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The Social Worker

  1. Apr 18, 2008 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    We recently had a rather frustrating experience with a social worker. I have an uncle [uncle A] who has Cerebral Palsy and a reduced mental capacity. My grandmother and mother have cared for him since his birth, but for the first time in his life, at about age 60, he is trying to live on his own. We were able to arrange for social services to stop by and help watchdog things like his checkbook, rent payments, etc, as there was no longer any family nearby, and A didn’t want to relocate when my parents moved away. So, holding our collective breaths we tried to arrange for A to live alone. My other uncle [brother of the first] and I check in regularly, send money, help with his daily struggles and whatnot, and with the help of the social worker, our hope is that A will be able to manage. But after a few months I got a call from A telling me that he was bouncing checks all over town. After a bit of interrogation, it became clear that in spite of what we were being told, the social worker was doing almost nothing - helping with the checkbook is about the only real job that he has.

    Obviously I was very angry about this, but we need to rely on social services if this is going to work, so I didn't want to raise a big stink. So, I figured I should be pragmatic and just get things straightened out. When I tried to contact the social worker, he never returned my calls. Finally I caught him at my uncle's house during his next scheduled visit. I explained what happened and that A had not balanced his checkbook in months. I then asked politely if he could help get this corrected. He offered no explanations but agreed to clean things up. In the mean time I sent A the money that he needed to cover the checks. I also gave my uncle a good lecture about money and the importance of tracking his money properly, and how to do so.

    Some number of weeks later when I called to check-in, I get the following from my uncle: "Greg [the social worker] says that now he is my family and I don't have to listen to what you say". He told uncle B the same thing.

    :eek:

    I know my uncle very well and this did not originate with him [he is like a child]. This clearly did come from Greg! The trouble is that we couldn't afford to make trouble as Greg was the only help anywhere near my uncle, and he could potentially sabotage the program and make things much more difficult. It wasn't even clear to whom he answers.

    The good news is that I was just told that Greg has been reassigned and my uncle has a new social worker who seems to be right on top of things. But seriously, the nerve of that guy amazes me. Everyone in our family has given a great deal to help my uncle his entire life, and for this Bozo to come off with a statement like that makes me want to deck the guy. What a jerk!!! I nearly called to ask if he planned to cover A’s expenses from now on as well, but my hands were tied. I couldn't risk jeopardizing the programs that A is on now, and it was clear that Greg was a giant flake and a sneek, and he held all of the cards. It was infuriating!

    Whew! Been wanting to vent on that one for some time now.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2008
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  3. Apr 18, 2008 #2

    Moonbear

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    Considering they let my sister get a degree as a social worker, it doesn't surprise me. The social worker probably doesn't know how to balance his own checkbook, let alone help someone else out with that. Seriously, social workers are about the ditziest group of people I've met. With very limited functions in very structured settings, they can be helpful, but you'd be better off finding some college kid to help your uncle out in exchange for room and board or some such.
     
  4. Apr 18, 2008 #3
    Yeah, the room and board for help is probably a good idea, just make sure it's not one of those stupid college kids, you know, the kind that want to become social workers.

    Personally I see Greg getting an ass-beating, but I'm assuming you don't want to go through with that, so I don't know. File a formal complaint? Get it on tape?
     
  5. Apr 18, 2008 #4

    Moonbear

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    :rofl: True. I'd look for someone who's a pre-med major. They'd see that as something to do well to put on their med school application to show what a do-gooder they are.
     
  6. Apr 18, 2008 #5
    What agency was the social worker from? It can make a big difference. Some of them are great, some of them definitely are terrible.

    Then there are just plain terrible social workers. The problem is that the worst workers seem to eventually end up working for the worst agencies.
     
  7. Apr 18, 2008 #6

    Ivan Seeking

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    I don't want to get too specific, but this is all part of a number of social programs that provide assistance with food, housing, medical expenses, etc. - State and Federal programs. The social worker is a part of one of these programs. A is on disability as well as receiving benefits for being mentally challenged, and for the CP.

    He is almost a functional adult, but not quite, which can make things very dicey at times. He has the emotions of a twelve or thirteen year old, or so.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2008
  8. Apr 19, 2008 #7

    wolram

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    You are a good man Ivan and that social worker should have his ass kicked, i really do hate people like that, mom worked at a home for incurables, not the same i know, but the way some family members treated these patients was just wrong, i can only wish these sort of people nothing good.
     
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