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SCENARIO 3/8

Issue: Conflicting Information

During a home visit you hear from the mother that the family are struggling financially and at times do not have enough food for the children. She has requested another foodbank voucher. Whilst in the house you observe a brand new flat screen TV and as you leave the house you meet dad who is driving a new car. In his excitement about his new purchase he tells you that he has been working full time (cash in hand) for the past two years as a builder.

Questions

Do you:

  1. Feel disinterest in working with a family who have been dishonest and you want to focus your work with truly deserving families who are in genuine need of food bank vouchers.
  2. Feel angry that ‘people are playing the system’ and feel that you will struggle to work with this family and want to report them for benefits fraud.
  3. Feel really humiliated that you previously had believed mother and given her foodbank vouchers. You feel unsure that you can be a discerning social worker.
  4. Feel confused as to what has just happened and curious as to why mother said there was no money. You want to further explore what may be going on in this family.

You may not always be convinced of someone’s stories and this can bring about a range of emotions – however as a social worker you will need to remain open minded and able to reflect on and manage your emotional reactions.