I decided to read the agency bumph to try to gain an insight into the care workers role and behaviour.
Had I done this sooner, even, I, would have been forcedinto the sad realisation that it was impossible to have a relationship with the people, now permanently in my kitchen.
The state requires, you share your home, your child, your intimate daily life, and social niceties with any chosen, itinerant stranger.
Ignorant of their role, agenda or power.
On Isabel’s fulltime return, these workers were, and still are the only respite offered.
So naturally, I assumed, their role was to give me a break.
But now two of them were in the kitchen all day.
What were they meant to do.
Clean, look after Issy,?
Mysteriously, however, our core assessment stated,
‘on Tuesdays one support worker is going to go to the family home to spend time with both Finola and Isobel to offer support in changing some of the routines at home. This will enable Finola to feel more supported to make changes to some of the routines at home.’
What routine ?
What changes ?
Why were they needed ?
The workers, had started to tidy cupboards, clean, and wash clothes, and put a line up, useful in the summer.
As Isabel refused to go out, or engage with them, I assumed this was how they justified the agency’s £50 per hour.
It was only after questions like,
‘Why do you need the skills of an agency worker?’, from the education boss, and,
‘What are you going to do to keep your daughter?’, from the new main worker in April.
And she let slip, she was training to be a social worker.
And, I was targeted in children in need meetings, that I twigged an agenda.
The LA’s statutory duty to support.Was morphing into parental capacity. safeguarding supervision.
Issy was a ‘child in need’, not due to her disability,
But, because of her home environment and parents.
Our core assessment supported this.
It appeared, despite ours, and Isabel’s human rights, the Social Services Codes of Conduct and Issy’s wishes, the agenda was intervention and removal.
Compassion, humanity, and any real communication were therefore made impossible, between me, and any state agent.
The agency workers were made ‘experts’ after a one day’s induction. They knew better than me how to look after my daughter before meeting her.
And, were in my kitchen to train and supervise me and protect Issy.
This appealed to egos, allowed control and abuse, and justified the agency ’s exorbitant fees.
Inconceivably, no matter how bad my situation became, ‘support’ nor social workers sympathised.
What sympathy should be afforded to an incapable, abusive mother?
I would plead to them.Why the lack of humanity, but was met with silence.
Whilst the workers didn’t do empathy, the agency literature said they did assist by,
’ building self- esteem, confidence, giving reassurance to enhance skills, signposting, observing wellbeing and health ’.
Explaining their proclamations that I was a ‘strong women’,
their compliments of my clothes, and praise for my ability to cook ( although part of their neglect supervision).
At the time, I hadn’t realised,that enhancing my skills, observing my health and wellbeing, and bigging me up was part of their job.
I was their ‘project’.
And, if I didn’t play my role, the workers could, andwould leave the kitchen.
On a particularly distraught day, on the arrival of yet another new worker, I dared to say to her, that workers were exploited by their low pay and zero hour contracts.
My truth had upset her.
Her perception was as her training and the agency PR provided.
That she was a highly trained operative from the best agency, a professional carer.
So I assume that she did what she had been told to do if she ever felt ‘uncomfortable’..
As after just 20 minutes in the kitchen, she secretly texted her agency team leader, who almost immediately stood before me in my hall, unannounced having been let in in silence by the worker.
She informed me this worker, felt ‘uncomfortable’ and was leaving..
As, the agency had risk assessed 2 to 1.
Despite the fact I was nearly always at home.
And, both workers had to then leave the kitchen.
Telephone calls, and emails ensued, threatening, did I want future support,
when I hadn’t asked anyone to leave, didn’t have a clue the worker felt ‘uncomfortable’, or why,
and had retreated out of the kitchen, before the team leader arrived.
Yet another such departure, happened a month ago.
This time, a regular worker of four months standing.
The morning, had not been easy in the kitchen.
I had had four days of freedom, without the workers , so let my husband meet and greet, and ventured in at 10.30 for a coffee, making my usual small talk.
The workers were unresponsive, and did not enquire of Issy.
So I wittered on about Isabel’s, loss of appetite, but gained no response, so returned to the lounge.
I felt that they ought to know I was blogging, and, thought they might be interested in the blog post, ‘Isabel and the Horror of her Future Care’.
So took the lap top into the kitchen, and showed the post to the friendlier trainee social worker of 4 months.
Her silence, made me retreat to the lounge, returning eventually, to retrieve the laptop, handed back in silence.
I asked if had she read it, she replied, yes.
I remained in the lounge, and, heard Issy throw up in the hall, so decided, to ring the doctor.
The GP arrived, yet another lady, but, this time not a stranger, as she had diagnosed Issy’s faecal impaction last year.
My husband lead her into Issy’s bedroom.
Without invitation, or explanation, both workers ran in too, one sat on Issy’s bed.
My husband asked them to leave, .
As Issy had been freaked out by the crowd, no examination was then possible.
I met the GP in the kitchen, and described the usual symptoms.
My husband expressed concern at a GP discussing Issy’s future, still unknown care plan with social services, but not with us, but was met with,
‘all our disabled patients have care plans’.
We asked about the urine test, it was negative.
Issy came into the kitchen, and put her arm out, she obviously liked this GP, so I told her to tickle it .
At 2.15 I wandered into the kitchen, announcing our departures, to Sainsbury’s, and tennis.
One of the workers replied ‘remember to buy washing up liquid ‘- innocuous enough,
But this is a lady, asks if you have enough coffee, counts how many tins you have, comments you’ve ran out of squash, when you haven’t , knocks bowls, and tells you, they are cracked, and only fit for the cat.
And had earlier, that day, on my buying yet another plant, told me, only to take, the cash I needed to the supermarket
We also had history, over the past four months, me giving her legal advice, online assistance, lending her gowns for functions, and giving her lots of stuff… without thanks, and, I was always grateful for her amazing cleaning.
I thanked her, with some sarcastic ramblings, yes I had noticed,… but was ignored.
So continued to make a coffee, under her usual silent stare, irritated, I asked her to stop staring.
Remarking, how awkward it was, to have people in the kitchen.
But gained no reaction.
As I was on a very uncharacteristic assertive roll, I dared to ask the other worker, why she had said nothing about my blog, she replied,
‘Oh, you wanted me to make comment on it ?, I didn’t know’.
I took my coffee into the garden.
I heard the staring lady ranting,
She then walked out and shouted,
‘Finola, I’m not staying here any longer’,
She stormed past me, as I came to see what was going on,shouting,
’It’s up to you, to sort your life out’.
This meant the other worker was forced to leave.
So no tennis for Eleanor and Seamus.
The agency manager rang, two workers had had to leave.
We had told them to go, when we pointed out we had not ,
the story changed to, they left because they felt ‘uncomfortable’, and, ‘emotionally drained’.
The next morning at 10.00 am, the same workers, were sitting in the kitchen.
Not a word was spoken about the incident, I was charm personified, and excepting for providing Issy with juice, they didn’t lift a finger all day.