#Gwynedd Council. Clarity Or Cover Up ?

So what has become of the complaint against Cyngor Gwynedd Council Children and Family  Department first raised on the 25th May ?

The report by an Independent Investigator was completed and handed to Gwynedd council on the 30th October.

Gwynedd council are refusing to say if our complaint was successful and are also refusing us sight of the completed report.

Gwynedd council have also informed me there will be a further delay while they attempt to sanitise revise redact clarify some aspects of the ‘independent’ report before we are allowed a copy.

If our complaint had failed the council would have informed us of this by now so I can only assume that the complaint was upheld – for the time being at least !

Yahoo.

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Gwynedd Council Data Protection Fail.

Preparing  paperwork for the meeting with the independent invesigators dealing with my stage 2 complaint against Gwynedd council, I was astonished by the council’s use of a black marker to censor comments made by managers to other agencies involved with the family.
The investigators were more shocked than I and told me there was no need or reason for council staff to censor and it should not have happened.
Then I discovered Gwynedd council had also sent me the personal information of another person.
Oh dear.

Failings At Cyngor Gwynedd Children And Families Dept.

Though the parents 2nd stage complaint against Cyngor Gwynedd Council showed serious failings within the Children and Families Department and was upheld by independent investigators in 2010 nothing has changed.

I have read through the report and noticed that many names involved back then are now ensconced as managers in Gwynedd social services, though it is not for me to say if these same people are now acting out of spite or have always been so unprofessional.

My experience working in the mental health field with dementia, learning difficulties, challenging behaviour and acquired brain injury was no use to me at all in this case and I was playing catch up for the first year learning about PDA, the boy’s complex needs and gaining his trust.

I stood back and watched as first the Council got in contact and after discussions agreed that support may be available and a social worker would be assigned. Everyone was wary because of the behaviour of social services in the past but it was agreed that help towards social skills and integration was more important.

A social worker was allocated and a support worker was granted. Unfortunately the support was still not provided and so in desperation a solicitor was contacted and only then was a support worker assigned.

The first social worker was replaced by a second , this time from Children and Families, as the disability team would not assess, due to the boy having too high an IQ. This social worker introduced himself as having no experience of Autism and was not a disability social worker but said he was there to help.

He did not endear himself to anyone over the next period by comments such as –

‘We are really doing the education departments job’

‘What to do you want a core assessment for? I don’t see what use it will be, can you explain to me how you think it will benefit *****? ‘

‘I’m a very busy man you know’ (when he failed to phone back)

‘This service is really for people that need a social worker’

But he was all my partner had to work with and the fact the boy was, finally, going to get help with socialisation and independent living skills was enough for me to still my misgivings and keep my professional mouth shut.

The help and support that eventually began was anything but.

Communication was poor and I mean mono-syllabic from the support worker when asked for feedback. One day he just grunted at me when I tried to engage him.
Different days different times and sessions that were arranged with less than 24 hours notice – and sessions were strictly on a take it or lose it basis.

The stress of dealing with this ‘care support’ had a knock on effect in dealing with other aspects of care and we all suffered for a period.

So a letter of complaint was sent to Support Services at Cyngor Gwynedd Children and Families Dept asking for continuity of times and reminding them that due to the boy’s complexities the family had no idea of where he was taken, what subjects were discussed or how he engaged with others if at all and simply a plea for feedback to help us to help him progress with socialisation.

It is called team work and every professional in the care field will recognise its importance for the child and family – except, it appears, at the Children and Families Department of Gwynedd council.

A letter was duly received apologising for blah blah blah and informing us that we had to ask the social worker to ask the support worker to communicate with us re the sessions !!!! But they did take on board our need for certain times to avoid clashing with the child’s education.

To be fair we were allowed the same time and day every week which removed so much stress and I am grateful for that. Imagine being grateful for a regular weekly slot from a children and families service(!) but I truly was.

The feedback from the support worker however did NOT materialise.
(Another social worker was asked further down the line again if we could have some feedback – again nothing)

In fact we did receive reports written by the support worker eventually. We asked Social Services for their file on the family and they were included. So much interesting information (and mis-information)  But that is for future posts.

My misgivings and worry about what I considered unprofessional and totally unacceptable behaviour turned to anger when I returned home and found my wife crying. She had had a phone conversation with the social worker which had caused her upset.

Then after I listened to the recording of the conversation I became quite upset, too.

A meeting between the social worker and my wife had been arranged but I wanted to be there for support so I emailed Cyngor Gwynedd Customer Care to raise my concerns about their social worker, Jamie Haydon and cancel the meeting.

My email and first contact with Cyngor Gwynedd Council was dated 29th Feb, 2016.

Cyngor Gwynedd Council “Deluged With Complaints.”

More than one in four calls to Gwynedd Council are going unanswered because its departments are being deluged with complaints.

Frustrated residents are giving up after failing to get through to officers within a reasonable amount of time, a report has said.

The biggest areas of complaint have been identified as grass cutting , the closure of public toilets and changes in the arrangements for collecting garden waste.

In total 144,862 calls were abandoned out of more than 500,000 made directly to council workers last year. The problem is particularly acute at peak times on Mondays, Tuesdays and Friday afternoons, the Corporate Scrutiny Committee will be told.

The local authority has admitted that the findings are unacceptable and that it planned to draft in new call centre staff to resolve the issue.

Fewer than half of the calls were answered within 15 seconds last year.

A spokesman for the council said it had been inundated with people ringing them to complain.

“We have experienced unprecedented demand over the past few months with the number of calls; and as the report notes, one of the biggest problems facing the service is lack of staff in the call centre, this was something the council hopes to fix by bringing in new employees.”

The spokesperson added: “As is clear from the report, we have identified a number of things that contribute to these problems and have taken steps to address them, working together with the extremely hard working members of staff at the contact centre.

“We are also recruiting more staff to deal with these problems in the short-term because some of those solutions, like the greater emphasis on self-service, could take a little time to bear fruit.

“The Council is not happy with the performance as it is.”

But UKIP’s Assembly Member for North Wales, Michelle Brown AM blasted the council’s record.

She said: “It beggars belief that the council are seeking to blame the public for their poor performance, especially when the calls have been generated by local people unhappy with the council’s poor performance in other areas.

“Only in the world of a dysfunctional local authority does it seem acceptable to say, ‘if people stopped calling to tell us how badly we’re doing, we would be able to answer their calls more quickly.’

“It’s no surprise to me that people are calling to complain when they are paying more in council tax but getting less for it.

“Nowhere in their plans for dealing with the problem do they mention actually addressing the problems the local people are complaining about.

“It seems logical that if the council want fewer people calling to complain, they should improve their performance as a local authority and give people less reason to complain in the first place.

“The council have clearly forgotten that they work for the local residents, not the other way round.”

http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/gwynedd-residents-left-hanging-telephone-12602142

see also Gwynedd’s Failing Council – https://gwyneddsfailingcouncil.blogspot.co.uk/

 

Challenging Behaviour And Cyngor Gwynedd.

I wonder if the Children and Families Department in Gwynedd ever ask themselves the question “how did we get here ?”

They have had Assembly Members for Wales, Members of Parliament, District Councillors, County Councillors, the Ombudsman for Wales all notified of systemic failures in the Department and asking questions of their behaviour.

I have been astounded at how ineffectual all these people are against council managers – whom, it appears, can behave as badly and unprofessionally as they like and there is no comeback – but that is for another post.

My involvement only began, last February, after a phone conversation between my wife and a social worker.

Remembering that – Gwynedd need to be reminded that challenging bad behaviour does not mean people are whiny bastards – it just means they are challenging bad behaviour.