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Over Friendly Keyworkers


maj
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Just wondered how everyone ensures that keyworkers don't become too involved with their key children. I have someone who seems to be 'obsessed' with one child in particular, she is very friendly with his dad as well, spending a long time talking to him in the evening, then walking home with them.

She will spend 90% of her day with this child, and has started to treat him differently to the rest of the group. It's not that I think there are child protection issues, It's more to do with the relationship she is creating with both the child and dad which makes myself and the deputy uncomfortable, other staff members are also beginning to comment.

Any ideas? Maj

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could you raise the issue the next time you have staff apraisals/supervision meetings?

 

you could explain why its not good having favourites because the special treatment can mean double standards that confuse the children and staff.

and although it's good she's clearly made a connection with the family, she needs to keep it at a professional level remember that its also going to make it harder when the child leaves the group

 

 

its tricky, on one hand you want her to change but you dont want to spoil things either

 

hope you manage to sort it out

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could you raise the issue the next time you have staff apraisals/supervision meetings?

 

you could explain why its not good having favourites because the special treatment can mean double standards that confuse the children and staff.

and although it's good she's clearly made a connection with the family, she needs to keep it at a professional level remember that its also going to make it harder when the child leaves the group

 

 

its tricky, on one hand you want her to change but you dont want to spoil things either

 

hope you manage to sort it out

 

Thanks, Alison we're having a training meeting next week covering positive relationships and we'll cover it then, we've never had staff 'making friends' with parents before, it's always been very professional. Maybe if it was a more 'touchy feely' person her behaviour wouldn't seem so out of place, but she's just not like this with the other children.

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Swap her child with some one else. Maybe yourself if you have children or your deputy. Make an excuse that you have a child you think would be more suited with her than your selves. that way she won't feel awkward. Are the parents of the child together or single parents. Does mum never pick the child up? If you cover it at your training meeting and she can't see that there is a problem then that might be your best solution. If she mentions it at your training meeting then she has realised herself. It could be just that she likes the father as a man! After all we are women and I've had it myself that some men are nicer to talk to than others, she might feel more comfortable talking to him. You will have to judge how friendly they have become.

Good luck its quite a fine line because its a dad and not the mum. If it was a mum would the same relationship worry you or would it just be a couple of women walking home together?

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Hi Steph, the poarents are together, mum doesn't collect the child as she works too far away, dad is only up the road. I don't seriously think she's 'after' him, and they are both adults. But to be honest i'd still be concerned if it was mum not dad.Our concern is more for the child, she sits with him on her knee most of the time, if there's an argument she always takes his side - believing him and not any other child involved. I like your idea of changing key worker and i'll discuss that with my deputy, it sounds like a good way to go.

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Take it from me, it's definately the best way to go, but you must tell her why you are making the changes.........for her sake and the children, otherwise she may fixate on her 'new ' charge! I had this situation twice in my old group, and it's not nice for anyone involved, but especially the child who is so favoured. HEY !! It's NOT my old group is it....??

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Take it from me, it's definately the best way to go, but you must tell her why you are making the changes.........for her sake and the children, otherwise she may fixate on her 'new ' charge! I had this situation twice in my old group, and it's not nice for anyone involved, but especially the child who is so favoured. HEY !! It's NOT my old group is it....??

Hi narnia, don't think we're your old group, but maybe i got your old staff!!! :o

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Before the start of the session do you discuss the day ahead of us? Could you bring it up then saying that you have noticed child A seems to need a lot of adult support and does she know why.

Could she do the focus activity for that day and then she wouldn't have time to favour any single child. As I see it a key workers job is to collate all observations done by any staff member and use these as evidence to build up the childs profile. My staff sit down with their key worker children at news time or when they want to update their profile but not for most of the time. I really would nip this in the bud immediately.

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I know this may sound silly but this member of staff may not realise the extent of her 'favouratism' behaviour, so mayb some event sample obs of when she is doing this may help her see this.

Her friendship with the parent is as you appear to say, outside of work, none of your business, they are adults, however, if the friendship is causing 'conflict of interest' then it does need to be bought to her attention in maybe a sort of "did you realise......" conversation.

What do her other colleagues think? Has she got friendships within the staff team, colleagues who have noticed this and would be able to talk it through with her in a non threatening/unofficial way?

I like the idea of pointing out that the child appears dependent on one adult and this needs to be supported, for the child, as a whole team approach, this takes the focus off one member of staff and makes it a team issue.

 

Let's hope it is just a matter of this staff member not realising the extent of her relationship with this child compared to others and that once pointed out, she adapts her approach.

 

Good luck.

 

Peggy

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks for everyones ideas and help, have spoken to this member of staff, it turns out she'd become aware of what she was doing, agreed that she needed to take a step back from the child, admitted she treated him differently and he'd become too dependent on her. That went well :o

Deciced not to tackle the parent issue, we adjusted her hours slightly so that might resolve itself.

Thanks again

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