Requesting a new social worker - repercussions?

Hey everyone,

Just wondering if anyone here has had to request an alternative social worker, and what their experience was like when doing it/what followed?

In my local authority generally just assign a social worker to someone just to do a review or handle an issue and once it’s resolved the case goes back in the pile to be picked up by another random social worker whenever you need them.

This has been fine for of my carees over the years, but one of them was assigned an absolutely atrocious social worker in 2019 who caused nothing but trouble. Coming out under the guise of doing a “light touch” review, but just wanted to slash the care package to the bone and sat there and lied bare faced about a number of things (contradicting the Care Act and such) that set my caree off into a downward spiral that he hasn’t really recovered from.

Thanks to the pandemic we’ve had little or nothing to do with her so far, but a care plan review is due so she’ll be headed our way at some point soon, but my caree is already clamming up and getting anxious about having to deal with this woman again. She’s extremely rude too, doesn’t return calls or even acknowledge emails asking for her assistance/input, clearly only cares about the council’s bottom line and not actually meeting his assessed needs etc. My caree doesn’t trust her and there’s absolutely no understanding of his condition or needs from this woman.

Everyone we’ve mentioned the trouble she caused to (GP/MH team/district nurses etc) have said to request a different social worker, but my caree is afraid to do this as he feels he’ll be putting a target on his back and will end up in a worse situation than he would if he just persevered with the one he has. He’s been getting social care for over twenty years and has never experienced anything like he did with this woman and I can’t bare to see him so distraught again as he was in 2019, but I’m concerned about the impact of asking for someone else to handle his case too.

Just wanted to know if anyone has ever requested a different social worker and if they found it helped or made matters worse?

Any insight would be helpful. Thanks.

I’ve had personal experience of changing social worker and professional experience of people requesting a change. I haven’t come across any people suffering for asking for a change. Although there’s always the risk that you’ll get an even worse one.

Ultimately, though, you need to make it clear that there is no trust with that social worker and that you cannot work with them.