Friday, November 9, 2012

Privacy Laws

My city is not that big, it’s fewer than 1 million people, which means that when you work in the social services field, you can run into the same people, over and over again, no matter where you are working or volunteering. Because I tend to focus on similar populations (homeless, high risk, “dangerous”, substance abusing etc…) that becomes even more of an issue. Basically, it means that I’ve known some of my clients for 10 years, through at least five different jobs and volunteer positions, which is great, in some ways, but definitely makes things more challenging in other ways.

Here’s the scenario, you have a signed confidentiality/release of information with a client on your caseload. You’ve known them 10 years, but they’ve only been on your caseload at this job for 6 months. Keep in mind here, that in each of the places you’ve worked you would have had signed consents on file for disclosures to certain people, not necessarily the all the same places/people, plus, these consents would no longer apply to you as you are no longer there. You are talking to someone from the justice system who is working on a presentencing report; they ask you how long you’ve known the client, what do you tell them?

The answer is of course, complex andI went and talked to my supervisor, who also didn’t have a good answer. My reflection on the situation? I’m still not sure what the correct answer was/is. I think in the spirit of the information acts, I gave an appropriate answer. The acts are meant to protect the best interests of the people, and in this case, providing relevant information was in his best interests, in my opinion (now, don’t get me started on how the justice system ignored everything I said).

Any thoughts? 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Why

So, how does a social work wind up out of work, especially a social worker who up until March had three jobs? Simple, government.

Without going into too much detail, just because the internet isn’t exactly the world’s most secure forum, I was working for government, government cut backs, term not renewed. The end. I quit my other two jobs before my trip to Malawi in April deciding to focus on church and my full time job with the government. Working 56 hours a week just wasn’t doing it for me….

I think the hardest part of all of this, is that I really, really, liked my old job. I liked my caseload (all 180 of them), I liked my coworkers, I liked what I did, and I even liked my supervisor. I won’t lie to you either, it was the highest paying job I’d ever had, good for the mortgage and all sorts of house disasters (of which there were many). I’m finding it very hard to apply for new jobs, because I’m still stalled at the old job. Not quite sure how to move past that, I’m guessing though, that, like most things, it will take time.

While I wait for the time to pass, I've got some stories to tell, some social issues to discuss, and some ranting to do. Stay tuned!  

Monday, November 5, 2012

Things that keep me sane right now

I can't remember the last time that I didn't have something to do. I would guess that it was the summer between grade 10 and grade 11, about eleven years ago. Even then, I babysat more days than I didn't, and worked at gymnastics camp, so if we're really looking back, the last time I had this long a break would have to be when I was about twelve.

It's been two whole weeks of unemployment. It's definitely a BIG change for me.

I started school when I was five, I did the normal kindergarten to grade 12. I worked the summer between grade 12 and university, and for the next four years I worked/took classes/went to practicum and worked over the summer. I started my first "real" job the day after my graduation. Each time I've switched jobs I've taken less than a week to make the transition. Now, I'm finally having a real and true break. It's weird.

The first week was kind of nice, I babysat a couple of times, had a couple of appointments, kept myself busy. Last week was a little harder, but for the most part, I found a daily activity, something to get me out of the house, this upcoming week, who knows. But, there are some things keeping me sane, and so, in typical me fashion, I close this post with, a list.

Things that keep me sane right now:
- setting my alarm clock
- having a reason to get up each day (without one, I just don't get up)
- the alarm clock on my coffee maker
- daily yoga practice
- the gym
- my friends
- getting out EVERY day
- planning ahead, so there's always something to fill my time
- being nice to myself
- taking things slow
- daily job search
- eating
- sleeping at night

and I'm sure many other things, but that's it for now!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Social Worker for Hire

So, it's National Novel Writing Month, and I'm unemployed. You might think that these two things have very little to do with each other, however, it's been brought to my attention that being unemployed, I should have more time to write, should, is the operative word here. The truth of the matter is, I do have more time to write, the other truth however, is that I really don't have a novel inside me right now, I just don't. SO, I decided that rather than trying to force something out of me that wasn't there, I would try to blog everyday in November. That, I think I can handle, although this short paragraph is all you're getting for today's blog!