Oh dear, we have a Family Support Worker

For those of you who don’t know, my son has regressed again and has not been able to get back into school this term.  I’m not surprised by this step back; I always knew we were treading a fine line between him being in school or not.  His anxiety is such that any change throws him out of sync and we end up back at square one.  For now, I’m doing what I did before – keeping stress to a minimum and maintaining a routine at home until such point that he is  able to engage on the subject of schooling.  I’ve learnt that pressurising him on the matter gets us nowhere; he ends up becoming even more uncommunicative and unhappy.  At the end of the day his emotional and mental health is more important to me than his education.  That will come, I hope, when he is ready.

Unfortunately because of his school refusing we have been given a Family Support Worker (FSW).  I say unfortunately because I am not a fan of them.  I find their role undermines my role as a parent.  I know its customary to have someone like this involved if you have a child with additional needs but I’m finding having a FSW is creating another barrier, ie
everything I’ve been doing for the last few years she is now doing.  So, stuff like talking to teachers and obtaining copies of documents is now being done by her rather than me and I find it irritating and condescending.  It’s as if someone somewhere has decided I am not a good enough mother and need help.   I don’t.  I am perfectly able to talk to professionals
and elicit the relevant information myself; I don’t need a third party.  I am also quite capable of bringing up my children.  I’ve been doing it for 18 years now so I think I have some idea of what I’m doing.

I’m not criticising FSWs because I know for some people a Family Support Worker is a vital source of help but I think it’s wrong to assume that all parents of SEN children need one.  For me it has created another barrier between the teachers and I because it means that everything the teachers say and what I say goes via her.  Already a meeting has been convened to suit the FSW and a teacher with no thought to whether it suits me and my family.

However, I will give it a go.  You never know, she may have the answer to my son’s school refusing.  Miracles can happen.

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3 Responses to Oh dear, we have a Family Support Worker

  1. Jazzygal says:

    I hear where you’re coming from and you are well capable of dealing with this.

    The FSW may be another layer between you and the education authorities, teachers etc.
    Or, because she’s a bit detached from the situation, be able to get through to them on your behalf? Like an advocate?

    Whatever happens I do help it’s hugely helpful…. I wish you the very best of luck.

    xx Jazzy

  2. Would it be a case of the system just doing things by the book?

    I have already been threatened with the National Education Welfare Board here and my son has only missed one day of secondary school so far!

  3. Katie says:

    That would really annoy me too. It’s obvious to anyone who reads your blog you’re more than capable of dealing with your son and his education – more so probably than your FSW. Saying that, if you get FSW on-side and the school listen more to her things may happen…

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