Issue: Competing demands

You’re on your way to meet Poppy (a 15 year old girl on your case load) to take her to an open day at a new college. She suffers from anxiety and therefore cannot go without you. Whilst on your way you receive a phone call from a school advising that John (9 year old boy on your case load) has ‘kicked off’ and the police have been called. John’s parents have been notified and state that this is the ‘last straw’, that he is not allowed to return home and demand that the local authority accommodate him.


Do you:

  1. Feel energised by the challenges and excited about the day ahead as you are sure you can manage it.
  2. You feel overwhelmed. You are going to need to prioritise your work load and discuss with your manager.
  3. You feel overwhelmed and angry/annoyed that you have to sort everything out at once and you don’t feel that you have the time to deal with it.
  4. You feel so overwhelmed you’d probably freeze and experience panic as to what to do.

Feeling overwhelmed is very normal, the more effective social worker will be able to work through that and remain positive, productive and keep in communication with their line manager.