Flickering shadows


Some weeks I drag my feet toward my late afternoon/early evening clients for several reasons (i.e. diagnosis, family negating course of treatment, complexity), and yesterday I was actually looking forward to my afternoon cases for these same reasons. I can understand trauma, depression and anxiety. I’ve got cool things to do with kids in session to help them express fears and emotions; provide information that they aren’t alone. Something sticks with each session and they slowly grow, slowly improve.

I entered a school campus today, signed in at the front desk, and the principal addressed me about “our little friend” who has gotten into trouble yet again (at least 3x/week) for disrupting other classes by playing “ding-dong ditch”. If this little guy isn’t pranking, he’s tripping, pushing, or shoving others; he’s got some fire-setting incidents under his belt, too; violating physical boundaries (examples omitted) of classmates, legal guardians, and family members. This morning was the whipped cream and cherry. It was only 10:20am.

Let’s back up to yesterday (Monday) afternoon I listen as the child’s legal guardians recount how the kid grabbed one of them by their wrists and shoved into him/her; tore at his/her clothes. All because they were out in the community and the child would have to wait until they returned home to have access to a new toy. He would have to wait at least 30 minutes, and that is what makes him angry, and dangerous.

Thank goodness we have upcoming auxiliary services being implemented because impulsivity on this level makes for more shadows and worry than I’d like. And the sprinkles on top of it all was a comment from a higher-up in management told me to consider why the child does this, when I need to address the emergent issues of caregiver safety.

On Being Defensive

I almost can’t remember all the events of today…almost.

By 11am the fit was ready to hit the shan.  I got up to go grab a chart from the office, when the front desk lady stops me, tells me a social worker from APS (adult protective services) tried to get in touch with me on the phone, and that he would be coming to the ADHC.  I replied that I did not a [his name] and why would APS be coming to the Center?  I got the chart and the Administrator asked me the same question, I denied it again.  It was decided with nursing, the front desk lady and the program director present that no one would be speaking to the APS social worker alone.  In fact it was decided by the Administrator that she would sit in with me while the APS was speaking with me, and there would be a joint session with the APS as well.  These decisions are against regulations.

Going back to my office, I was cornered in the hallway between my office and the nurses office by my boss (the owner of the ADHC).  He was asking about the APS report I had copied on Thursday, and I explained it as, which is the truth: I made a couple of copies because I only have a Spanish version, and I only had one English version,  and needed a few others for the future.  He wasn’t pleased.  I called my co-social worker from the bathroom.  Then using the classic female ploy of grabbing my purse and heading back into the restroom, I called the APS and gave them my name and number; informed them that if they were sending out a social worker to the Center to get in touch with him and tell him no joint meetings, that he had to insist on single meetings.

Then I went back to my desk and returned to my paperwork, writing up letters to doctors telling them that their patients are showing the first signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s.  I was having a fun morning between that and orienting the elderly schizophrenic that there wasn’t actually someone there talking to him on the couch.
 I called my co-social worker on my cell a second time, now having shut the door and jammed the door-stopper in, so I could speak with some assurance that I wouldn’t be interrupted.

After this, some discussion in the social work office with the Administrator, myself, and the LCSW about the specifics of our paperwork and the confusion that is occurring with the audit, and where previous social workers dropped the ball.  Then we all headed back to the office to go over some other charts to clear up the matter with the Program Director, and the front desk lady comes in.  She says that the man who she thought was the APS social worker was coming in from another agency and was investigating my abused elder’s caregiver for a felony case, and wanted to check on his safety, and was about to go to the house and check on the other elders living there as well.  So the supposed APS worker was really a social worker from another agency checking in to see about the abused client because his caregiver is wanted for a felony case.  I don’t know the nature of that felony.

…and my back stopped hurting for a moment.