’t mean to and i’ve gone out of my way alot to support her.

Not forgetting…..

  • Shep. Well I can’t really complain about him!! In all seriousness he’s great but I’ve only had him a few months. He did one say something very meaningful to me though, which was ‘got strong arms to carry baggage’.

Stressed Eric

February 28, 2008

Well….I should be in a meeting this morning but it was cancelled. Blog hiatus ends abruptly.

Tomorrow is hand in date for my interim portfolio. In non social work student language that means big folder full of placement evaluation work including an extortianate amount of information condensed into a small work count and some complicated graphs on which we have to plot our progress toward percieved and enforced learning goals.

We are supposed to include an indepth piece of service user feedback. I arranged to go and collect this today and the client postponed it. Cue lots of ripping out hair and panicking. My uni tutor bless her responded to my anguished email by phoning me up at work and pretty much talking me down from the ceiling. Apparently i must calm down and hand in what i have. *breathe*

Mean while……

I had my second practice observation on tuesday. It went surprisingly well! I know i know i worry like its going out of fashion. My assessor was a Families Officer in the Navy. and it showed. Military precision doesn’t quite cover it! He made notes that looked like a film script. (so we arrive at the house, and then we went in, and then you said…and then the service user said, and then you said…and so on). I really couldn’t fault him and he said nice thinks like ‘you fulfill your professional responsibility’ and ‘your assessment style is thorough and structured’. Service users commented that i made them feel at ease and they liked my approach, suggestions etc and were really happy with the service.



Better to burn out than fade away

February 20, 2008





This is some of the fire sculpture I did with the young dudes. I think its pretty cool.

Trust me, I’m a Social Worker…

February 14, 2008

Last year on placement I ended up cutting down trees with mental health service users. I didn’t think I could cut down a tree all by myslef. I was wrong! That must have been one of my most bizarre experiences ever though and I didn’t think I could top that on my course. Well…….

This week I have been working on an art project with the young people who have had codntact with our service. On tuesday we sat on the floor in a disused cooperage at Royal William Yard (will only mean anything to you if you’re from down ‘ere) and drew pictures of magic pants and wrote instructions on how to run away successfully. On wednesday I went to the beach and drew in the sand and made gingerbread men self portraits. Later on we ran around a big field, made a big heart out of glass rope, watched some lambs being born and stand up for the first time, built a house out of planks (i did lots of the hammering myself), made huge cut out signs that spelled ‘missing’ and ‘i’m here’ (the yp’s decided they were thre most iconic statements), watched the sun set into the sea for the first time in years and then finally set fire to the sculptures and watched them burn to the delight of all present.  This morning i have been at a hydrotherapy pool helping with taking photos of the yp’s underwater wearing ballgowns and fairy wings and tracksuits and all sorts.

So yeh i agree with all the cynics, being a social worker is really depressing and all doom, gloom and more doom.

The end of the line?

May 18, 2007

Ok so I have finished my placement. I was v sad to leave on wednesday. I have to go back today to collect my feedback and have a meeting about it this afternoon. Frankly i am terrified about this. I’m worried i’ve made some huge mistake or something.
Meanwhile my last task for uni this year is finshing my community development project. Between now and the 28th of May i have to complete another 80 odd hours work. Something tell me having a rest day yesterday wasn’t the best idea! Hey ho. Then i have to hand in the dreaded practice learning portfolio for all of the above and i’m done for the year. Where did the time go eh?

Isn’t it good? If we could freeze moments in time we all would. We do what we can.

April 11, 2007

I’ve been on my placement today and yesterday. today I realised just how sad i will be when its over because it has had such a profound effect. This afternoon one of the downs boys did me a special dance for each song that played on the radio. Another girl has been busting to tell me about her work placement for a whole week and i was as excited as her! Yesterday i went to supervise and help with road sweeping no less and i was excited about that because i had so much fun the last time! Today i spent along time with a guy who takes about 10 minutes to form a sentance. Its painful! But i was happy because its taken him 2 months to feel comfortable enough with me to talk about anything and small talk is a really big step for him (we were talking about cows incidentally).
I’m so humbled and…sometimes i want to say to them so genuinely ‘ my life is better because i know you’

Just another day, nothing in my way….

April 4, 2007

To remind myself not to get morbid and be postive about things now and then…..

I had my end of year review meeting with my course leader and my practice learning (thats the cutting down trees and being stared at etc) manager. The outcome of the meeting was lots of positive comments about my placement and my general professionalism about everything on the course. This surprised me a bit but maybe because I worked full time for so long I’ve absorbed alot of behaviour protocol along the way thats really helping me deal with things in a productive way. They also forced me to admit I am getting 2.1s and borderline 1sts for my essays etc which I know is very good but I find it hard to accept that I might actually be doing well!

In other news I’m off to Edinburgh in a few weeks to see my old Sydney housemates for a weekend on the lash. Also I;ve never been to Scotland before so its an adventure!

Appetite has made a guest appearance in my life again. I think because I’ve been up the line at Mums all week and well – he cant get me here! Think Mum noticed how weird I am though because she’s taken a very softly softly approach to feeding me and or offerning food. This is not the norm in our house – we generally live by the ‘eat what you given’ and ‘dont eat any more you’ll get fat and embarrass me’ code of practice.

Lastly I seem to be getting ALOT of male attention.