‘Come and join a supportive team with ample opportunities to develop your social work career’

A sponsored feature from Rhondda Cynon Taf Council

A view of Hiwaun in Rhondda Cynon Taf
A view of Hiwaun in Rhondda Cynon Taf

“I like the ethos of the Rhondda Cynon Taf (RCT) children’s services of striving for better for the children and families with whom we work,” says Linda, a team manager within the intensive intervention team. “I work with a wonderful group of people who really are dedicated and committed to their role and really do seek to make a difference in the community.”

Linda’s words are a tribute to the close-knit, highly motivated and dedicated teams within RCT children’s services.

“The team at RCT never fails to impress me with its compassion for families, resilience, skills and creativity,” says director of children’s services Annabel Lloyd. “Children and families’ experiences of our services, and the results we achieve together, really matter to us.”

Making staff wellbeing a priority

The support and wellbeing of the staff within the service is central to the work of the children’s services management team.

“RCT has a supportive team culture and ethos,” says Annabel. “Our practitioners are supported by a strong and experienced management team who offer a range of supervision and mentoring opportunities.”

Indeed, RCT is developing a programme to support practitioner wellbeing, with a focus on nurturing supportive resilient teams. They have recently introduced a staff wellbeing questionnaire and are setting up a forum to give practitioners an opportunity to express themselves and listen to how they can best support them in their role.

It’s an approach that was praised by Care Inspectorate Wales in its Assurance Check 2021, which stated: “Ensuring staff wellbeing is a key priority for leaders and senior managers. We saw positive examples of the promotion of staff wellbeing. Examples included a self-referral process for staff to access occupational health, mindfulness sessions, and availability of counselling. Staff told us they felt supported by colleagues and managers to do their job.”

Practitioners within RCT have access to an occupational health unit, which offers wellbeing support and advice, such as counselling, health surveillance, nurses and physiotherapist services. The council has also introduced a new staff wellbeing initiative called ‘CARI’, which is a digital confidential wellbeing tool providing a wide range of support to meet practitioners’ needs.

Learning and development opportunities

RCT also offers practitioners a wide variety of learning and development opportunities. This is delivered through an in-house learning and development centre, which actively supports practitioners at each level to maintain their skills and continuous professional development, and includes:

  • A comprehensive ‘first year in practice’ programme that supports newly qualified social workers.
  • An opportunity to enrol in our mandatory consolidation programme, upon successful completion of your first year in practice.
  • A range of sponsored post-qualifying programmes available for continuing professional education and learning (CPEL).
  • Opportunities for experienced social workers who are looking to progress to management, to enrol on the team manager development programme.
  • Tailored continuing professional development opportunities available to workers in specialist roles, to enhance current knowledge and further develop their skills.

Access to this learning and development centre has been invaluable to Linda: “RCT council supported me fully in achieving a diploma in social work and have since supported me to achieve the team manager’s development qualification.”

RCT also offers an extensive training calendar.

“I have had lots of opportunities with career development, and I have gained access to lots of useful training courses,” says Gwen, a social worker within an intensive intervention team.

To find out more about working for RCT children’s services, attend our virtual recruitment evening on 6 April at 6:30pm, which will include information about our current social work vacancies, the benefits of living and working in RCT, learning and development opportunities and our support and wellbeing offer.

There will also be the opportunity for student social workers to find out about the RCT first year in practice programme.

Check out the latest social work opportunities at RCT here.

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