Date published: 01 September 2018 by Anna Jackson
Here, Sibling Support Worker, Natasha, shares a typical day in her shoes.
This morning, I left my house early to be with a family for an assessment at 10:30. Assessments can take anywhere from 1-3 hours and they open lots of avenues for healthy and valuable conversation with families. This particular assessment was all about the eldest sibling and the worries and struggles he is experiencing with the family’s current circumstances as well as his brother’s diagnosis of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia.
Leaving the family’s home, I travelled to the Oldham care office to do some work on our Summer Sibling Play Scheme. This will involve three consecutive days of activities for siblings to attend in the summer holidays. We have one week arranged in Cumbria and Lancashire and the following week based in Greater Manchester, giving all children supported by the North West team an equal opportunity to access fun days during the summer! Within the short time I had to spend at the office I sorted out invitations and rang around confirming venues.
I left the office and set off to another family home where a Family Support Worker and I had arranged to complete a file review with a parent who we work jointly with. Unfortunately, there had been an incident at the school that her children attend which meant the parent we were there to see could not be present (She was at A&E!). The children’s Grandma was there and filled us both in on what had happened. As we couldn’t now complete the file review, we spent time with the 2 siblings who were at home. We read through a progress journal and helped them complete some of the pages inside, we revisited plant pots they had decorated and then planted forget-me-not flowers, in memory of their sister, whose anniversary it was the weekend after we had done the planting – they had grown beautifully!
We left the family home after lunchtime and I jumped back in my Berlingo to set off to another area of Greater Manchester. Stopping first for a quick lunch, I was on route to collect a sibling from school and on arriving, I collected them from the school reception.
Together we decided that a soft play was where we would go for an hour of fun before heading back! Another Family Support Worker and I are currently collecting this sibling from school and spending some time with her after school once a week whilst her mum and sister are in hospital for a long period of time. Today, she had arranged to have her tea at her friend’s house, so I dropped her there and began my journey home.
When I got there, I wrote up my notes on our system whilst they were all still fresh in my mind and added time into my diary to add a new referral onto the system as well. My very busy day had finally finished.
As a Sibling Support Worker, no day is the same but today was fun and full of surprises. I thoroughly enjoy being on the go, knowing where my time is going and that I am making a difference to the lives of the families we work with. The trust and confidence that these families have in Rainbow Trust is invaluable and to be a part of it is such a privilege.