In this blog, I am going to be talking about my experience of transitioning from having a social worker to having a personal advisor back when I turned eighteen.
I can remember very clearly, when I first got my social worker, I was in a very vulnerable place. Not even knowing who I was or what I wanted to do, or even if I should even be alive anymore. I was in a really bad place and not completely sure what to do, but when I got my social worker, I felt that I had someone in my life that was able to support me effectively and get me the support and help I needed for my physical and mental health.
I can remember the moment that she first met me, as throughout my life my family always had social workers supporting us due to either domestic abuse or violence with my mother and father. Due to this, I always felt that the social workers were always interested in handling blame and destroying the relationship I had with my parents, but this social worker was very different. It was like she actually wanted to support me and help no matter how hard it might be. She was amazing, but just before turning eighteen I was told that, she would have to transition me from the child in care team to the leaving care team and that I would get a new worker.
When I got told this, I was extremely worried and anxious as I felt that the only person that I could ever trust in regards to social services was leaving me, and I was going to be handed to someone who would not even care about looking after me and supporting me. However, this was not the case, the personal advisor I got was extremely nice and supportive, which was a massive surprise for me, but it was like she was briefed about my situation before she took me on.
This was really nice as it showed me that even though my social worker was leaving me, she wanted my new personal advisor to know everything about me so that they could support me the best that they could. This lasted for just under a year and she was very great as with any issue I had, she was always there on the end of the phone whenever I needed her, no matter what. Even if she was with another person or in a meeting she would always let me know and ring me back straight after without any issues. However, when I decided to transfer to university, I was given a new personal advisor who specialised in supporting care leavers to go through higher education.
Before moving to university, my personal advisor at the time was able to have a few catch up sessions with me to go through my application to university, apply for halls, get funding sorted with SFE (Student Finance England), and most importantly making sure i had everything i needed before I transitioned from home to halls of residence. Even then my personal advisor was able to take me to my halls of residence and help me settle in before I started my course.
However, before the summer of me transitioning to university, I was called up to the university to attend a information meeting. This allowed me to get information that I needed and meet the teaching and support staff who I would be in contact with during the duration of the course. At this time, my personal advisor took some time out of her day in the office to drive me to the university and attend the meeting with me. This helped me a lot as it allowed me to get the important information that I needed before attending in the September.
So, if I wanted to give care experienced people some advice from my own personal experience, I would say always feel free to ask for help and support from your social worker or personal advisor, as even though you might feel that they do not want to support you, deep down they do, they want to make sure you are looked after and are succeeding everything to the best of your ability…..
By Anonymous Care Experienced Blogger