Care Home Second Opinion – Case Study

Please read the following anonymous case study to illustrate how I can provide a second opinion as an Independent Social Worker.  
(For ease of reading I have changed some facts to make it unidentifiable).

• Unfortunately, not all qualified social workers have the knowledge, skills, or experience in assessing mental capacity or problem solving.

I was called to a care home to provide a second opinion in relation to a case where a social worker had not provided clear advice and support.

• A male resident living in the care home did not have any family or friends who were willing and able to manage his financial affairs. The care home had been taking cheques from the man to purchase essential items on his behalf as needed.

• The care home manager was rightly concerned about this informal arrangement and requested social work involvement to explore other options to safeguard this man’s money going forward.

• A family friend had also expressed concerns about this informal arrangement and a social worker visited to have a meeting with him, the care home manager, and the resident. During this meeting the social worker assessed the resident’s mental capacity to manage his financial affairs.  However, the family friend expressed concerns that the social worker, despite claiming to assess the resident’s mental capacity to manage his finances, did not ask the resident any questions about money or how it was currently managed.

• The social worker did not provide any clear advice to the care home, and they were left to continue with the same arrangement to assist the resident to pay for things he needed. The care home staff were leaving themselves wide open to criticism and the resident open to potential financial abuse by the agreed outcome.

• The family friend asked me to intervene to provide a second opinion as an independent social worker to assist and explore possible options.

• I was able to competently and robustly assess the resident’s mental capacity to manage his finances providing a comprehensive report. I regarded the resident as able to make decisions about his finances.  However, he needed a lasting power of attorney to formally assist and safeguard him.  The resident did not have any family or friends who were willing and able to act as a lasting power of attorney so I introduced a solicitor who could act in this capacity.

• This resolved the problem and ensured that the resident was not open to financial abuse or exploitation. It also meant the care home staff were protected from possible allegations of financial mismanagement.

Would you benefit from a second opinion from an Independent Social Worker? With decades of social work experience I can assist.  Please contact me for an informal discussion to explore how I may be able to help. 


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