Wiltshire Council social workers have been sharing their experiences of being a social worker and the benefits of working for the council as they celebrate Social Work Week.
Social Work Week takes place from Monday 20 to Friday 24 March 2023 with the aim of bringing people together to learn, connect and influence change.
This year Wiltshire Council social workers have been reflecting on why they enjoy working for the council and the opportunities it has given them to progress their careers, in a bid to help encourage experienced social workers back into the workplace.
Kerry Davies, a Social Worker in adult social care said: I've worked in different areas of Wiltshire Council for over ten years, and I've been given great opportunities to progress, including completing my social work qualification.
Wiltshire Council has high aims for the people we support. There are lots of different teams across adult services and each team has a particular responsibility and vision, but we all work together to promote people's wellbeing. At the moment we're focusing on co-production, which is about working collaboratively with the people who use our service.
Alima Williams, a children's social worker said: Working with Wiltshire Council you feel as though you are part of an organisation which operates as one team. Senior managers are accessible and very supportive. I have stayed and progressed my career with the council because of the development opportunities and the support to improve personal and professional development.
Ian Roberts is currently employed as a head of service, Ian said I have worked within Adult Social Care in Wiltshire since 2008. During that time, I have been regularly and repeatedly amazed at the dedication, competence and creativity shown by my colleagues. Time after time I have seen colleagues go above and beyond to help the more vulnerable members of our community, they have shown immense resilience in what has been unprecedented time. I am immensely proud to be part of such a committed and highly skilled service.
Michael Graham said: I have held the position of Team Manager in the Support and Safeguarding Service for over five years. I am proud to lead a team of social workers, family key workers and line managers who are committed to supporting and enabling positive outcomes for children and young people we work alongside.
Within my role I am privileged to see first-hand social workers develop in their journey from newly qualified to experienced social workers. We are a progressive, supportive, and learning organisation. We are ambitious for our children, young people and families, alongside our staff and for ourselves. We are determined to see all Wiltshire families thrive!
Gill Bettington has worked in Wiltshire since 1999 and progressed throughout her career from unqualified worker to team manager, Gill said; My social care journey began in 1993 having worked in several unqualified social care roles in both adults and children's' services with other councils. I joined Wiltshire as a customer coordinator and qualified as a Social Worker in 2003, I have worked in adult care in West Wilts progressing to senior practitioner and assistant team manager roles leading to my recent move to team manager in Ongoing Support in Salisbury.
Rachel Pearce, Aspiring Manager for Children in Care and Young People said; I have been a part of Wiltshire Council for many years across Families & Children. I am passionate about my role(s) and recognise the impact the support and guidance of my colleagues and managers have provided me, has had on enabling me to expand my knowledge, support children and families, as well as progressing in my career.
Cllr Laura Mayes, Cabinet Member for Children's Services said:
We are fortunate to have a team of hardworking committed social workers who make positive changes to children and adults' lives every day. I wanted to thank them for their continuing efforts to make a real difference. We want to encourage more experienced social workers to return to work with us to build on the good work already ongoing.
Cllr Jane Davies, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care said:
Our social workers support some of the most vulnerable people across Wiltshire. Their role has been more important than ever during these past few years, and I want to pay tribute to all of them for their commitment to providing that valued support.
Social Work Week is an annual event organised by Social Work England with a virtual programme of events, including thought provoking speakers, workshops, debate, discussions, and wellbeing drop ins.
Wiltshire Council is running four sector led sessions during Social Work Week. The sessions are:
Monday 20 March - Eating disorders, the facts
Sign up to attend https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/530303611377
Wednesday 22 March - Peer share and celebrate session - Wiltshire
Sign up to attend https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/530315165937
Wednesday 22 March - The power of voice
Sign up to attend https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/530321244117
Thursday 23 March - Wiltshire ways of writing - one year on
Sign up to attend https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/530338234937