November 14th, 2011

This week we have been mostly…

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

…acting as a taxi service for social workers who can’t be arsed.

Kiera is fifteen and in care. She’s in care because she doesn’t like being told what to do. She’s living in one of those care homes where staff are employed to live in for two weeks at a time and where the teenage residents get to do whatever the fuck they want without consequences. It’s an ordinary house in an ordinary street just like the one you don’t want next door to you.

When they put her in care the social workers decided to move her to a different town, twenty miles from her friends. This is so she can start afresh and not be subject to the bad influences which ’caused’ her to go off the rails. You know, those influences like never having any consequences.

Kiera doesn’t like being told what to do, so when they tell her to be back at the home by 9.30, she isn’t. Most nights.

Her carers all appear to be ethnic minority ladies with names like Honesty, Charity and Lovely.

Their role appears to be to call the police whenever Kiera doesn’t want to come home and then go to bed.

Everyone knows where Kiera is when she’s not at the home. She is back in her home town 20 miles away with her old mates. When she gets bored or when the alcohol has worn off her friends and they’ve gone home, Kiera calls 999 and says she’s a missing person and is standing by the railway station waiting for police.

Because it is the police’s fault if anything happens, the daily battle of wills between the two divisions involved, that where she lives and that where she frequents, ensues until it is decided whether one division will pop down the road, collect her and bring her all the way across the county to her home, or whether the division where she lives will send someone half way across the county to collect her. Or whether one will collect and meet the other half way and pass her on.

One thing is certain, Lovely will not get out of bed and drive across, neither will any of her colleagues in the out of hours emergency social services department (which seems to consist of someone on the end of the phone who gets woken up by the police several times a night but doesn’t actually do anything). Neither will Lovely employ the services of a taxi to collect her.

So this week we’ve been having a lottery each night for the time the Kiera call will come in. One night I got within three minutes and won first pick from the chocolates brought up by the front line shift a few days ago. So far we have collected her twice, the other division has collected her once, we’ve met half way once and spent one night telling the care home that as we know where she is, she isn’t missing and they should collect her themselves. This went on for over 4 hours between calls from the home, to the home, from Kiera and to Kiera and it all looked like it was going good and we had declined to have anything to do with collecting her until someone caved in and we collected her, again.

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