Social Work England

CASE STUDY 3

Background Mr and Mrs Riley

Morris is 78 and he is the main carer for his wife Jenny who is 79. They arrived in the UK from Jamaica in the late 1950s. They saved up and bought their home in the late 1960s. Morris was a bus driver for thirty years, Jenny worked as a cook for the local Secondary School, they had one son but he died five years ago. They are Christians and regularly attended church before Jenny became ill.

Jenny has severe arthritis and is unable to care for herself. Her bed is in the lounge and Morris is her carer. They are supported by Amina, a Support worker from Age Concern; on her recent visit she noticed that Mrs Riley has deteriorated and her husband is struggling to do basic chores.  Amina raised her concerns to her manager during her supervision.  The manager decides to do a referral to Social Services.

Alicia Macfarlane, a Social Worker visits the home.

As a social worker, Alicia must follow Professional Standards which can be found on ‘Social Work England’, the Social work Regulator:

  1. Promote the rights, strengths and wellbeing of people, families and communities
  2. Establish and maintain the trust and confidence of people
  3. Be accountable for the quality of my practice and the decisions I make
  4. Maintain my continuing professional development
  5. Act safely, respectfully and with professional integrity
  6. Promote ethical practice and report concerns

More details about these Standards can be found here: https://www.socialworkengland.org.uk/standards/professional-standards/

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Alicia:   Hello I am Alicia from the Social Services, you should have received a call informing you that someone would be visiting you.

Jenny: Are you asking me, or telling me? By the way it’s Mrs Riley to you, and no, we did not receive a call or a letter from anyone.

Morris: You should never address elders by their first name, you have to show respect.

Alicia: I am sorry, I should have checked with you, to find out how you would like to be addressed?

Jenny: (burst with laughter) What do mean you are in my house, at my address?

Alicia: (smiled) oh course, what I mean was what you like be called.

Morris: Yes, my wife and I are very particular.

(Jenny stood by smiling)

Alecia: (Smiling) I apologise Mr and Mrs Riley.

(They both accepted replied thank you)

Jenny: Would you like a cup of tea?

Alicia: No thank you, but thanks for offering.

Jenny:  (hmm) I can see that you have manners.

Alicia: I would like to explain the purpose of my visit today.

Morris: We know the government sent you, wonder what you are looking for?

Alicia: Please allow me to explain, your support worker was very concerned how difficult things were becoming for you, she felt that you needed some extra support.

Jenny: We did not tell her that and why didn’t she ask us first? Before sending you in here to ask questions. We don’t know you.

Alicia: I apologise on behalf of the department that you did not receive the letter in advance, in fact it would have explained the purpose of my visit and why a referral was made.

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Jenny: It never came. How would you like it, if someone turned up at your house, asking questions?

Alicia: l have a copy of the letter with me, would you like to have a look?

Jenny: Of course, we need to know why?

Alicia: Would you like me to read the letter to you? Or do you want to read it yourself?

Morris: We can manage; we might be old and weak but we can still read and thank God we can see!

Alicia: I can assure you that it is to offer you extra support and assistance.

Jenny: So according to this letter, we can get extra help?

Alicia: would you like me to explain further?

Morris: yes, that’s what your came here to do.

Alicia: You are currently getting support once a week from Age Concern, and she has suggested that you both need more assistance. I understand the Mr Riley does the cleaning, cooking and your personal care, is this correct.

Jenny and Morris: Yes

Alicia: We could provide support by arranging meals on wheels to deliver meals to you and an extra person to assist with general cleaning.

Jenny: We don’t want to be a burden to anyone; Morris will cook and clean.

Alicia: You are entitled to get assistance as senior citizens; the local Authority has a duty of care to provide support and help.

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Jenny: I am not sure about this, it sounds good but who is going to pay for it?

Alicia: You would not have to pay anything, as you are both pensioners and according to my notes you have problems with your mobility, due to arthritis. You don’t have to make a decision straight away, you have to complete a couple of forms, which I can leave with you to read, it that alright with you?

Jenny: Yes that’s better, because we don’t like to rush, we have to think first.

Alicia: OK I will come back to see you next Wednesday, is that okay? I will leave my number in case you would like to contact me before then.

Jenny: it might be ok to you, but we will see thank you anyway.

Alicia: (stands up to leave) it was nice meeting you both.

Jenny: Morris see the young lady to the door.

 

 

 

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