What Can Social Workers Demand?

Discussion in 'Welcome and how to use Dementia Talking Point' started by Dog4show, Sep 16, 2019.

  1. Dog4show

    Dog4show New member

    Sep 16, 2019
    I act as an Appointee for a friend who is said to have dementia (although it's debatable, in my view, as I've known her for years and she is very with it!), but she has been diagnosed at the Dr's, all the same. Anyway, I draw her Benefits for her every week and any other monies, as she requests.

    The Social Worker has asked for the last three months' bank statements. I queried it and said that I felt that she didn't trust me. She denied that that was the case, of course and said that she wanted to see the statements just out of professional curiosity - professional curiosity were the actual words she used. I think that that is a lame excuse and that really I am right.

    I'm now curious as to whether the Social Worker has the right to demand my friend's last three month's bank statements, randomly, like that (I've agreed to send them, by the way) or does she need a better excuse? She has recently been round to do a new assessment for the year, but the last time Social Services did that, the Social Worker only asked for six weeks bank statements for the assessment.

    What's your opinion please?
  2. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    hello @Dog4show
    welcome to DTP
    seems to me, the social worker is doing her job in checking the ability of your friend to pay care fees, indeed more help with finances might come from an up to date financial assessment .... and they have the duty of care for your friend, so it's their responsibility to ensure all is well with her finances as well as her health and welfare

    and please be aware that if your friend has a diagnosis of dementia, it wasn't made lightly ... people with dementia can present in a variety of ways ... they can be able to cope with some aspects of life but unable to do do some basic everyday tasks ... and often they can pull together their energy to appear to be fine when someone pays a visit, but for the rest of their day they are much more confused; on DTP it's called 'host mode'
  3. BluTinks

    BluTinks Registered User

    Dec 7, 2018
    A social worker has no right to demand bank statements
  4. sausagedog

    sausagedog Registered User

    Aug 22, 2019
    I would say if your friend has recently been assessed then it’s normal practice that SS require evidence (bank statements)of your friends current financial position - I honestly cannot see a problem with such a request.
  5. Donkeyshere

    Donkeyshere Registered User

    May 25, 2016
    channel islands
    If your friend has capacity then I would be wary of General Data Protection Regulations - I am no expert but it could that she would have to give written consent for her "data" to be seen by the Social Worker. Or if you are the appointee then I would say it may be you that has to give this consent - I would check maybe with Citizens advice in the first instance.
  6. DesperateofDevon

    DesperateofDevon Registered User

    Jul 7, 2019
    Social services request bank statements for three months when they do a needs assessment & financial assessment, to put in place a care package. It isn’t a reflection on yourself it’s just part of the process of getting a care plan & package into place.
    My Mum didn’t appear to have issues to others; but was diagnosed in 2014.
  7. Louise7

    Louise7 Registered User

    Mar 25, 2016
    'Professional curiosity' is a positive thing as it means that the social worker is being proactive with regards safeguarding vulnerable people. If you Google it you'll see that the definition is 'to explore and understand what is happening within a family rather than make assumptions'. Perhaps the social worker could have been clear with you with regards what she meant by the phrase but it's not something to be concerned about, nor is it a 'lame excuse' or a sign that she doesn't trust you.
  8. Banjomansmate

    Banjomansmate Registered User

    Jan 13, 2019
    The only time I have given financial information to the Council is when I have received an application form for Benefits from their Finance Dept. I would be unhappy about giving Bank statements to a SW who asked to see them.
  9. Baker17

    Baker17 Registered User

    Mar 9, 2016
    I agree I als
    I agree I only have supplied this information to the financial department. The social worker can get this information from the financial team if they wish to see it. The first time I met the SW appointed for myOH the first question they asked was who owns the house, to say I was furious was an understatement especially the manner they asked me it in, I informed them I owned the house and had done for 43 years their eyes rolled very unprofessional I thought, needless to say we do not have a good relationship
  10. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    @Banjomansmate I too assumed only the finance dept would ask for this info. We're always told SWs themselves are not very clued up about the financial details, but I guess as Louise has said this is 'proactive safeguarding'. I don't know what paperwork they are allowed to request for this.
  11. rainbowcat

    rainbowcat Registered User

    Oct 14, 2015
    Hmmm. My father has had 4 social workers in 6 years, and he's never had to show any of them any finances. He has a yearly finance assessment, but that's via the council finance dept. Any equipment has come via OT at the local hospital, and they didn't ask for any financial info.
  12. Louise7

    Louise7 Registered User

    Mar 25, 2016
    Yes, it was the same for Mum - the financial side was dealt with by the LA finance team not social services. However the circumstances in this case are that the OP is acting as appointee and withdrawing benefits and other money for her friend, who has been diagnosed with dementia, but the OP thinks this is debateable. The social worker has a duty to consider financial safeguarding of vulnerable people so under the circumstances I don't think that asking to see bank statements is unreasonable.

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