I have noticed on this board a great deal of negativity about social workers, and whilst this is understandable, I would like to point out the situation from the "other side". I started my professional life as a social worker, although based in the children and families team rather than older persons. I was 22 years old with a qualification but very little knowledge of life, children, or problems! I was alloted a caseload approximatly twice the level it should have been due to staff shortages in the team. I was supposed to have twice weekly supervision sessions with the manager, but I was very lucky to have even one a fortnight as he was busy taking on caseloads himself instead of managing as otherwise our caseloads would have been even bigger. Needless to say, I became unhappy and demoralised very fast. Clients seemed to think I would automatically be able to wave a magic wand and solve all their problems!! I found myself working a 50 hour week instead of the 36 hours I was contracted to do, but still the barrel of criticism from all sides. I left the profession and changed to the probation service (things were pretty bad there too but no quite as awful!!) 15 years on, I still have many friends and contacts who are social workers and things are even worse. the pressure on these poeple is immense, and most are very dedicated. It is not that they cant be bothered, or dont care, it is simply there is no money, not enough time or resources, and little guidance and advice from more senior staff!! It is very seldom the individual who is at fault, it is the system. Of course, there are bad social workers, it would be silly to suggest otherwise, but most are ordinary people just like us doing their best, and as well as all of the aforementioned, hands tied by red tape and regulations!! Its kind of damned if you do and damned if you dont!!