Tuesday, July 21, 2020

SOCIAL WORKERS

We've had fantastic support from our social workers at Blue Sky through this pandemic.

Really, I'm not exaggerating, I won't embarrass the person - in any case I've every reason to believe that her level of support goes across the board for all Blue Sky Foster Carers.

When I talk to friends and family who are dealing with the whole thing on their own; dealing with lockdown, hand-washing, social distancing, masks, and anti-bac wipes I realise how lucky we are to have professional help and support.

Every time we turn on the TV, pick up a newspaper, log onto our favourite news feeds it's all about pandemic fears and dangers.

The absence of certainty about how long it will go on, the concern it may come back bigger and worse, the awful prospect that we may be living with it for…

I'm not going to finish the above sentence it's too awful.

It's easy to think we're all of us in the same boat, right across the planet, but we're not. The vast majority of us are taking it seriously and doing our best, but there seems to be a thick wedge of people who are simply too ignorant to try to get their heads around what's going on. I took a train this week and was shocked at the number of groups who were trying loudly to attract attention to the fact they weren't wearing masks. 

Then there are the people who are letting it get to them so much their mental health is in danger. You see them in the street and the supermarket, mostly the vulnerable, their eyes darting in terror and anger at everyone.

Both these groups have no professional help. They are reliant on Donald Trump and their own inner voices for advice.

Not so for people who foster.

Example;

Our social worker arrived at our house for 'supervision'. We chatted, socially distancing, wearing masks. She said how excited she was going to be wearing a mask, it would be fun. She always starts with "How are you?" - only she means it; it's not a polite extension of "Hello". She wants to know how I am.  And it's no good doing a lazy "Oh fine thanks". Stupid she's not, No-one's absolutely fine, especially not at the moment.

She makes me stop and actually think about how I am. Then I tell her. Then she goes to work to help us both get 'how I am' in perspective. 

I told her I was in a bit of discomfort with a bout of renal colic (aka kidney stones). 

Instead of doing what so many people do when you tell them you've got a bit of gyp "Ooo my grandad had those" or "Yes my rheumatism's bad, is it the weather?" She said:

"Oh no! What happened?"

I told her I'd had them before, after I ran a 10k years ago. A couple of weeks back I decided to get in shape so I started a bit of mild jogging combined with drinking 8 pints of water a day. The result was that one or a few little pesky crystals jiggled free of my kidneys and set off towards my bladder, scraping and jagging my tubes.

We chatted away about it, the focus on me and my aches.

When she left I felt 500% better that someone had cared. Her chat helped me get a stronger perception and understanding of my discomfort. 

Two days later I got a text;

"How are you? Any better? I could tell you were in a bit of discomfort but you were putting on a brave face, like you always do. No-one else would have guessed but then again not many people know you as well as I do. So pleased the fostering is going more ups than downs. You do a fantastic job, as I'm always telling you.
PS If you don't book that weekend break for the two of you I'll do it for you! Don't worry about the children we'll sort them out."

If you haven't got anyone like that in your life at the moment - I'm talking about a professional aide - it's because you're not in fostering.

Yet…?

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