I'm blessed with fantastic colleagues. It's really the only reason I'm working where I am. The staff really are fantastic.
Colleagues outside of the NHS are more variable in their competence. Some social workers are fantastic. I've a lot of time for social workers, they do a hard job with little meaningful support/team work. One disadvantage of this culture is that social workers are pretty idiosyncratic animals. They all work differently, with sometimes very different attitudes and consequently very different interventions (or lack of interventions).
This variability in social work bemused me . . . shouldn't it be a needs led service? Shouldn't what the patient (erm, client, to them) needs define what activities the social worker undertakes/the content of their care schedule? No, it all falls down to the quirks of the individual social worker (or assessment officer) in my corner, and the attitude/whim/habits they possess. Patients get very different responses and outcomes depending which area team social worker picks up their case.
What's more muddling is their response to change, including legislative changes such as the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
A social worker today said they didn't know it, she hadn't had what she thought was enough training on it, she didn't use it and it was "still new" so it didn't matter. 3 of her colleagues thought similarly. New? Still new?! It was drafted in 2005 and implemented in 2007, we've been using it for years!
But those individuals ignore it, don't do formal capacity assessments or Best Interest meetings/decisions or the like. Instead they refer such nonsense to their Team Leader (who has to do it all) because when she says they have to do it, and it's the law, they just tell her she's, "going off on one, again," and shrug and move on.
I'm not sure we've the ideal system, locally, for embedding current best practice within Local Authority social work teams . . .