Some of these are heartbreaking.
Abuse, neglect, and mental illness are widespread issues that often go unnoticed, but in the life of a social worker, sometimes they’re more of the norm than the exception. These social workers shared the worst cases they ever saw, and it’s hard to read them without losing a little bit of faith in humanity.
Lost in the system
I was in business support for a social work team.
Family of travelers (Irish gypsies). Kids were filthy. SW visited, extreme neglect and mum was pregnant again.
Anyway, the case got lost int he system. The SWs hated the computer system and refused to use it. The case holder went off sick and their manager was supposed to take over. He didn’t. No cause for concern was recorded on the computer system.
Anyway, mum has baby, is visited (finally). Conditions are worse than before. Again, NOT PROPERLY RECORDED!!!
Baby dies. Physical abuse found in post-mortem.
All could have been prevented if the staff used the fucking system.
Then they tried to blame me for not providing accurate reports on open cases. (the_disposable_dude)
I worked with a man who had hallucinations so terrifying to him that he poked his own eyes out. He always wore sunglasses but once he was comfortable with me he showed me his empty eyesockets. He was a very sweet man but would get violent sometimes. A different social worker in his past had taught him to warn people when he was about to be violent so he could be left alone to calm down. It worked suprisingly well. He would also frequently pull his toenails and fingernails off but never could put the reason into words for me. (madfirelchemist)
Not a social worker, but I worked with social workers for the pathways program which helps inner city kids get into and through college.
I had taught college freshmen history for a year when I got a classroom full of kids from North ave in Milwaukee. What blew my mind was that these students didn’t even think like regular students from the rest of our state. Not only did they lack basic knowledge of history (what communism was, who fought in WWI) but they saw no benefit in learning it. After talking to them I realized that their entire lives they had been programmed to think in the short term. In how can we get enough money by the end of the month, how can we get our sister the things she needs, how can we stop our mom from getting sick.
The idea of learning for the value of learning and seeking opportunities was entirely foreign for them as they were always living from week to week. (MajorMustard)