Another meeting with social workers and I just want to scream. The comments that are made about clients make me wonder how they ever survive the "help" provided by some social service providers.
One social worker observed that she sometimes had to "gauge what the client was able to understand". How condescending! We are working with homeless clients here, not people who have suffered brain injuries or are children. Another stated that she had called her client to give him job leads. Did she assume he was unable to find a job without her help? How did this 21 year woman think this 49 year old man had worked his entire life without her assistance?
After I arrived back at my office I found a memo from a worker at the local housing authority requesting that caseworkers stop updating the clients' income information for them. Her complaint? It is the client's responsibility to update their own information with the Housing Authority, the requirement existed for a reason and social workers were subverting the protocol.
I can understand her concern. Social workers will only follow a client for a certain amount of time. When that time is up, it then falls on the client to carry through with the Housing Authority to maintain their housing. Instead of teaching the clients how to be responsible for doing this, the social workers simply did it for them.
"If you give a man a fish, he eats for a day. If you teach a man how to fish, he eats for a lifetime."
Unfortunately, most social services systems hand people a fish instead of teaching them to fish. Then we wonder why they behave so irresponsibly. Because we taught them to. We infantilize and enable clients until they are unable to function without us. That makes social workers feel better about themselves for "helping" people out. It does not help the client. It does not make the client feel better.