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Real life adults social worker stories

Leigh, Interim Team Manager in the Care Home Support Team

Leigh joined CCC in 2008 in an administrative role in one of our Social Care Teams and knew she wanted to become a Social Worker. In 2010 Leigh started working as an Adult Support Co-ordinator, and in 2014 was offered an opportunity to complete Social Work training with The Open University, sponsored by CCC, which enabled Leigh to continue working alongside working towards becoming a Social Worker.

Leigh has continued to work through her career, completing training and qualifications, and is now working as the Interim Team Manager of the Care Home Support Team.

We asked Leigh about Continuous Professional Development (CPD) and she said:

As social workers we are committed to complete Continuous Professional Development (CPD) and at CCC we are given 6 protected days to complete this each year. At social workers we're busy people, we don't always have time to commit to our CPD and I think previously it comes to the time of renewing your registration and there is a panic of "what training have I been on and what have I learnt from it" whereas because of the proctected day, it takes the stress out of evideencing how are doing it. I feel extremely lucky to have been able to complete both Practice Educator and Best Interest Assessor qualifications which means I can really uphold human rights with the people that we work with. Both of these are going to make a huge difference in my role. Sometimes we get stuck in the day-to-day of our job because we're so busy, but CPD enable me to think about how I might do things differently and how I can progress myself".

Daniel, Social Worker, Older Peoples Team

Daniel has been with CCC for the last 5 years. Daniel started in an alternatively qualified Adult Support Coordinator role and was supported to apply for his social work qualification, he is now working as a social worker.

We asked Daniel why he loves working at CCC and here’s what he said:

The Team Managers are very supportive; they are always there to support with case direction and are happy to talk things through with more complex cases. The regular supervisions are great. It is always a supportive discussion where wellbeing, training  and learning needs are always discussed before talking about case work. They ask where I would like  to be in five years and what we can start looking at now to help me get there. We have daily huddles in little groups, weekly huddles in bigger groups and monthly meetings with everyone. It’s a really friendly environment. Even though we are home working, it still feels like  I'm part of a team

Claire, Mental Health Manager

Claire qualified as a social worker in 2014 and joined the Mental Health Team in July 2017. Within two months of joining the team, Claire started her practice educator course and then went on to complete the AMHP course in 2019. In August 2021 Claire was promoted to a Team Manager.

We asked Claire what culture she likes to promote in her team as the team manager and here’s what she said:

CCC as an organisation has been incredibly supportive to me, even throughout some difficult personal circumstances in terms of progression opportunities. It is particularly supportive in terms of progression opportunities. This is always at the forefront of our minds, even in an interview before a Social Worker actually joins my team. We are keen to always consider development opportunities, even if it is in a different team, a secondment for example. I am keen that my team feel supported and that we have collaboration. We have regular peer reflective groups, and an on-call system so the team always know where the support is - I want the team to know that there is always someone there so that no one ever feels isolated. I am also keen that there are always opportunities for extra responsibilities if anyone wants them - I want people to be able to be in control of their own development

Dan, Social Worker Adults with Autism Team in the Learning Disability Partnership

Daniel has been with CCC for the last six years and has progressed within Adult’s Services from alternatively qualified practitioner, through to a Qualified Social Worker.

We asked Daniel what he likes about working in the Adults with Autism Team (AAT) and here’s what he said:

“I have enjoyed my time in AAT, it is unlike any team I have worked in before and there isn’t as much care management. It is more about working with individuals to grow and develop. The work is outcome focused and we see a lot of positive cases. Being in the AAT you learn to look at situations differently and see different factors come into play that you didn’t realise were there. When I first joined, I was set up with a mentor, she was very supportive and continues to be. I have built good relationships with my colleagues and have a good team around me. There are also good training opportunities. I am already having discussions in my supervision as to what the next progression stage is and what I can do to prepare for this. The very nature of being a social worker means that no two days are the same, there's loads of opportunities to try new things”

Lucy, Social Worker in the Care Home Support Team

Lucy has been with CCC since the summer of 2018 where she joined as a Newly Qualified Social Worker completing her ASYE, moving into our Older People’s Team (now called the Community Team) before moving into the Care Home Support Team in 2021.

Lucy has recently completed a Best Interest Assessor qualification, so we asked her about her experience of completing a qualification at CCC and she said:

"I think when you're a Social Work you continually want to be more. You want to keep expanind your skills and being able to do it with the support of your employer better. In the Care Home Support Team we work a lot with the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards team and I'm not sure I really understood that before completing the Best Interest Assessor qualificatiion. It has meant that I can complete these extra assessments, and it's also helped me understand how to support care homes better. I'd definitely recommend completing a qualification at Cambridgeshire County Council (CCC). I think it really helps when you know that your employer wants you to do something and you know that they've got yor back and that they're fully supportive in that process."

Eleanor, Social Worker in the Learning Disability Partnership

Eleanor first joined the CCC Learning Disability Partnership (LDP) Team whilst she was on her 70-day placement. Once she had finished the course, she applied to join the LDP team as an ASYE and has been with us for the last two and a half years.

We asked Eleanor why she loved working in the LDP Team and here’s what she said:

I like the fact we are working alongside so many different professions, there's an inclusive feel to the team. It also means you can get answers easily from the professionals around you. If I am supporting an individual with health needs, I can meet those quickly, aw we work with health professionals. Strength based practice is really embedded as core value in the LDP team. It is applied to the people we support as well as the staff in the team. Emotiional wellbeing and personal strengths are always considered. The managers are very proactive in arranging support for people that need it. Reflective time and CPD time are prioritised within the team. We has a six weekly peer reflective space led by social workers. There are also lots of check ins from management and they are always keen on social workers contacting them between supervisions. Supervisions are regular and are equal parts reflective and case discussions. In the reflective section of the supervision there is space to be less process drivesn. We discuss wellbeing, social work practice and progression. My manager is aware of my goals and we have a set timeline. In the LDP team, the managers work in collaboration with social workers, so it feels like you are working alongside them. They trust our instincts as professionals to advocate for the individual we are supporting.