East Sussex stands up for social work

The council has been inspired by Community Care to ask its staff to vote for their own social work hero, writes Nicola McGeown

Photo: East Sussex county council

By Nicola McGeown

In East Sussex we have been inspired by the Community Care’s Stand Up for Social Work campaign asking people to vote for their social work hero.  As a principal social worker I am asking our social workers to vote for their own hero within the service.

I was also inspired to do this by talking to children and young people who have been asked by their social workers what really makes a difference. All of these young people were able to talk movingly about how social workers have made a difference.

One 11 year old girl told me: “When everyone thought I had gone missing my social worker went out looking for me- not because it’s her job but because she really cares for me.”

This girl’s social worker has had and continues to have a really positive impact on her and her family’s lives and she talked further during the course of the focus group about ways their social worker had made a real difference.

She said she knew she could always rely on her social worker. Trust is such an important element of working with any family and is at the core of relationship based practice.

As I have been writing this post another email has popped up in my inbox from a young girl talking about her social worker:

“I know that you’ll be leaving us soon and I just wanted to say you’ve gave me a home that I would never have without you. Thank you so much for what you’ve done for all of us, you’ve done so much for us and I’ve never said thank you; so thank you so much for getting me through all of this. I hope you keep on doing your job and making everyone safe, healthy and happy because you’ve made me smile.”

e sussex sw hero

These children’s social workers, Cassie and Verity, are my heroes but I’m asking the rest of my team to tell me who their hero is and why.

We will be running this campaign in East Sussex leading up to World Social Work Day in March where we will be awarding the winners. Let’s celebrate our talented social workers whether they’re in East Sussex, the UK or around the world!

Social work is a big job and it can be easy to get so absorbed in day to day practice we forget to remind ourselves of the great work that goes on and the positive impact we have on so many young people’s lives.

Keep nominating your social work heroes for Community Care’s campaign by emailing judy.cooper@rbi.co.uk or rachel.schraer@rbi.co.uk. Nicola McGeown is a principal social worker in East Sussex. This article was originally published on her blog.

You can join our Stand up for Social Work campaign by:


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One Response to East Sussex stands up for social work

  1. Planet Autism January 6, 2016 at 3:09 pm #

    If only there were far more social workers like the ones described in the article.