A week in the life of a Family Support Worker

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Meet Georgia from the Greater Manchester Team

Hi! My name is Georgia. I’m a Family Support Worker in the Greater Manchester team, and I joined Rainbow Trust in February of 2022. I jumped at the chance to be a family support worker for Rainbow Trust to make a difference to families by providing whatever support I can to them through the difficult times they are experiencing. I always say if I can make a difference to one person, I’ve done my job, and it’s a job I love doing!

Each week can look vastly different as we work to fit the needs of every family we support, but this is what a typical week can look like for me!

Monday

My week usually starts with a quick check of my diary to double check what visits I have arranged and to make a note of if there is anything I need to plan or pick up for visits, as my week is usually planned before it starts.

Then I set off from home to a family I support who live around 20 minutes away from me. I picked Mum and Matthew (a little boy who has ETMR, a rare childhood cancer), up from home and transported them to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital for his regular MRI scan appointment to check his brain. Matthew has to be sedated for these appointments as the MRI is a long one, so I stay to provide support throughout the appointment for both mum and Matthew, as it is a long stressful day. The department was running rather late today, and Matthew ended up being taken for his scan 3 hours later than expected, so it was a long day of mum and I trying to keep up with him and entertain him, as he’s full of energy! Mum and I had a good chat while Matthew was in his scan and found something to eat while we waited. Afterward, I transported them home, with the added bonus of saving a hedgehog we found in the road, much to Matthew’s delight!

Tuesday

On Tuesday I provided school transportation for a sibling, Lucy, who’s family have moved into an adapted house suitable for her little sister which is around 30 minutes away from her school. This gives mum a chance to stay home with her sister to give medications on time, while also making sure Lucy gets to school on time.

I then had a phone call where I provided much needed emotional support to a mum who needed to talk. We had a good chat and made a plan of action for moving forward and agreed a date for me to visit her in person next week.

Admin was next! Followed by an afterschool visit with a 4 year old sibling where we went to the park, but it rained so we abandoned that idea and went to soft play for a while instead, which was just as fun but much warmer, and most importantly…dry!

Wednesday

Wednesday is the Greater Manchester team’s day for our weekly team meeting, so my morning consisted of travelling to our office an hour before team meeting started, to get some admin done. Our team meetings are pretty lengthy, as we save space for team wellbeing, family story sharing, space for supporting each other if we experience any bereavements on our caseloads and also successes or thankyou’s as well as discussing anything that needs to be done or important information that needs to be shared, such as new referrals etc. Once team meeting is done, I get more admin done and update case notes for families and if needed I’ll grab some supplies from our craft cupboard for family visits.

Thursday

Today started with more transport, supporting a mum and her daughter to an appointment at Burnley General Hospital, before taking them home again. Once I had dropped them off, I headed to another family in Bolton, where I have been helping a mum condense some of the things in her home by taking things she would like to be donated and donating them on her behalf. Her little boy is still receiving treatment for his Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia and has spent lots of time inpatient at hospital this year, so they hadn’t been home enough to sort through things until recently.

I then did an afterschool visit with a little girl with an undiagnosed condition, and her little brother. I take lots of crafts in to these visits as they love to get creative, and it usually ends in playing with some toys they want to show me when they’ve finished getting crafty.

Friday

Friday started with transport for Lucy again, as I have been providing school transport twice weekly to alleviate stress for mum. Lucy didn’t like my abba playlist this morning!

I then headed to Bolton again for a visit with Mohammed, a 3 year old little boy with Trichohepatoenteric Syndrome. Mohammed needs watching 24/7 as he has no sense of danger, so during my visits I take him out and about for a few hours to give mum a chance for a break, and to catch up on jobs that she struggles to do when Mohammed is at home. Mohammed loves to go to the supermarket and walk up and down the aisles, so this is something we do often, especially during the cold weather! Mohammed and I have lots of fun on these visits, and his smiles brighten my day!

Once I dropped Mohammed off, I headed home to add my admin notes on to our system for the past few days, and to respond to emails before planning my diary for the next week. I also had a meeting with the trusts fundraiser in head office to give her some information for a report she is completing, which will be sent to a foundation in Manchester who donates money which funds my role. They like to keep up to date with the support I am providing to families in my area!

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