‘Gaining staff trust has been a challenge’: diary of a trainee care manager

Natalie Crisp reflects on being challenged by her supervisor, gaining the trust of experienced staff and learning the benefits of positive risk taking for service users as she learns the ropes of social care management.

Natalie Crip with a service user from care provider mcch

I am now over halfway through my year on the National Skills Academy for Social Care’s graduate management trainee scheme, and I can’t believe how quickly the time has gone! I have had my first performance review, and everything seems to be progressing well.

I am currently acting as services co-ordinator at one of mcch’s large day centres, and so am filling a real job role, with real responsibilities. I’ve really enjoyed having a full-time base, and it’s been really nice to be able to put into practice some of the management skills that I learnt in the first half of my placement. I’ve also been able to see first-hand the practical applications of some of the projects I was previously working on, such as mapping the outcomes of sessions.
Gaining staff trust

It has certainly been a steep learning curve, and I am gradually learning to balance all of the conflicting priorities. I have never managed a large group of people before, so gaining the respect and trust of people who have worked in the service for many years has been a challenge. I am grateful for the advice and support of my fantastic placement supervisor. It’s been interesting seeing the change in our relationship; she still remains someone I am able to go to for advice, but she also now asks searching questions if things haven’t been done quite properly!

This month I’ve also written an assignment on risk assessments, as part of my Institute of Leadership and Management qualification. It was a really challenging assignment, but one which was also really relevant to my new role. I ended up focusing on the benefits of positive risk taking, and balancing  this with a duty of care. Serendipitously, one of my colleagues has organised a trip to an adventure centre in Essex, and some of the people who attend the day centre will be going.

Turning theory into practice

Among other things, they’ll be doing 4×4 jeep riding, going jet skiing and playing laser tag. Everyone is really looking forward to the trip, and it is great to see the theoretical side of the graduate scheme matching up with what is actually happening in the work place!

Within mcch I’ve also been looking at the results of a medication audit, which was undertaken throughout the organisation, and have ensured that all of its recommendations have been included on an updated version of their medication policy, which will be submitted to the board of directors in due course.

I am sure that the next six months of the scheme will go just as quickly, and I am sure that they will continue to be just as interesting and varied. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next.

Natalie Crisp is a trainee on this year’s National Skills Academy for Social Care graduate management training scheme, for which she has been placed with learning disability, autism and mental health provider mcch.

Related articles

Diary of a trainee manager: ‘Our job is about more than providing personal care

‘Why I want to be a social care manager – to celebrate life’

More from Community Care

Comments are closed.