What do social workers think?
May Porter is a senior social worker in Birmingham who was a children’s guardian for 14 years and has recently returned to frontline practice.
“I have already done a masterclass through the academy and it’s been very helpful. Sometimes you are so bogged down with the day-to-day work that it really helps to listen to an academic and think about what cases I could have done differently in light of the theories or research being talked about. It just sharpens your thinking a bit and allows you time to reflect back.
“Having been a guardian for 14 years, it’s been stimulating to come back to frontline practice, but I’ve realised that while I’ve got experience I’m able to pass on to colleagues, I also have a lot of gaps, which has been eye-opening - particularly around large sibling groups and permanency planning.
“I would love to get more involved in research if I had the time. But I also think that having a student is a very good way to prick the conscience about your practice because they are constantly asking why you did that or how you did that. It’s also really helpful to have another person’s observations on a situation. I would be keen to have more students.”