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How many people still work in Social Work teams?

 

Dan Manville
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Mental health, Wolverhampton CC Welfare Rights

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I got to wondering how many people work in CMHTs or Social Work teams. I get the feeling that we deal with a particularly vulnerable client group and with the roll out of UC upon us we might see some issues arising that are unique to our client group.

With that in mind I got to wondering whether it would be worth our talking to each other…

     
Mike Hughes
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Senior Welfare Rights Officer (Take-Up), Salford WRS.

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Sorta. Used to be based in SW teams and then the feeling was that we needed to come together. Some gains. Some losses that people who haven’t worked the two models don’t necessarily pick up. Different for different people but for me on balance we were better off in SW teams. Sharing knowledge etc. can too easily spill into being reliant upon others and there was much better understanding (on the whole) of what constituted an appropriate referral.

Doubtless some will be dismissive of that. Nowadays the need to reduce the number of sites maintained means you get thrust into all sorts of different settings with SW teams; finance; call centres etc. Some of it works really well. Some of it doesn’t. Some of it throws up conflicts of interest. Come back in 10 years and we’ll be back in patch SW teams.

In the meantime it would be interesting to see how many are still based in SW teams. A dying breed I suspect.

     
nevip
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welfare rights adviser, sefton council, liverpool

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We are still linked to social services and still get a lot of referrals from social workers.  I also do one day a week outreach in a mental health unit on an appointment basis.

     
Helen Rogers
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Welfare Rights Officer, Stockport MBC

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I’m based in a Welfare Rights team, but I do my advice surgeries in the Mental Health Resource Centres where the CMHTs are based.  This gives me very useful links with the staff in CMHTs, but the benefits of working in a Welfare Rights team as well.  In the North West, we have a North West Mental Health Welfare Rights Advisers Group which meets four times a year.  One of its main purposes is to bring together Welfare Rights Officers who are either based in CMHTs or are working with clients with mental health conditions.  To find out more see https://gmwrag.wordpress.com/nwmhwrag/
Or give me your email address if you want to be put on the mailing list.

     
MartinB
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southampton city council homeless unit

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That’s useful Dan.

Our welfare advisors are part of Housing Needs (including Homelessness Advice) recently merged with Adult Social Care. We have outreach teams tasked for Benefit Cap and UC cases etc and a welfare/money team etc. 

I guess that gives us a housing/homelessness prevention feel to our wider advice, but not sure if we have picked up on and maximised the Social Care links you point out…yet.

     
Liz S
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Welfare Specialist and Appeals Officer Herefordshire Council Welfare Rights Team

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We are part of the Adult Social Care directorate which includes our Housing Solutions team providing specialist advice and support, we have close links with health teams including CMHT and Primary Care. The demand on our service continues to increase, we are seeing more and more vulnerable people who have had their lives turned upside down by the current standard of DWP/HMRC decision making and it is only going to get more challenging in the future.

Central Government do not wish to recognise that many of the vulnerable individuals they sanction or refuse benefit to end up needing substantive care and support to cope with that process. The endless cuts to Local Authority funding continue regardless. Any of us could become a client of social care in the future and sadly it is very much a postcode lottery as to what support might be offered.

 

     
Dan Manville
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Mental health, Wolverhampton CC Welfare Rights

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So… particularly with the likes of us who do have some contact with Adult Social Care… I don’t know whether it’s a common theme but in my team we move a lot of people around; people’s tenancies or relationships break down and We end up moving them either on discharge into Supported Accom or to a new residence when they get evicted or asked to leave.

This being the case as we go Full Service in December some of the most vulnerable people are at the head of the queue. We are worried, I wonder what other social care teams are thinking.

     
Liz S
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Welfare Specialist and Appeals Officer Herefordshire Council Welfare Rights Team

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It is extremely worrying, Full Service awaits us some time in 2018 and the inevitable impact on the most vulnerable individuals within our community will be frightening. When an individual’s fragile financial network is placed under continual threat by repeated assessments and reviews conducted by organisations who consistently fail to demonstrate any common sense whatsoever the resulting cost to health and social care teams is huge. Regrettably DWP do not accept they share any responsibility for this as they deal with case by case rather than accepting that their decision making standards have fallen to an all time low.

I am saddened beyond measure that again and again that we have to challenge decision makers over their abundant lack of care, the ongoing refusal to liaise with the health and social care professionals supporting our clients results in ridiculous decisions, the untold stress then caused to our clients is completely unacceptable.

     
stevenmcavoy
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WRO, campaigns and policy, Enable Scotland

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Dan Manville - 15 August 2017 12:13 PM

I got to wondering how many people work in CMHTs or Social Work teams. I get the feeling that we deal with a particularly vulnerable client group and with the roll out of UC upon us we might see some issues arising that are unique to our client group.

With that in mind I got to wondering whether it would be worth our talking to each other…

i work with a learning disability charity and currently provide advice scotland wide (lots by phone in areas outside of the west of scotland but have done appeals etc further away when needed).

UC and the implicit consent nonsense is going to seriously hamper my work.  i also get a huge amount of referrals from supported employment services which again will mean there really isnt such a thing as a better off calculation.

thankfully my highest referring areas arent yet full service but fife goes full service in december and i do loads there as we have a lot of services in that area of the country.  glasgow is thankfully last but september 18 isnt that far away.