Saturday, March 4, 2023

Working in Care: I don't know how much longer I can keep doing this.

I’ve technically worked in the Social Care system for over 10 years now - at first adult social care and now child. Within that decade Iv seen those with disabilities chronically ignored, underprivileged and left to struggle, and some others with their needs met.

Iv seen individuals with debilitating mental health left homeless, and some with mental ill health recover and live functional, healthy lives within society. 

Iv seen children let down by parents, family, social workers, foster carers, teachers, therapists, professionals and a handful return to the family homes they were removed from. 

I’v seen staff control service users, service users controlling staff and all of us controlled by the sinking financial mothership. 

Iv seen predators disguised as workers, children abuse children and staff abused by organisations.

Iv seen adults sacrifice their personal time, sleep, relationships, family time, heart, soul and overall well-being, for minimum wage and fuck all recognition. Christmas', birthday's, nights at home and events with friends/family were missed for the commitment to care for those less fortunate.

Iv seen physical fights, threats, manipulation, tears, lies, mental breakdowns, car crashes, affairs, shit explosions, seizures, death, hope, faith, joy, love, team work and solidarity. I’ve literally talked a kitchen knife out of someones hand and proceeded down to Tesco for a cheese sandwich as if it was an average day. 

Iv taken punches, kicks, hot drinks, spit in my face (the absolute WORST) deceit and every abusive word you could imagine. Iv had service users all ages tell me to fuck right off and not a single part of me could blame them given the fact every adult/ professional in their life thus far, had failed to heal their pain or provide them a good quality life.

It's not all negative.. I've worked with some of the most loving and hilarious people in this industry - some of whom will remain friends for life. I have also had children thank me for caring or actually listening. I’ve had one child tell me I was the reason they didn’t end their life and that one comment, is worth one million punches directly in the mouth. I would quite happily be told to fuck off 100 times and I would still try again because sometimes, on the hundredth fuck off you get an 'I need help’. 

I’ve seen children AND staff physically cry out for help, and receive little support. 

All of these negative points would be worth it for the aforementioned positive comment or success story of a service user .. if it felt as though there was any hope it will get better. 

But the care system is failing. It’s walls and interior are crumbling around the most vulnerable people in society, who will be left to suffer. In fact it's not just the service users suffering anymore, it's the workers too. Rewarded for trying to help with stress, burnout and constant fire fighting. 

Some of us come into the industry to meet this burning desire to make a difference and instead you're met with a string of safeguarding concerns and annual inspections that make you want to literally shit your pants. Let me tell you there's not much more terrifying than receiving the call Ofsted/CQC are coming to inspect 12 months of work you've put your heart and soul into. 

Because the heart and soul you've put in can't be seen on paper, it can only be seen in the smiles of those you're working with. 

I am absolutely in this system for that one success story, but what about the 99 other failures? Jumping ship feels like it goes against my core….

But I’m tired. 

Without the support of the government/ those at the top and the financial means, there's only so much that can be done. It's a big chunk of my life and I can honestly say I have dedicated so much of my energy, time and good skin to those that needed it and would not take back a single moment. However, maybe this industry just isn’t one you can work in for life. Or perhaps it’s a me problem.. or I’m unfortunate enough to have worked in some really shit services. 

I feel like i'm surrounded by social workers, carers and children who are drowning and I don't know who to pass the life jackets to first. Lord know's there aren't enough to go around.. 

How much pain and suffering can one witness? Maybe the most successful sailor is he who knows when to jump. Or do you just go down with the ship, if it's a cause you're passionate about? My cause is the kids, and to be fair they are worth sinking for; but I can't shake this voice in my head saying 'I think you've done your bit now.. I think it might be time to pass on the baton'


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