For kids in care, their social worker is very important. So for this edition of the Youth Advisor’s page we asked a few people, ‘What qualities make a good social worker for children and young people in care?’
First, we asked some young people…
- keep us informed when access changes – tells us why
- do stuff for us – find me a new placement when I need it, make sure I see my family
- visit me at my placement – don’t just talk with me on the phone • call us back after we call you • spend time getting to know me
- ask me what I think about stuff – school, placement, family, the people I live with
- help me sort out problems at school or in my placement
- talk to me about how the decisions are made
Then, a youth support worker’s perspective…
- communicate regularly with youth support workers about changes in arrangements such as access and worker allocation
- have regular face-to-face contact at their placement, not just in the district centre • show honesty and integrity
- follow through with promises
- be fair minded and realistic with expectations
- be willing to follow up on necessary funding to cover basic needs like education and health
- provide the necessary support with life decisions
Finally, a social worker themselves…
- find the time to get out and about to have face-to-face contact with children and young people, rather than just by phone or email.
- give the children and young people the chance to express their opinions and takes the them into consideration for decision-making. For example, consult with them before annual reviews and when writing case plans.
- make calls or visits for significant events like the first day at school or to go out for lunch to celebrate a birthday.
- make regular contact
- links with as many stakeholders as possible and keep in regular contact to communicate the views of the child or young person in care.