Sarah is a social worker within the response team at South Gloucestershire Council. She joined the council two years ago having previously held a similar role at another local authority.
Tell us about your role
I’m a social worker within the Response team. The job comes with the same challenges and pressures you find in duty teams at other authorities, but what’s different here is the support that is around you.
I’m also the domestic violence lead for the Response team. Domestic violence is a specialism I’ve always been interested in and so I jumped at the opportunity to build my knowledge and experience in this area. Through this role, I attend MARAC (Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference) meetings, working with partners across police, health, housing and education to discuss our joint approach to high risk cases. What’s great is that I can take back what I learn to share best practice with colleagues.
What does South Gloucestershire Council have to offer for social workers?
There’s a great team spirit, which I think is due in no small part to the relationships we have with our managers and service managers. We’re all based at the same site and I know I can go to my manager at any time for support or guidance. That goes for senior managers too – the head of service is extremely approachable and we see her around all the time, asking us what’s going on, checking we’re ok – basically just ensuring we get the support and supervision we need.
What are your plans for the future?
I’m ambitious and do want to progress. We have a linked grade scheme here which allows us to move up to advanced level when we can prove we’ve attained the skills and knowledge required of the role without there necessarily being a specific open vacancy. I’m currently applying to Advanced level and in the longer term I’d love to work towards Consultant Social Worker. Will I be still with South Gloucestershire Council at that stage? I hope so – children’s social work is challenging and can be stressful – it’s really important to me that I’m working for an organisation which recognises that and provides the support I need.