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Suffolk County Council

In the spotlight

A breath of fresh air: social work in Suffolk

A feature sponsored by Suffolk County Council

Suffolk isn’t just home to scenic beaches, charming villages, affordable housing, great schools and the vibrant Ipswich Waterfront – it is also home to award-winning and good-rated children’s social work.

In Suffolk our ambition is to transform the role of children’s services from being the ‘fixer’ of problems to the catalyst of family owned change.

This isn’t just talk, our efforts to make this reality are already being recognised.

Award-winning social work

Our children’s social work was shortlisted twice in this year’s Local Government Chronicle Awards, including for our achievements on Signs of Safety and wellbeing, an area in which we are a leader in the field.

Our social work team has also won Social Worker of the Year awards for the past two years.

Ofsted rated Suffolk ‘good’ in its 2016 inspection, noting how “substantial and significant improvements have been achieved for children in care in Suffolk in recent years”.

And we are now helping other councils adopt the approach of our Positive Choices team, which supports women who have had more than one child removed from their care to change.

Supporting social workers to grow

You will be fully supported to grow and develop as a social worker.”

To help our social workers take what we’ve already achieved even further, we support them to grow with first-class career development opportunities.

We want our social workers to have a rounded career and pursue their interests, so we encourage them to move teams, shadow others and undertake secondments that enhance their experience.

And to further support Suffolk social workers’ career development we recently established a teaching partnership with the University of East Anglia, the University of Suffolk and Norfolk County Council.

“Suffolk County Council has supported me to progress from being a student social worker to a team manager in one of the frontline social care teams,” says practice manager Charnine De’Ath, who joined Suffolk in 2011.

“It has been an amazing professional journey for me and I would encourage anyone who is thinking of moving to Suffolk to come and apply, as you will be fully supported to grow and develop as a social worker.”

Find out more about becoming a social worker in Suffolk