Good News Story #1
We want to help change the public perception of Social Work and focus on what makes our sector such a good place to be! Yes there will always be issues as in any line of work, but being a Social Worker can bring so much satisfaction and positivity, especially when positively affecting change in the life of a person in need. Here is the first in a series of good news stories from real Social Workers, sharing their real stories. We hope you enjoy.
I was in my local Aldi queuing up with my shopping where a man stood behind me with a 11 ish year old boy. The 11 year old was huffing that there was a queue and that they should open more tills, I chuckled to myself and turned round and said ‘You’re not wrong there!’ The young boy look familiar and so did the older male he was with. It instantly clicked, he was a child that I had removed from his parents during the pandemic due to long standing neglect and his parents alcohol and drug use. The wider family were desperately sad that they couldn’t have him long term but he was destined for great things. It was a case I was covering on behalf of my colleague whilst she was off sick- I had only met him maybe 5/6 times before I had to issue proceedings, there was always something so loveable about him. A care order was granted and it was agreed for him to go into long term foster care, his parents didn’t contest the care plan and have never turned up to contact. I immediately said ‘are you (Childs name)?’ He said yes! I introduced myself to him and said do you remember me? He took a second, I think because I was out of work clothes, in his local Aldi and didn’t look my usual professional self. He said YES! He instantly hugged me and said ‘thank you, I love my foster family.’
I was gobsmacked at his response- he told me how he was moving up to senior school, he sees his wider family once a month for the weekend and loves his foster brother. The foster carer also put two and two together and recognised me and told me how well he was doing and how proud they were.
Whilst still waiting in the queue the foster carer quickly ran to grab something he forgot- I had a brief moment with him alone when I said ‘are you sure you’re happy?’ The young boy said his views with conviction and that he truly was happy. And I believe him.
We paid for our shopping and continue to have a catch up chat, he asked how my dog was and whether I still had the ‘nice car’ that I drove him from his parents to placement in. He was so brave that day.
I wished him well and told him that if he ever saw me to come and say hello, he promised he would and we had a farewell hug, instigated by him. I packed my shopping in my car and sat there full with emotion, but happy emotions that he was doing more than just ok.
Social worker is ever demanding, ever stressful and ever scrutinised. Yet moments like that, that really do catch you off guard with real success stories are the reason we do our job. I will forever remember the bravery of him and the power of loving foster carers.