Tips I would give for when parents are working with social workers
Don’t be afraid of your social worker
Don’t be afraid of them because you cannot work with someone you are afraid of and sometimes it might tip the wrong scale because you don’t even know the support you actually need.
Social workers have things they have to provide but they don’t provide them because maybe you don’t understand the level of support they can actually give you.
Don’t forget about yourself
The best thing for the child is for the child to be with their parents. It causes significant problems for the child to be removed and placed with someone else. Remember that you are the parents that are looking after the child, if you are not OK how can your child be OK? Make sure that you do not forget about you because you need help as much as your child needs help. Ask your social worker how you can be helped, so that you can meet your child’s needs.
Make sure you seek help as well
Sometimes you are meeting your child’s needs but you are not getting the help you need. You could be going through low mood and you don’t understand. You wake up in the morning, you tick all the boxes but then there is something you need but you are not getting it and you don’t know that you need it.
I have had friends that have said to me, ‘do you know what, if I had known that, raising my child would be a lot more fun because I didn’t know. I got up in the morning, ticked all the boxes, did chores and I thought that was the best thing but I forgot about myself, forgot the fun part. I forgot to have fun while doing it. Forgot also about thinking about myself.’
Ask for an advocate
If you find it difficult as a parent speaking out loud, ask your social worker for an advocate, ask them to provide an advocate for you. That had a major impact in my situation because it gave me a voice in the room. Sometimes as a young parent, we do not feel like speaking out loud in front of professionals, we feel intimidated by the level of professionals there are in the room. So get an advocate, share your views with an advocate.