Any Social Workers About?

(7 Posts)
clareykb Sat 09-Jan-21 20:45:35

I'm doing my MA in Social Work and just about to start my first placement in Local Authority Children's services. I was wondering if anyone could tell me how much face to face and remote to expect at the moment and also any top tips for being a fab trainee!

OP’s posts: |
MerryInthechelseahotel Sat 09-Jan-21 21:08:01

I'm not a sw but a foster carer and from what I've read on various forums every LA is different. Some are having virtual contacts and others are doing a mixture or outdoors. The sw I am involved with are not meeting people in person unless they really have to.

stickssss Sat 09-Jan-21 22:14:21

CP SW here. I'm in a frontline assessment team. We're visiting all of our children at home / in school. It's a statutory requirement to see all CP / CLA / CIN children face to face in my LA. We are all wearing PPE and social distancing where possible.

All meetings eg. Case Conferences, LAC reviews, CIN reviews etc are held via Microsoft Teams, as are our team and site meetings.

I'm a PE with a student on 2nd placement at the moment. I check in with her daily and we have face to face supervision weekly. She's been a bit wobbly and is feeling overwhelmed and lacking in confidence at the moment. I think it's hit her that she finishes in 6 weeks and she doesn't feel ready. I think she'll be brilliant in her ASYE year but she doesn't believe it yet.

Get stuck in, don't let you PE / OSS let you be used for work no one else in the team wants to do. You're there to learn to be a SW, not a contact supervisor (though this is good for linking theories such as attachment into practice). Be honest if you can't juggle everything or if you need help and support.

Be honest about your feelings, it's a really tough job at the best of times. Covid is making it even harder. Morale is low, caseloads are high and stress levels through the roof. Make sure your PE / OSS give you the minimum levels of supervision. This is important as you will see and hear some horrific things. Talk about it before you leave work. Every single day. Remember the only silly question is the one that isn't asked.

You'll get to meet some amazing families and will learn loads from the people you work with. Remember that we're all human and people make mistakes. Be kind and compassionate, you'll get more out of clients that way. I always imagine how I'd feel with a SW knocking on my foot and try to be kind and put people at ease.

Don't leave your reflective logs until the last minute, they'll come and bite you on the bum when your Uni link wants to see them!

Good luck, it's a demanding but amazing job!

BrightElastic Sat 09-Jan-21 22:22:46

Previous PE here. Congratulations on making it this far.

The trainees that I remember being outstanding (in a good way) were proactive and professional in that they took responsibility for their learning and were assertive in asking about things they didn't understand or stuff they needed support with. They asked lots of challenging questions (though in a curious, rather than critical, manner) about decisions I made or processes and ways of working within the service. And they planned and used supervisions / 1:1s in a constructive and organised way.

LadyFuschia Sat 09-Jan-21 22:24:52

Children in care team here; we have had two students this past year.
All statutory visits are remote for now; but can be face to face if needed & risk assessed; but between lockdowns we returned to face to face.
All family time is remote unless extenuating circumstances.
Meeting all via zoom too. Working from home now mandatory unless ok’d by senior management.
I think as a student it’s challenging and less exciting but it is doable. I still think the (very confident & chirpy) student we have probably gets a better experience than I did on my second placement at a city farm in Hackney - I started working for children’s services having never set foot in any of their services despite my two placements!! Just try and join as many meetings & spend time asking questions about procedures, reading files - and just accept that you’ll learn on the job once you have qualified.
Keep your chin up, ears & eyes open & ask when you need support.

clareykb Sat 09-Jan-21 22:37:38

Thanks for all you supportive messages. Im really excited to get started. I'm coming from another public services profession so I feel quite comfortable about working with families, it's the processes and what to expect day to day that I feel more apprehensive about but your posts have put my mind at ease somewhat. Thanks again!

OP’s posts: |
ChotaPeg Sat 09-Jan-21 22:48:50

SW lecturer here. SWE (in the last comms I'm aware of) still expect students to have some F2F work on placement to adequately demonstrate capability. That might change due to the current restrictions, but talk to your PS and PE about what is realistically available and what you feel safe to do and keep your Tutor in the loop. Good luck and enjoy it! Placements, even under these circumstances, are great learning opportunities smile

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