“I chose South Glos for the opportunities,” says Louise, a team manager in one of our locality teams at South Gloucestershire Council.
“I was quite happy in my job with another local authority, but I’m the type of person who is always looking to stretch myself and I’d heard that if I wanted development and challenge, South Gloucestershire was the place to go.”
Initially it was the chance to manage a bigger team and to experience a broader range of cases that appealed to Louise, but having worked at South Gloucestershire for three years now, she has realised what opportunity really means when you’re working in children’s social work.
“Being put forward for Firstline [the managers’ programme run by Frontline] was a fantastic experience,” she adds. “It’s a brilliant course and I learnt so much from spending time with children’s services managers at other councils, but beyond that, all of us at South Glos who have attended have built a really strong bond between us. We’ve formed a ‘managing from the middle’ group, which meets every month to talk cases, to bounce ideas around and just to be there for each other when we need support.”
I’m always looking to stretch myself and I’d heard that if I wanted development and challenge, South Gloucestershire was the place to go.’ Louise, team manager, South Gloucestershire Council.”
Tim is another member of the managing from the middle group.
“We’re really lucky as very few other authorities in the area have signed up to Firstline,” he says. “I agree that the collective spirit we’ve built up amongst our management team has been great, but that was just one benefit. I had a detailed one on one mentoring session with an experienced senior leader which was so useful in allowing me to reflect on my strengths, and I also brought back some new tools to help me better support my team.”
Tim is newer to a management role. Having qualified in 2013, he has worked his way up at South Gloucestershire Council and attributes his rapid rise to the investment the council has made in him.
“Working at a smaller authority, you might think that there are fewer opportunities to develop and progress, but I think the opposite is true,” Tim adds. “We’re a relatively small authority and we have strong connections with services managers and heads of service.
“My managers have really pushed me to focus on my professional learning and development and that’s something I’d like to think I have passed on to those I now manage. For me personally, I’ve had lots of development opportunities including completing the practice educator programme when I was a senior social worker which enabled me to support and assess students on placement and I’ve been on various management training and courses to help me progress my career as a manager and leader.
“We have strong links between teams and there are good opportunities to experience different parts of the service, which is something which I’ve definitely benefited from.”
Whilst it has been good for their careers, for Tim and Louise the most important benefit from the council’s investment in staff and their ideas is that it drives better performance.
My managers have really pushed me to focus on my professional learning and development” Tim, a team manager at South Gloucestershire Council
“South Gloucestershire has been a great place for me to develop myself personally, but more importantly than that, it’s fantastic working for an authority where you know that the investment in you will make a real difference for children and young people.”
New management positions for ambitious children’s services professionals
At South Gloucestershire Council we continue to make significant investments in our social work teams. We are currently adding new management capacity across the service to allow team managers to build a stronger understanding of the children and families we work with and to strengthen service delivery.
If you’re looking for an authority which will invest in you and the people you manage and support, contact us today.
Find out more about the latest vacancies here.