A breath of fresh air
It’s not just the great outdoors in Wiltshire that offers inspiration. Within the offices, hot-desking and open-plan layouts encourage teamwork and conversation. Colleagues from the adults and children’s social care teams work alongside health colleagues, mental health specialists and early intervention experts, allowing them to share knowledge and experience every single day.
As Carolyn, a recently qualified children’s social worker at Wiltshire Council, told us;
“This is a friendly and approachable place. There’s always someone available to ask when you have a question – everyone is willing to help and give advice. And working closely with people from different teams means that we can share information more easily and gain experience faster.”
An ever-changing landscape
From stunning rural areas, to busy towns, there’s a huge diversity of geography on offer in Wiltshire. This variety isn’t limited to the scenery either. For social workers, the workload is equally as diverse.
Working as part of Wiltshire’s children’s social care teams provides the opportunity to offer targeted support to clients from referral through to completion, following the child’s journey.
One of the team told us,
“I recently worked on a case from pre-birth assessment to residential assessment, right the way through to matching the child with parents and arranging the adoption. That was an incredible experience.”
The multi-agency approach in place here leads to more joined-up thinking and a better service for the community; with social workers working alongside school nurses, mental health professionals, midwives, nurses, care homes and everyone in between. And the three main hubs across the county allow for a good mixture of services and personnel in each area.
“I’m newly qualified but I’ve already had the opportunity to work with people from a whole range of agencies, to carry out everything from court work to assessment. The breadth of experience and the support and training on offer are really good.” Carolyn, recently qualified children’s social worker.
An environment to be proud of
While Wiltshire might be famous for its ancient landmarks, the staff here clearly think there’s plenty of innovation to shout about. Through the Better Care Plan, adult care teams are working closely in partnership with health colleagues to encourage integrated working practices. The implementation of the new Care Act brings plenty of opportunities and Wiltshire is looking creatively at implementing new approaches to social work to address the challenges of the new Care Act.
The award winning ‘Help to Live at Home’ programme supports older people in the community to live independently for longer, giving social workers the opportunity to concentrate on pure social work.
Margaret, a team leader in adult care, told us;
“Career development opportunities, training opportunities, promotion prospects; there’s so much available here for the right people. We have mentors and coaches, clear career paths and very robust appraisals. The supervision structure is very good – which isn’t always the case elsewhere.
We have an ASYE programme in place for newly qualified social workers too – one of my roles as a practice educator is to support people through this year-long programme. It’s one of my favourite parts of the job. I enjoy what I’m doing. I love it actually!”
From newly qualified social workers to team managers, there’s a sense that Wiltshire Council has found a good balance. Busy, yet supportive and varied. Friendly, yet ambitious. When it comes to getting it right, it seems Wiltshire has found the key.
Wiltshire Council is currently looking for qualified social workers, occupational therapists, team leaders and assistant team managers to join their teams.
If you’d like to find out more get in touch with either Jeremy Fletcher for children’s services on 01225 713793 or Kim Holmes for adult care on 01225 713587, or visit www.socialcarematters.co.uk for more information about our services and opportunities.
More about Social Care at Wiltshire Council
- To place customers first
- To strengthen communities
- To adopt a ‘can-do’ approach
- To value colleagues
The adult care team takes a highly people-focused and integrated approach to care – helping vulnerable people to live their lives as independently as possible by listening to their needs and wishes. The successful ‘Help to Live at Home’ programme and truly integrated working with health colleagues allows social workers develop their professional practice in a supportive and collaborative environment.
Children & Families
Wiltshire is dedicated to making sure every child in the county gets the best possible start in life, and is working to develop children’s services delivery that reflects the journey of the child. They offer specialist services to support children in need of protection and looked-after children. With safeguarding being a key focus here, they’ve recently restructured to improve intervention and outcomes.
To find out more about social work careers in Wiltshire, visit www.socialcarematters.co.uk
Click here to return to the south west career guide.