Essex County Council, Social Worker
The variety of work and challenges I face on a daily basis. No two days are ever the same – people can change each time you see them. I’d recommend it to people who are comfortable working with a wide variety of people as well as dealing with unplanned incidents that could mean having to completely change your day or staying late into the evening. However, nothing else I’ve done comes close to the satisfaction I get from doing the job.
Having to hit the ground running with cases. Working with angry families as well as children who have been abused. Taking cases to court in order to ensure the longer term safety of the children by removing them from their families, including adoptions.
It’s essential to have a good support network, both within your team at work and with either your family/partner at home. Regular supervision and seeking advice from more senior members of the team helps as well.
Still working for Essex County Council, but having gained promotion.
It was essential for my job. It gave me a good understanding of the theories that underpin my role.
Fun, enjoyable and inspiring
I work in the Disabled Children and Young People's Team as a Consultant Social Worker for Suffolk County Council. I have been a Consultant Social Worker for 1 year. I have worked in the team for 3 years. Previous to this I worked in a 12 plus child in need team and started out in a local 0-18 child in need team.
I thoroughly enjoyed training to become a social worker and I am continuing my learning by working towards a masters in social work. Social work is such a diverse career choice as you can work in a range of areas from disability, mental health, youth justice, child protection and adult care. Over my 5 years of social work I have worked in 3 different areas of social work and enjoyed all areas.
Social work is the career to pursue if you enjoy helping / empowering people to make positive changes. I often receive positive feedback from families sharing how supportive I have been which affirms the work you do is making positive changes to people’s lives.
Finding the right area of social work. I wanted to work in adult learning disability when I qualified. Due to my lack of experience I was unable to obtain a job. I worked in a child in need team which was not what I wanted, however after working in the child in need team for a number of years and eventually moving into a child disability team I realised the experience has really helped me develop my social work skills. I have learnt it is helpful to be open to different experiences as it moulds you as a social worker over the years to come.
I have found the emotional impact of the work completed can be difficult to manage. However with support from my team, family and friends I have learnt to talk through difficulties and learn from experience and share with others such as the student social worker I have with me at the moment.
I would see myself being an independent reviewing officer. This role involves chairing child protection conferences and looked after child reviews. This role is very important and requires a lot of experience.
Studying at Anglia Ruskin provided me with a wide range of knowledge and skills. As part of my course I had several placements. I felt the social work department provided me with positive and challenging placements which I feel helped me with my understanding of what I wanted to do in the future in Social Work.
Fun, inspiring and life changing.
Adult Social Care Social Worker
My job requires me to work with adults over the age of 65. Currently I visit them within their homes and undertake assessments, I particularly enjoy this part of my job as I’m able to engage with them and whoever is also present during the assessment. It’s a point where I am able to have meaningful conversations and delve into people’s lives to create appropriate care and support plans to assist with managing their needs.
I also enjoy working on safeguards, this is generally longer-term work with older people who have more complex needs which can range from mental health problems such as hoarding or financial abuse from strangers, friends or family. As this work is of a higher level it involves heavy communication and multi-disciplinary working, which at times can be a struggle – but also very interesting – if a suspected abuser is a family member.
I would recommend being an Adult Social Care Social Worker with older people because honestly no day is the same, especially where you have brand new assessments or safeguards. It is a difficult job, it’s complex and can be very fast paced, there are times when it does seem never ending but with a good team behind you and a good manager it does get easier and smoother.
One thing that can be particularly difficult is dealing with family members, sons or daughters or even neighbours and close friends of that individual. Reason being that when systematic procedures prevent or delay required actions, this can of course be extremely frustrating for not only the adult but also their support network. If the adult is distressed then of course close family or friends can exhibit this frustration and project it onto you. Support from a senior member in the team or the team manager can assist with management of the situation and resolution.
Working for Essex provides very clear paths in which you can progress for example becoming a Practice Educator (PE), Best Interests Assessor (BIA) or an Approved Mental Health Practitioner (AMHP). In 5 years I would have liked to have completed the Practice Educator Course and be in a different field of Social Work. I think it is important to feel able to move jobs to gather more experience and knowledge. I’d also like to volunteer for a charity that is local to me to support society – I’m not currently sure what kind of charity but I’ll be completing my Assessed and Supported Year of Employment (ASYE) first before I venture on.
The course itself is extremely preparing. It's mainly written assessments or coursework, group presentations (which really aren’t that bad!) and practice placements with a portfolio and essay. The practice placements are the most useful part of the course, it enables you to experience work in non-statutory (usually voluntary organisations) and statutory (local council/government or private). I was lucky enough to secure a job where I completed my third-year placement in an Older People’s Community Team.
Challenging, Life-changing, Amazing.