Tuesday, 30 December 2014


A social worker called on us yesterday. 

Before you ask, we weren’t in the midst of a family breakdown, although by the time we get to the second half of the Christmas holidays it’s always a possibility.

I’d called the local Social Services Child Disability Team a few weeks ago, as I was preparing to get my head around the ‘care’ section of my daughter’s new EHC (Education Health and Care) Plan (the new document that will be replacing her Statement of Special Educational Needs).

The plan will be reviewed annually, but will be in place for her right up to the age of 25, so I really want this first one to be a thorough document that covers all the bases. She’s reached the age of 16 without us ever having any dealings with social services, but I felt the time was right to find out more about what support they could potentially provide. So I met up with the social worker last week, and she arranged to come and talk to my daughter yesterday.

“Why is she coming?” my girl asked me.
“Do you know what a social worker is?” 
“Yes, it’s like in Tracy Beaker, isn’t it?”, she said, referring to Jacqueline Wilson’s fictional character whose flighty mother regularly abandoned her at a care home called The Dumping Ground. I’m many things, but flighty ain’t one of them, believe me.
“Ah, yes. Well, that’s just a story, and there’s no way I’m dumping you.”
She looked disappointed. I ignored this, and continued: “Well, social workers are a bit like the ones in Tracy Beaker, I suppose, because they help children and young people.”
I took this to mean she deemed the visit was acceptable, and it turned out to be just that.

The social worker was friendly, and stayed for quite some time, allowing my girl to get over her initial shyness. She was treated to a detailed breakdown of the Christmas Tower Of Presents. And she asked my daughter lots of questions, putting her at her ease, speaking to her not at her, giving her plenty of time to answer, and listening carefully. She’s going to arrange to see her at school, too, which my girl was ever so slightly thrilled about.

“Well, what did you think?” I said, after our visitor left.

“Yeah, all right. It was just like in Tracy Beaker, Mummy.”

I’ve scooped my girl off to The Dumping Ground of her bedroom tonight, tired and happy after another visit today. This was just a social call, not a social services one, to see Scarlett, an adorable tot with Prader-Willi Syndrome who lives just 15 minutes away from us.

We went for sunny, chilly walk. Scarlett was snuggled up in a nifty backpack carrier, whilst siblings/dog checked out icy play equipment/pooped, in that order, you'll be pleased to know). We returned indoors, downed some scrumptious home-made soup, and played Monopoly. I got my usual baby fix, jacking up on a long cuddle, thinking how the world of social care and EHC transition plans is in the distance for Scarlett, and how her world is currently weighted more on the side of signing, physio and a walking frame - like my daughter's once was. 

Different stages, rolling on, all connected. 

Song is Ty Segall - The Connection Man


  1. As 2015 approaches I thought it was only right to spread a bit of New Year cheer, or rather, New Year thanks. I have been reading your blog for the last seven months (I have a eight month old daughter with PWS) after my husband stumbled across it in the very difficult early days and said 'you've got to read this'. Just wanted to say I think your blog is brilliant; so flippin funny, informative (we're going to try the raisins in two boxes trick) and you and your family are an inspiration. So, Happy New Year and thank you! Jo

    1. Thank you, Jo. As for being an inspiration, I hope so, because if we can do it, anyone can - we're no more sensible or patient than anyone else (far from it, in fact!) You're still at the very beginning of all the amazing experiences and shenanigans. It's a good ride, even if it seems scary at the start. Buckle up, hold hands, keep screaming and laughing, and you'll be fine, trust me. Happy New Year to you, too.