A Day in the Life of ....
A Student Child in Care Social Worker
I’m Laura, and I’m a final year student Social Worker within a Child in Care Team. There are six Social Workers and one Community Care Worker in the team; we’re based in Clay Cross, supporting children and young people who are in care from a range of backgrounds.
My daily routine
I begin the day by finding somewhere to sit, reading e-mails, checking the recording system and listening to any un-played answerphone messages. Admin staff always inform the team of any out of hour’s messages - always with fingers crossed there is nothing to worry about! When there is something to worry about, the duty worker is likely to have a day of phone calls and visits until the young person is safe.
I aim to be out of the office as much as possible to be with the children and young people. However, a considerable amount of time is based in the office, writing case notes and reports. The admin staff are the anchor of the team, and ensure the ship is sailing smoothly! Ensuring Social Workers are up to date with statutory visits, and that reports are filed within timeframes. My Practice Educator provides supervision, and supports me with my work, providing me with an understanding of what to expect from supervision as a qualified worker.
A shared concern among the team is the lack of suitable foster placements within the area, resulting in children and young people moving miles away from the areas they are familiar with. Workers need to travel quite some distance to see the children on their caseload resulting in less contact time with children and young people.
What I find most satisfying about my role as a Child in Care student Social Worker is building meaningful relationships with children and young people, and supporting them to build resilience while on their journey through care. No day is the same, and you’re never bored or without something to be getting on with!
What would you say to someone considering this type of social work?
All children’s Social Work has lots of challenges, especially in a time of austerity. I feel joining a Child in Care Team gives students the ability to see the importance of relationship-based Social Work. The daily routine helps to develop your report writing, manage your own diary, and liaising with parents, foster carers and other professionals. You also develop the necessary skills to bring calm to difficult situations. Child in Care Social Work helps students work within statutory policies and procedures, and gain an understanding of what life is like for children and young people in care. University degrees tend to focus on frontline child protection Social Work, so being a student in a Child in Care team broadens your knowledge about the bigger picture with regards to Children’s Social Work.
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