It’s not often opportunities like this come up in adult social care. Next April, Dorset will become a unitary authority. It’s a change that will give the county’s social workers and occupational therapists the chance to shape a brand new service.
“Becoming unitary is more than a reorganisation – it’s a fresh start; an open book,” says Steve Crocker, principal social worker for adult services at Dorset County Council.
Listening to the frontline
As such, adult social care staff will play a central role in shaping and defining the new service that will follow the ‘joining together’ of Dorset’s county, district and borough councils.
“We want our adult social care workers’ input into this because it’s usually the people closest to the frontline who know how everything works and what’s good and what is not so good,” says Steve. “That’s why we’re encouraging our staff to play an active part in shaping the new unitary service.”
Moving to unitary also brings social care, housing and more under one roof – paving the way for more streamlined delivery of care and support, and better outcomes for adults.
But not everything’s going to change. Adult social care in Dorset will still be driven by a belief in social work values and fostering a vibrant, happy and high achieving workforce.
“We believe in supporting our workforce with a strong learning and development offer,” says Steve.
Call us and find out more
Want to know more about working in adult social care in Dorset?
Then call our team for an informal chat and to register your interest in the council’s upcoming ‘Try Before You Buy’ Day, where you will get to see for yourself why joining Dorset is the first step to a better life and more fulfilling social care career.
– Steve Crocker, principal social worker: 01202 495 558
– Amy-Jane White, principal occupational therapist: 01305 225 394
– Jon Goodwin, head of locality services: 01305 225 158
– Jonathan Carter, head of specialist services: 01305 224 281
– Sue Evans, head of specialist services: 01202 495 570
“The offer is designed to help workers fulfil their ambitions whether that’s becoming a practice educator, a best interests assessor, an AMHP or an advanced practitioner.
“Everyone gets regular, good-quality supervision and mentoring support too.”
The values-based culture the county council’s been building within the service will also continue.
“We are strongly embedding strengths-based and person-centric practice into adult social care here,” says Steve.
“We believe we’re here to support independence, not create dependence. Our mission is to help residents build on their strengths, maintain links with their communities and live the best life they can.”
Obviously, becoming unitary won’t change Dorset the place – it’s still going to be one of the most beautiful counties in the country. “We’ve got 364 hours more sunshine than the UK average each year, award-winning sandy beaches and a great reputation for food and culture,” says Steve.
And thanks to the service’s commitment to work-life balance, its adult social care staff won’t miss out on the benefits of living in Dorset.
“We support staff, monitor caseloads and offer opportunities for flexible working to support a good work-life balance,” says Steve. “We believe that a happy, resilient and positive workforce is critically important.”