Members of the social work research and teaching team in the Department for Sociological Studies at the University of Sheffield have developed a short series of research reviews and practice resources based on their recent research and practice interests. Children’s social care staff at Rotherham Council also assisted in the development of these resources in two focus groups held in 2015. The resources aim to provide an accessible summary of key issues and developments about several topics within children’s social care accompanied by practitioner orientation activities, thinking points and messages. For more information please see. They include
- Sen, R (2017) Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE): Awareness, identification, support and prevention. Download here – CSE Practice Resource Sen June 2017
- Leigh, J (2017) Supporting practitioners in Children’s and Adults’ Social Care. Download here – Leigh 2017 Support practitioners in social care FINAL
- Churchill, H (2018 Forthcoming) Whole family support.
- Churchill, H and Laing, J (2018 Forthcoming) Parental, Child and Family Engagement in Family Support and Child Protection.
What is your role, describe a typical day?
I am the Associate Lead Professional for Lincolnshire County Council Adult Care and I’m proud to say I’m a Social Worker having qualified in 2010. My role now is very much about providing a link between front line Adult Care practice and organisational development. On a day to day basis I promote a culture of continuous improvement in the quality of Social Work practice. This can include working with practitioners and colleagues to develop Policy and procedures that shape the way we work.
Why did you choose to do the leadership and mentoring module?
One of the biggest changes I’ve seen as a Social Worker is the Care Act, which I believe is a real opportunity for Social Work to be more than just about assessing needs but supporting people to lead good lives by realising their own strengths/assets and connect with their communities. To achieve this shift I wanted to develop my leadership skills and understand more about organisational culture and how to influence change. I’m passionate about making a difference and to do this I need to be able to influence others both practitioners and senior managers in the organisation. The leadership and mentoring module covered all of the things to help me to achieve this.
Did it give you what you were looking for and if not what was missing? How has the leadership and mentoring module impacted on how you work. Please give examples.
Yes absolutely, you don’t often get ‘Eureka’ moments where the way you think really shifts, but that happened for me. I understand much more about the culture within the organisation and how to manage and influence change at all levels. Some of the key things I’ve applied in my work are; the need to be clear about the values that underpin changes so that people can see the benefits of change, develop a sense of purpose and showing how the new ways of working are making a positive difference.
The learning and assignments on the module gave me the opportunity to question how and why we do things the way we were and to start a project to develop a ‘lean’ thinking culture within the Adult Care. Ultimately, the hope is that this will free practitioners up to spend more time doing direct work with citizens.
Do you think it will help you if you want to progress in the service?
Yes the module enabled me to reflect on what I did well already in my role and what I needed to do differently moving forward. I’ve developed my leadership style and I am flexible in the approach that I take to help people reach their potential. I’m already seeing benefits through the feedback from my colleagues and managers. Now that I have completed the module the knowledge and skills I have acquired mean that I can apply for more senior management roles developing practice or in organisational development….I’m just waiting for the right role to come along!
World Social Work Day will be on the 20th March 2018. It is the key day in the year that social workers worldwide stand together to celebrate the achievements of the profession and take the theme message into their communities, workplaces and to their governments to raise awareness of the social work contributions and need for further action.
For further information, please see http://ifsw.org/world-social-work-day-2018/