Why i love my job – Joanne Walthew

After seven years in child protection with a voluntary agency, it
was time for a change. Fostering and adoption appealed so I set
about ploughing through numerous job ads. Then I found this one
with Tact.

It all began in October last year: the excess paperwork, the
on-calls, the late nights up to 10pm. My evening meal is sometimes
a bowl of cereal! But the positive aspects of my job far outweigh
the negative.

I certainly didn’t expect to be working until 10pm, and neither did
I anticipate designing Eid (Muslim festival) and Diwali (Hindu and
Sikh festival) cards that we send to carers to promote diversity. I
work with a fair number of black and Asian foster carers, a
reflection of Birmingham’s population.

I get to attend training and develop my own training packages. This
is what I like, the diversity of the job, the flexibility, the
opportunity to be creative and enhance skills in all areas.

My official title is supervising social worker and my role involves
providing quality support to foster carers so they can give the
best care to children in placement. The most enjoyable part of my
job is time with the foster carers. It is such a contrast to be
working with people who want you in their home. Child protection
does not carry the same sentiment!

My role is based on mutual respect. When asked in training sessions
would I consider being a foster carer, I politely respond: “No way,
I admire you all.”

We are a team of five, soon to be six, with additional sessional
support. The atmosphere is relaxed, even with the manager around.
It is a supportive team and we have a few laughs in a job that can
have its stresses and frustrations, considering the lives of some
of the children we come into contact with. The laughter is a much
needed balance. At Tact I feel valued and so work is not a chore.

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