Sanhaluk Downs is a social worker in her ASYE year at Lincolnshire County Council in North Kesteven FAST team in children’s services.
During her university placement, she transitioned from working in adult social care mental health to working in children’s services FAST and has valued the level of support she received since her transition.
“I joined the team in November 2022, after completing my second year Master’s in social work at the University of Lincoln. It was a bit new for me – coming from an adult social care team to children’s. I was never made to feel like I couldn’t ask questions even though everyone has quite high caseloads and the team is busy. And I am not made to feel that I am asking basic questions or something that I should have known already.
Transition from adults to children’s
“I had decided to switch from adults to children’s because I was still in the early phase of my career and wanted to explore, and thought it was the best time to learn near the start of my career.
“I wanted to make sure that my ASYE year was well supported and a colleague in my cohort gave such good feedback about working in the FAST team and how it was the best learning experience for her – it inspired me to join.
“Everyone, including the management team in early help, has been quite accepting and open-minded about someone coming into the team from an adult’s background.
“The business support team for North Kesteven FAST has also been brilliant! I have never experienced this level of support before with the administrative side, and I think this is a feature of the council. Everyone is very helpful overall. Even though there are times when I’ve felt overwhelmed because there is a lot of new information to learn as a new person, I’ve always felt supported.
“People are not knocking you down if you are a bit behind – they understand that you will complete your tasks when you can. And there’s always an email thanking you for carrying out these tasks. There is always an experienced social worker there to listen to you – even if they are not in my supervision group.
“My practice supervisor Phil is quite ‘hands on’ too. He’s always there and consistent and this is important when you’re new because you need support every day, such as with handling referrals, for example.”