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Support workers

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laurac1996
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Oct 17, 2019 12:30 am

Support workers

Postby laurac1996 » Thu Oct 17, 2019 12:45 am

Hiya. I'm new to this support forum so not going to be great at typing stuff but I'll try..

I have new support workers - I'm unfit for work due to mental health so currently have support workers to get me out the house, build my confidence and also build my independence.
I have a few issues with the support workers, not sure how to address the issues as I don't want them getting annoyed with me. One thing they do that I'm not impressed with is drink energy drinks on shift with me; and by energy drinks I mean red bull and monster which has a lot of caffeine in. I don't really think they should be drinking such drinks on shift - what are your opinions??
They also swear in front of my parents which I find very embarrassing due to them being professional people and my mum disliking swearing.
Another issue is one of the support workers uses her e-cigarette on shift a lot. When we leave the house, the first thing she does is goes in her pocket and gets the e-cigarette out and it's as though it's the only thing on her mind which doesn't make me feel great seeing as she's meant to be here to support me.

May I have people's opinions please.

Thanks

hyster
Posts: 227
Joined: Thu May 16, 2019 3:35 pm
Location: Coventry

Re: Support workers

Postby hyster » Thu Oct 17, 2019 1:00 pm

swearing = extremely unprofessional
e-cigarette = extremely unprofessional
energy drinks = subjective but why need a legal high to get through the day ?? not good

they should be encouraging u not to drink them.

i dy see how they can be good support workers with so many deep / unprofessional flaws.

rsxo
Posts: 1271
Joined: Mon Apr 24, 2017 4:12 pm

Re: Support workers

Postby rsxo » Fri Oct 18, 2019 8:00 pm

Welcome!x
RSxo <3

whitefluffyclouds
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:36 pm

Re: Support workers

Postby whitefluffyclouds » Tue Nov 26, 2019 9:04 pm

Hello, I'm also new. Not sure exactly the best way to tackle this situation because making a complaint could go several ways, but I totally understand your frustrations because I have a support worker attend weekly which is linked to my accommodation. The problem is support work isn't regulated and only very basic mental health training is provided (and by the company providing it) which gives you limited options and often leads to lax working ethics amongst employees. Your first option, if you feel you have a pretty good relationship with them, is to mention these issues directly to the support worker themselves in a non-judgemental way, but make sure you have a third party present when doing so (feel free to read my cautionary tale below). The second is to go above their heads and raise any issues directly to the management of the provider informally. The third is to investigate their official complaints process (which should have been given to you when you signed up) and then make an official complaint to the company providing support.

I personally think their behaviour is far too informal for a support worker and quite inconsiderate. At the end of the day, you are the client and your needs and feelings should definitely come first.

My cautionary tale is below to anybody who is currently facing a similar situation, but don't read if prone to excessive worry!
Last edited by whitefluffyclouds on Tue Nov 26, 2019 9:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

whitefluffyclouds
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:36 pm

Re: Support workers

Postby whitefluffyclouds » Tue Nov 26, 2019 9:32 pm

Cautionary Tale:

Always have somebody present (ideally a third party professional) when attempting to raise any issues of concern directly with or about a support worker. This is to protect yourself from any allegations which might come back at you as a result.

I have had two experiences of support workers making totally false accusations against me when I attempted to complain about their work ethic. Firstly, four years ago I spent six months in supported accommodation and had a regular support worker. We got on well, then she went on holiday for a week to NYC and the guy who was supposed to stand in for her failed to turn up twice. I went to his office to discover what had happened and he was very blase and unapologetic in response to my enquiries. He then asked me to leave the room (which I couldnt understand). The next day he made allegations to the housing provider that I had behaved aggressively towards him in his office (totally untrue). As a result I was given a warning and had to be observed by two support workers from then onwards. They also then failed to renew my contract due to these allegations when my six month term finished, so I was forced to rent privately.

Earlier this year in April, I decided to give supported housing another shot and signed a assured shorthold agreement with the mandatory provision that I had to accept weekly support. Initially, I got on very well with my new support worker but noticed certain behaviours that were unprofessional. She would tell lies about being off work sick (cancelling our appointment) then I would see her in the highstreet, she would wear a jacket saying "there are no rules" to work, she could be quite rude to me etc. After two months she asked me if I "wanted a cuddle" because I was visibly upset during a support session (depression) which I thought was inappropriate, she purposefully misinterpreted my financial information on a grant application to make it look more attractive to the funders and would be dismissive of my feelings and had no clue about mental health terminology.

During a mental breakdown in July she made outright discriminatory comments to me about my depression and when I felt I needed hospitalising she said "in my experience people very rarely get hospitalised" but was keen to stress she wasn't "mentally health trained" as she worded it. Firstly, I attempted to speak to her face-to-face during our session about these issues, but she denied everything so I mentioned I would be making a formal complaint. She literally ran out of my flat without stopping. A week later, as before, I discovered she had made completely false accusations on my notes of unstable and aggressive behaviour because she knew there would be a complaint made about her. I've now been informed, as before, that I will have to now be observed by two support workers. However, I did request my original support worker's removal as a "reasonable adjustement" under the Equality Act 2010, which the company were legally obliged to act upon. Unfortunately, instead of suspending her they are protecting her and I have a meeting with the management in two weeks time to discuss my support provision :oops:

whitefluffyclouds
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:36 pm

Re: Support workers

Postby whitefluffyclouds » Tue Nov 26, 2019 10:22 pm

Hi Eeyore, I assume you're responding to my post. I've tried in vain to find a solicitor who is willing to represent me (I'm even eligible for legal aid) with absolutely no luck. I went to my local Law Centre and they actually put a safety alarm on the table incase I was dangerous and kept the door wide open. That was a pre-booked discrimination clinic and I experienced direct mental health discrimination! I'm depressed, not remotely dangerous to other people. :o

Anyway, I didn't mean to overtake the thread from the OP, just wanted to share a warning and some advice (ie have a witness).


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