AN ANDOVER mum who says social workers failed to listen to her has created a resource for trainees.

26-year-old Ali Williams is on a mission to encourage social workers to listen more carefully to the people they’re helping. She has created a short film with the help of Fixers, a national charity which gives young people a voice on issues that matter to them.

"The film’s called 'Listening Is The Key’,” says Ali. “And that’s the main message: Sit and listen and be a friend rather than looking at the person as just part of the caseload."

Ali hopes to show social workers the difference they can make by being more compassionate. She recently shared her film with a group of trainees at Winchester University.

“It went down really well. A lot of them agreed with the message and I think they got a different view of things.

“I know that social workers have a hard job but they need to take time to listen to what’s being said to them.”

Ali’s first brush with social workers happened when she was 15.

“There was violence at home from as far back as I can remember,” she says. “But after an incident involving my mum, social services decided I had to be fostered.”

Ali was moved to a foster home miles away from the community she grew up in. But when she complained that she felt isolated, she says no one listened.

“I think the way they treated me was appalling. It made me feel like I wasn’t worth anything.

“I felt like I was being punished.”

Experiences like this motivated Ali’s campaign for compassion, but her film was inspired by a more recent incident.

Ali had raised concerns over the possibility of her two children being taken into the child protection system, but she feels her concerns were misconstrued by a social worker.

“I suffered from depression and anxiety but the social worker twisted what had been said when I met her,” she says.

“I went for two years psychological therapy when I was 19. And so I’ve got all the coping strategies I need.

“She could have treated me better by listening and not jumping to conclusions."