Why I’ve spent a 20 year social work career in one council
In my 20 year social work career here, I have never been short on new experiences and challenges.
I’ve worked in a residential child care setting with some incredible children in care, I’ve worked in frontline child protection teams and as an IRO in a secondment role. I became a team manager for over 14 years. I ran a Play Therapy Project for children affected by parental addictions. I was given the opportunity to undertake research and set up a pilot to work with children and young people on the edge of care, to repair family relationships and prevent family breakdown. That pilot became a successful team named twice by Ofsted back in 2014 as a strength and a great service for vulnerable families. I’ve been encouraged to undertake research and post qualifying study and to become a mentor and a Practice Educator for social work students and for newly qualified practitioners. I have been supported to gain Leadership and Management qualifications.
What makes this long and varied career unique, though, is that all of it has happened in the same Local Authority.
“I’ve stayed because of the diverse opportunities I’ve had,” she explains.” I have an eclectic mix of memories and achievements to make me smile and be proud of. I have always been supported in my professional development.”
Through my current Academy Lead lens, my “note to self” is to focus relentlessly on improving genuine relationship-based social work, strengths based practice to energise people to bring the best of themselves to work, to make a proactive contribution every day. To work hard at something worth doing. To make a positive difference for the children, young people and families we work with. I want all staff to have the sort of development opportunities that I had.
We have exciting times ahead as Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Councils have merged to become one of the largest councils in England. There will be many more opportunities and challenges and I’m looking forward to the next 20 years !
Comments from staff about Training at BCP
“The ASYE in BCP means that for my first year I have a protected caseload. This gives me the chance to develop my practice gradually, having time to learn as I go. I also have a WFD mentor who meets with me regularly and that’s a really fantastic chance to reflect on my work.”
“The facilitator clearly had a great deal of working knowledge on the topic and this came across in her delivery.”
“I liked the fact that the facilitator told us about the new Domestic Abuse Act 2021, and how it includes so much more for victims/survivors. I enjoyed refreshing myself on this topic, having worked in this area for over 15 years.”
“This training is ensuring that the child is at the heart of the plan and the voice of the child "jumps off the page”
“The content of the training was varied and very informative, it was good to refresh. I liked the personal practice examples provided by the facilitator as she delivered the training, and the reminder of resources and links online.”
“The atmosphere the facilitators create is very open, non-judgemental, and relaxed. They encourage us to participate fully but they do not push it. If there is little participation, they discuss the topic a little further or from a different angle to enable us ……...”
“The quality of the session exceeded my expectations. It was very interactive and gave us the opportunity to get to know each other and learning from other’s experience. The facilitator made the session comfortable and interesting and made us reflect on our role and practice. The knowledge and experience of the facilitator was inspiring”