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Medway Council

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‘The social work pods mean you feel part of a unit that pulls together’

A sponsored feature from Medway Council

Be part of a positive and supportive children’s social work team. See the latest opportunities to join Medway Council.

Change has been afoot in Medway Council. Since 2016 Medway’s children’s services has reorganised into small and supportive ‘pod’ teams, adopted the systemic practice model and invested heavily in training and development.

But what do Medway’s social workers think about these changes? We asked three of them to tell us in their own words how the transformation has been for them.

Kelly Hopper, practice manager – joined Medway in 2008

“We introduced the pods in 2016 and they do everything after the front door. There are four geographical area teams in Medway and within each of those there are four pods with a practice manager like myself in each pod.”

“Before the pods we had separate looked-after children, child protection, child in need and court teams so the pods have streamlined the journey for children. Following their assessment, whatever happens to children in their journey, they keep the same social worker. I really prefer it.”

“We have group supervision every week within the pods and that enables the whole team to feel they have some ownership in each other’s cases. That really helps with the team ethos – you feel part of something, part of a unit that will pull together. I really like the positive work culture it creates.”

“I’ve been at Medway for ten years now and part of what keeps me here is that it’s a relatively small unitary authority. It’s a local authority where you can really get to know the area and the people who work here. It’s not a faceless authority.”

Priscilla Kujinga, social worker – joined Medway from South Africa in 2015

“There is always training available here. At the moment I’m doing practice educator training, which I wanted to do because it was something new for me and because I wanted to give back to the profession.”

A taste of Medway’s offer to social workers

– Manageable caseloads
– Admin support
– Comprehensive training
– Retention payments
– Supportive, positive teams
Learn more about what Medway can offer you

“The good thing with Medway is they provide a number of dates across the year in advance for each piece of training. That way you can plan ahead and even if an emergency means you can’t make it on the day, you don’t miss out.”

“We also have a dedicated legal and court work trainer. You can even book one-on-one appointments with her. Those one-to-ones are quite useful – you actually get to discuss your cases and leave with fresh ideas to move them forward.”

“The pods helped develop good working relationships. We support each other and everyone knows everyone’s cases. You are no longer working in isolation, so to speak, and having smaller teams means managers are more able to support you and know your cases.”

“It’s more rewarding for me and the families that we work with families from referral onwards. You get to know your families really well and there is more consistency for them because you are with them throughout. The other advantage is you experience the whole process so you become a more rounded worker.”

Rachel Anslow, assessed and supported year in employment (ASYE) social worker – joined Medway in 2017

“I’m seven months into my ASYE but I joined Medway Council in 2009 in its youth inclusion support programme. I went on to work on our troubled families team.

“In 2015 I left to do my course to become a qualified social worker but this was the local authority I wanted to come back to.”

“I wanted to come back because the culture here is fantastic – you pretty much know everybody and everyone supports each other.”

“The ASYE has been fantastic. It’s a really robust programme. You feel totally supported the whole way through. You are not thrown in the deep end but it’s not like they hold your hand either. They let you do the work but there is always that support network there to call on.”

Isn’t it about time you got to be part of a positive and supportive social work team? See the latest opportunities to join Medway Council.