It would appear that in an effort to save money or for some other similar reason long term clients or particularly vulnerable clients no longer have access to a named social worker. This is not a good thing especially if the client does not have family living nearby or family living locally are a part of the problem.
If a social worker is seeing a client regularly trust and a relationship is built and this helps to ensure a client’s needs are appropriately met. Unfortunately this appears to be happening less and less.
A case in point is a recent Local Government Ombudsman case in relation to Essex Council. The watchdog said several of the failings identified in the case may not have occurred if Essex County Council had provided regular supervision to the social worker involved.
The man, in his 80s, lived alone. He was admitted to hospital in March 2012 after a fall. He was then transferred to a care home to allow for an assessment of his needs to see if he could return home. He remained in the care home until he died in February 2013.
An investigation found the council delayed acting on claims from the man’s family that he was being financially exploited by a younger female friend. After his death, the family discovered the man’s home had been ransacked and more than £10,000 had been withdrawn from his bank account over a seven month period.
The ombudsman recommended the council reimburse the man’s estate to an amount that covered the unexplained withdrawals and five months of care home charges he shouldn’t have paid.
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