Caroline works as a Team Leader in our Children & Families support service. Here is what a typical Monday brings.
I give a cheery little message to the ‘squad register’ where all the team check in and notify of their whereabouts for the day. Monday is generally a crazy day in most offices. However when doing our work you never know what a Monday morning will bring. You will be surprised how much can change over the space of a weekend.
The team meeting takes places on a Monday morning and it’s probably the only time the whole team are together before they disperse into their roles across different boroughs and offices. I facilitate the meeting catching up with referral allocations, discussing active caseloads, safeguarding concerns and anything else that has materialised over the duration of the last week.
Catching up with emails over the course of the morning and prioritising tasks and appointments for the week ahead is the plan, but things don’t always go according to it. Between walk in clients, new assessments, clients phoning with issues that need addressing immediately, external agencies requiring information and organising the five peer advisors that volunteer on the project, more often than not the ‘to do’ list gets neglected.
I make a visit to a client who suffers from anxiety, depression, and alcohol misuse amongst other things. I support her to attend an appointment with her domestic violence key worker and liaise with a scheme so her property can be reinforced for security purposes. We go to the local police station to collect her son’s belongings and drop them off with the social worker. The client is very distressed and upset attending these appointments. Her son had been arrested for assaulting her and part of his bail conditions prohibit him from coming home, seeing or speaking to his mum. Providing the practical support so that the client attends the appointments is important, but the emotional support is key by reinforcing to the client that she is not to blame for her son being removed from her care and explaining to her that she is not a bad parent.
As we work with multiple agencies, we send regular updates to the professional network involved with each family. So upon my return to the office, I sent an email to the social worker, the ‘keeping families together’ team and the domestic violence key worker so that everyone is update on the progress and can continue to support the client. I updated the client’s case notes, adjusted the risk assessment and scheduled a follow up appointment for later in the week.
A give a quick call to the clients I am due to see the following day to confirm appointments and make any necessary changes to my schedule. Usually have a little vent about any challenges I faced throughout the day with whoever is willing to listen. I ensure that all of the team have checked out on the ‘squad register’ and then it’s a wrap for today.