Social Work Week 2021 is running from the 8th – 12th March, and we are proud to work with some outstanding Social Workers in Luton. We recently hosted a virtual Social Work Recruitment Event, where we could share our reflections on both the achievements and challenges of the past year and look to the future of social work in Luton.
The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way a lot of us work, and with social work relying on communication with young people and families, social workers have had to adapt in many ways. A positive impact of the pandemic has been that public support for social workers has grown, as their awareness becomes more vital in highlighting the needs of others.
Allison Parkinson, Service Director for Luton Borough Council, suggests that “the new normal for Luton will be to have some office-based work and some working from home, building on the strengths we’ve developed through COVID”. It is evident that the work has not stopped and will continue to progress to meet the needs of vulnerable people and fulfill the “mission to put children and families at the heart of everything we do”.
We were fortunate to have some of the inspirational Social Work team in attendance at the event, and we want to share with you some highlights of what they had to say:
Sophie Rahim, Social Worker, Assessment Service
“It’s about families becoming the experts in their own solutions”
“We are a group of people with very different abilities, skillsets, experience and background, and that’s what makes us unique – those shared differences define us as a team”
“If you’re able to invest in Luton’s journey, Luton will invest in your personal social work journey”
“It’s never the right time – take the leap, speak to people”
Tara Morgan, Social Worker, Looked After Children Service
“Agile working during the pandemic is different, so we have started up peer group supervisions, checking in, and having a WhatsApp group to check in every day and have that support”
“I wasn’t an agency worker long before I became a permanent member, and the reason I did that is because I felt really comfortable and really safe being in Luton and taking that permanency – there’s nothing scary about that, it was a really good choice”
“The support I had to go from agency to permanent was so smooth and I had people supporting me, the transition was done really well”
Sancha Thomas, Head of Service for Strategic Safeguarding, Quality Assurance & Principle Social Worker
“There is a lot of opportunities to be able to step up when team managers are not available, and to take on complex cases to help develop your career pathway”
“We have mentoring and buddy schemes that would be able to support you on your journey”
Also in attendance was Carol Stewart, Director of Chinara Enterprises, running a CPD session. The focus of this was ‘Investing in Social Work, Investing in You’. Connect2Luton and Luton Borough Council understand the importance of the CPD standards, and we encourage the continued development and learning for each of our workers. We hope to hold more of these sessions in the future and look forward to expanding our team.
Head of Social Work Academy, Elaine Hughes, summarises perfectly – “even though Luton is a small local authority, we certainly feel like a family!”.
Interested in joining the Luton family? We’d love to hear from you and welcome you into our team. Get in touch today by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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