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Anyone a Mental Health Social Worker? AMHP?

(15 Posts)
squirrelnut Sun 18-Nov-18 17:34:03

I am really interested in the Think Ahead progamme and wondering if anyone could discuss the realities of the role with me.

I am currently a Registered Manager in a small residential home for older adults with dementia. I love my role but the 24/7 nature is really impacting on my family life and my own mental health.

I have an (unrelated) degree and level 5 leadership and management in social care already.

I love working in the field of dementia and trying to make a difference to the lives of the adults my service supports. I get frustrated we don’t have the staffing levels I would wish for but at the same time our care is good and safe and my staff team is generally good.

I work very closely with the older adult mental health team.

I realise the job is challenging but so is my current role. Can anyone give me any advice please?

I would have to take a big pay cut to begin with (current salary £35k) but in time I think I could build up to this in a management role?

OP’s posts: |
Firefretted Tue 20-Nov-18 23:42:01

Hi Squirrel, I'm on the Think Ahead programme. I've qualified and am now completing my ASYE and Masters degree. I'm afraid I'm not a mum so can't advise re juggling the programme and family life but please feel free to ask me about the programme itself :-)

squirrelnut Wed 21-Nov-18 19:44:18

Hello! Thanks so much for replying!

Could you advise what your working hours are like and do you have any out of hours commitments?

Obviously there’s the study element but what does your weekly schedule look like?


OP’s posts: |
Firefretted Wed 21-Nov-18 19:51:08

In my NHS Trust, normal office hours, though if a service user is in crisis/ypu're in a paperwork backlog you may end up doing overtime, which you can take back as time off in lieu. In the first year, there's much less pressure to work over; in the first few months we quite often got sent home early as it takes a while for workload to build up. I should say that conditions vary from unit to unit round the country. Broadly though, everyone pretty much does 9-5

Firefretted Wed 21-Nov-18 19:58:17

In first year, you get one study day off every fortnight to read up on relevant material for your cases (and in practice, catch up on sleep). You get a lot of the academic assessment done at summer institute but there are essays due throughout the year and you will find that a lot of your evenings and weekends are taken up with studying in the run up to deadlines

squirrelnut Wed 21-Nov-18 20:07:46

Ok sounds good!

I have just finished my level 5 and had to complete entirely in my own time over 12 months which I have managed.

Do social workers do on-call type duties please?

Can I ask why you need to catch up on sleep? Studying into the late hours?

Can I ask what your first degree was in?

Sorry if that’s too many questions!!! blush

OP’s posts: |
Firefretted Wed 21-Nov-18 20:29:22

No problem at all. My first degree was completely unrelated: it doesn't matter what it's in so long as you've got a 2:1. In practice, half to 2/3s of participants are psychology grads but it's in no way necessaey

Firefretted Wed 21-Nov-18 20:32:28

On call: there's no unsociable hours/nightworking expected of you. I had the opportunity to do a few weeks in a crisis team with weekend/evening/night shifts which was really interesting but 100% not obligatory

hatgirl Wed 21-Nov-18 20:36:11

I'm not an AMHP but I am a social worker. In my local authority there is a mandatory duty rota for qualified AMHPs who are employed as AMHPs by the LA which includes out of hours working.

They are renumerated accordingly though.

Firefretted Wed 21-Nov-18 20:36:38

This is the Think Ahead programme specifically btw. Once you finish second year, you can apply for anything and I'm sure some posts do involve night and on-call work. But community mental health teams (where most participants are placed) don't

Firefretted Wed 21-Nov-18 20:41:22

Catching up on sleep: make no mistake, the programme is exhausting. Summer institute is one of the most intense things you will ever do and then you're straight into placement, which is a massive learning curve. 'Fast track' isn't an exaggeration: it's an accelerated scheme and the first year is two years' work in just over a year.

squirrelnut Wed 21-Nov-18 21:01:02

Do you think it will help that I already have experience of working in frontline social care?

I don’t mind on-call for a set period of time but it’s the 24/7 nature of the Reg Managers role that I find hard.

Again, no issue working a nightshift but not after I’ve worked 9-5 as well confused

Summer Institute does sound very intense.

Part of me thinks I should wait until my children are a little older but it’s only going to get harder to take a pay cut!

OP’s posts: |
Firefretted Thu 22-Nov-18 20:46:45

Absolutely it will help that you've already got experience in the field: you will have a realistic idea about what to expect, knowledge of how the system works and loads of transferable skills :-) What you might find harder than someone fresh out of university is to go from a role where you're experienced and highly respected to a position where you are very junior. I know some more experienced social work students who have found this challenging.

kezkel Sat 09-Mar-19 14:41:25

Sorry for jumping in on the thread.
I have just accepted a position on ThinkAhead and Im really nervous about the summer school. I was wondering if you could tell me a bit more about what a average week looks like? For example how many exams and assignments are there.
I have dyslexia so it takes me longer then normal to get things done and while uni have been flexible with deadlines i'm guessing that due to the fact the summer school is only 6 weeks there won't be time for this flexibility.
I suppose I'm just trying to get a better sense of what I have let myself in for so I can prepare.

OUOU Thu 04-Jun-20 13:37:23

Hello smile
I see this is an old thread but kinda hoping for the best......
Is there anyone who could help me with a couple of questions regarding the Think Ahead programme?
Thanks in advance

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