A Day In The Life – SWACA Adult Caseworker

I’ve been a caseworker for over two years now and part of the SWACA team for adults.

My working day usually starts at 9:30am, armed with a strong cup of coffee, my first task each morning is to check and respond to emails, text messages and voicemails that have come through overnight.

From 10 am until 4 pm, I carry out my 1-1 appointments with the women I support. Appointments can be either via telephone or face to face – they typically last between 30 mins to an hour. Following an appointment, I will update the woman’s file with my notes so that the information is recorded on our secure system.

As an adult caseworker, it’s important to work around the women’s schedule to ensure they’re able to benefit from our chats.  I usually begin a session by enquiring “What has happened since we last spoke?” My role is to offer a nonjudgmental ear, advice, and support in a safe space to allow a woman to talk openly and freely about how she feels. Many women don’t have the opportunity to talk freely, as they don’t want to worry their family or burden friends, especially if their domestic abuse predicament has been going on for some time.

During this 1-1 support we will explore – What is domestic abuse? How does it affect children? How does it affect you and being a parent? (If they are a parent). Safety inside and outside the home and what are the red flags to look out for in a relationship?  These topics help to raise a woman’s awareness of domestic abuse and provides her with the tools she needs to engage in a healthy relationship moving forward. Unfortunately, many women don’t realize that behaviors and tactics they have been exposed to in their relationship is domestic abuse – as you can imagine, it’s often an emotionally challenging journey for my women.

Some days, I’ll be required to attend professional meetings with various bodies such as the Initial Child Protection Conference to determine whether a child should be placed on a child protection plan or not.  There’s also the Child Protection Review Conferences – it’s here we decide whether a child protection plan should continue or be stepped down. Other important meeting I may attend include, Core Groups and Child in Need meetings, this is where we discuss the child’s plan and receive an update on whether items should be added or removed to benefit the child going forward. There’s also Care Plan meetings to discuss and determine when a vulnerable child will be discharged from hospital and where they will reside.

Occasionally, my day may involve attending a training session to help me better support my women, I’ve attended many programs including, “Impact of Domestic Abuse on children”, “Domestic Abuse and Coronavirus” and “The complexity of Domestic Abuse”.  Training is really important as it ensures I’m up to date with current domestic abuse related learnings and enables me to support my women to the best of my ability.