CLIC Sargent Social Worker Jude talks about her work with families of children with cancer.
Providing help at a difficult time
'I’ve been working for CLIC Sargent for 14 years now. I started as maternity cover but I got hooked by the work. I’ve done lots of different types of social work but this is the longest I’ve been in a post, which says a lot.
It feels good if you’ve managed to help someone even a little bit at a very difficult time of their life.'
At the clinic
'The first thing I do when I get into work is to see who will be in clinic that day. All clinic days are busy and we try to see as many people as possible whilst they’re here.
'Our families have different needs depending on the diagnosis and the stage of treatment they’re at. It could be about anything from Disability Living Allowance to grants, to identifying holidays or other resources, school issues or that a sibling is struggling with family changes.'
It can be tiring but the tiring days are the rewarding ones.
'It’s wonderful being at clinic because you’re completely in tune with what’s going on and you can pick up the atmosphere. We have an open door policy, which is great but it means you’re constantly on the go.
'You have to be very flexible, you try and plan what you can into your day but you have to be responsive to anyone who knocks at the door. You learn to readjust and prioritise all the time.'
Home and school visits
'Sometimes I’ll do a home or school visit, if a family want one. We cover a huge geographical area, so it can take you a long way from the hospital.
'I recently went on a school visit for a little boy who’s just finished treatment. His family wanted to make sure he would be ‘safe’ going back to school so I went to support them and allay their anxieties by encouraging communications with his teachers, letting them know what his needs are and how they can help, to ensure that the child knew everyone was working together.'