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So called professionals and they way they talk about clients

(38 Posts)
ForestsLakesandMountains Wed 04-Mar-20 07:58:31

I am part of a team of professionals working with very vulnerable children and families. In our team meeting recently one of my colleagues discussed a case - a family in great need and clearly struggling. She referred to the parents as 'they need to keep their legs closed'. This went unchallenged by anyone there including our manager. The way she has spoken about this family has made me angry. I have challenged things before at work and feel that im the only one who speaks up or discusses it with my manager and in the end this may go against me. Id like to know what other people think, am I making a big deal of this? should I learn to let things go?

aggie Wed 04-Mar-20 08:07:29

That is a highly unprofessional remark ! However it is maybe not for you to correct , it is the place of the senior or leader of your team to take this on board and set the standard
I share your distaste

ForestsLakesandMountains Wed 04-Mar-20 08:12:55

@aggie. thank you. reading your response, I think what is making me most angry is the fact that the manager did not challenge it

grannypiper Wed 04-Mar-20 08:17:46

Highly unprofessional. Might be what she thinks and might be true but it was not her place to say it. It is your Managers place to pull her up on it.

Gaunt47 Wed 04-Mar-20 08:21:12

It's a crude distasteful expression. But the person using it was stating the obvious - that the family shouldn't have more children when they cannot cope with the number they already have.

travelsafar Wed 04-Mar-20 08:22:25

Maybe you should tell someone higher up the ladder and leave it to them to discuss with the manager as he/he is clearly not dealing with issues correctly.

Mapleleaf Wed 04-Mar-20 08:38:12

Perhaps the manager spoke to the individual later in private? (Which would be more discrete than your colleague appeared to be).

M0nica Wed 04-Mar-20 08:48:35

Quite beyond the pale. Apart from anything else how can this client family get unbiassed and good support if a person doing this has the mind set that permits her to make remarks like this.

MerylStreep Wed 04-Mar-20 09:19:52

Neither shocked or surprised. I think the only time I was 'shocked' was when a social worker friend was moving some residents from a residential home to another county.
NFN was written at the top of their notes. My friend had never seen this before so she asked what is this
In case some of you don't know it's Normal for Norfolk.
She saw far worse written on notes when she was involved in the closure of Severalls Hospital ( Colchester)

TrendyNannie6 Wed 04-Mar-20 09:27:02

Nothing surprises me nowadays, but not very professional thing to say, whether she thought it or not,

Luckygirl Wed 04-Mar-20 09:29:56

Her expression was crude and inelegant - but hopefully only said within a closed confidential team meeting. She may be right that this family need contraceptive advice to help them to plan their family and this should be something under discussion if appropriate.

She could have chosen her words better.

But sometimes stressed professionals let off steam with a rather quirky sense of humour - I know - I was married to a doctor, and you should hear what they sometimes say! But at the same time the professional approach to the patients was impeccable.

GagaJo Wed 04-Mar-20 09:33:20

Hahahahaha!!!!! I'm from Norfolk. I LOVE that acronym!

I think what people say VERBALLY (not put into writing) should be taken with a pinch of salt. Some of the roles involving the vulnerable are very stressful. Sounding off or making distasteful (NOT bigoted, that is different) jokes is a way of dealing with stress.

I have many times stormed into a staff room ranting, 'That little f**ker! I'm going to kill him.' Then next lesson, I'm back to calm, ready to deal with his behaviour and needs because I've had a safe space to rant in. Yes, in front of my manager at times.

We are human. If someone is letting off steam, I feel it is unreasonable to judge them. IF they are passing this onto their students/clients/vulnerable people, that is entirely different.

eazybee Wed 04-Mar-20 09:34:19

You should have challenged it in the meeting or privately, with the person concerned.
You should not be discussing it on an open forum; look above at some of the disclosures it is engendering.
Most unprofessional.

Teetime Wed 04-Mar-20 09:35:42

I would have a word in private with my immediate line manager and if this is the person saying inappropriate things then I would go higher but in private. Depending on the seriousness I would get my comments down on paper dated and signed.

Luckygirl Wed 04-Mar-20 09:42:48

I was a social worker for part of my career - believe me I sometimes needed to let off steam! But we could do this in the context of a supportive team who understood the challenges and the need for safe spaces where they could let go of this in whatever way helped. We all supported each other and did not nit-pick about language, as we felt secure that each of us would behave in a professional manner when in face-to-face contact with clients.

Are there concerns that this worker is failing in that regard? That is what really matters.

Nortsat46 Wed 04-Mar-20 09:51:01

Forests I am completely in agreement with you, it’s an appalling remark and such attitudes need to be challenged.

I was a Children & Families social worker, in the past and I still have to attend multi disciplinary Safeguarding meetings, in the course of my work. I have seen some dreadful social work practice. I did not challenge this in the meeting but raised it with a careful email to the relevant service head, afterwards.

I really do sympathise with your situation and applaud you, for not letting bad practice rest. I suggest raising it tactfully with your line manager, initially in a concise email, (if it didn’t happen too long ago).
I would hope that such actions would be welcomed and definitely should not be held against you. Good luck💐

mumofmadboys Wed 04-Mar-20 10:03:52

I would let it go. It may be a one off. Only if the colleague continued in a similar manner would I raise it.

Happygirl79 Wed 04-Mar-20 10:08:46

Raise your concerns with your line manager
Ask for feedback
Then leave it

Callistemon Wed 04-Mar-20 10:10:27

I don't think it was professional but expressed in a meeting with colleagues as an expression of exasperation it should remain confidential.

As long as the person concerned behaves professionally with her clients I see it as no more than letting off steam either.

In fact, I think it is unprofessional to spread this on the internet. Discussing your colleagues with your manager is just as bad if not worse imo.

Riverwalk Wed 04-Mar-20 10:11:11

It could have been said in frustration - you have to be quite saintly not to have such feelings when dealing with challenging clients, many of whom keep repeating mistakes and often the ones to suffer are the children.

A former colleague of Afro-Caribbean background once said to me that she 'wanted to slap' some of the young girls from her community who were coming in pregnant with their 2nd, 3rd or more child, when barely out of their teens and no permanent partner on the scene.

She was obviously not intending to do harm! But was expressing frustration that these girls should aim higher.

Callistemon Wed 04-Mar-20 10:12:42

I am assuming it was a sign of exasperation and letting off steam with a group of colleagues who should keep things confidential too.
As long as your colleague behaves in a professional manner with her clients then let it go, certainly do not discuss your colleagues behind their backs to your manager, that is very unprofessional.

I think that posting this on the internet is wrong too.

Callistemon Wed 04-Mar-20 10:13:42

I retyped my post because the first one did not appear to post!

Riverwalk Wed 04-Mar-20 10:15:36

Why is it wrong for the OP to post - there are no identifying details?

DoraMarr Wed 04-Mar-20 10:26:35

Firstly, this is one professional you are talking about, not “some”. Secondly, what you are doing is unprofessional in talking about it on an open forum. If you are concerned you should discuss it with your line manager. Thirdly, as others have said, this could be the professional’s way of dealing with a very frustrating situation. If you have any concerns about that person’s behaviour towards clients, and you have evidence of unprofessional behaviour towards them, then again you should discuss this with your line manager. It is not a subject for an open forum.

trisher Wed 04-Mar-20 10:40:27

I'm a bit worried about this post. Why would a professional come on to a grans forum to post about the inadequacies in her professional work and particularly her constant complaints being ignored? She/or He must know the proper professional process it is necessary to go through to change things. What is the OP looking for? Others to reveal professional indiscretions? Some sort of approval of the colleagues remarks? Evidence that us grans are biased?