Get to Know Me

Deborah Harry 

MSW BA (Hons) PSY/SOC

QUALIFICATIONS

SW (Master in Social Work)

BA (Hons)Sociology Psychology

AET (Award in Education and Training)

QCF (Award in Assessing Competence in the Work Environment. (Work Based)

ABOUT ME

I moved to London in 1995 after a very disastrous relationship, I subsequently became a lone parent of 5 children, ranging from ages 1 to 14. This was obviously a very difficult time for all of us, but I decided I needed to make it all worthwhile.  I came out of school with no qualifications, so when my youngest child was 18 months old I went to college, put her in the creche and did an access course. 1 year later I began a Degree in Sociology with Psychology. 3 years later and with a surprisingly good degree a 2:1, I went straight onto a 2 year Masters Degree course in Social Work. I immediately worked as a frontline Social worker with children and families mainly assessments and safeguarding. Most of my cases involved court work and I have represented many Borough's over the years. 

I stopped doing Social Work after 16 years as I felt I could truly not give any more as I was getting frustrated with the high caseloads and felt that I could not help as much as I would like. 

I began the work I do now because two of my own sons at different times wished to pursue child arrangements orders for their own son's, as they were both being denied contact. They could not afford the extortionate prices a solicitor/barrister charged. So I supported them both through the court system and they were both awarded Child Arrangements Orders. 

I'm advising you this because I have always believed that if you do not have any life experiences, how on earth can you understand and support someone in an empathetic, non-judgemental, and beneficial way; when you don't understand why they are acting in a certain way and why they may use various coping mechanism's because these may be the only strategies they can use in the face of stress and/or trauma to help manage painful or difficult emotions. Coping mechanisms can help people adjust to stressful events while helping them maintain their emotional well-being.

COURT WORK

I have worked within the family court system during this time and understand the legalities and the difficulties faced if a parent cannot afford legal fees if being denied contact by the ex-partner. 

Going to court can be a stressful experience. It can be made easier by using a regulated lawyer such as a solicitor. But not everyone can hire a lawyer. Sometimes, the only option might be to represent yourself in court. If you represent yourself, having someone who can encourage and help you in court can make a big difference. People who offer this sort of support are known as McKenzie Friends. Let me be your McKensie friend.