A Day in the Life of a Social Worker at Kent County Council
Sam Wilson, November 15, 2016
Helen Curtis, an experienced social worker at Kent County Council Children’s Services, describes a typical day in her life with the Family Support Team.
I set off for work at about 8:00 and the next 30 minutes are a chance to prepare for the day and prioritise my to-do list. Once in the office, I check my e-mails and the computer system to ensure that there are no emergencies on my cases over night.
I work in the Swanley and Sevenoaks area, which offers a varied caseload with a good mix of urban and rural settings. You encounter people with many different backgrounds and experiences. No two days are the same, so I have to be flexible, but it’s something I really enjoy about my work here.
I’ve recently taken over a case from a colleague who is on sick leave. It’s in court proceedings and concerns a five-year-old girl. She’s currently in the care of her mother, who continues to misuse drugs, despite support being offered support. I have tight deadlines of a week assigned to complete assessments should any extended family members put themselves forward as potential long-term carers for the girl.
At 9:15 I drive half an hour to a home visit, where I’m doing a final session for a Parenting Assessment. A second cousin of a baby who is currently subject to Care Proceedings has put herself forward as a potential long-term carer. The case has transferred on to the Child in Care Team; however, as I’ve already done a positive Viability Assessment on this cousin I’ve been asked to complete the further assessment for her. I’m accompanied by the current social worker as she wants to meet the cousin. The visit takes approximately an hour and gives me and my colleague a chance to discuss our thoughts on care plans for the baby while we travel there and back.
Back at the office for 11:30, where I have several e-mails and telephone calls to deal with. I also spent time editing and putting finishing touches on a Parenting Assessment that needs to be with my manager for review. I eat lunch at my desk while I complete it.
At 1:45, people begin arriving for a Review Child Protection Case Conference. We spend the next two hours in challenging discussions about a blended family with two parents who have a difficult relationship. The young person at the heart of the case is struggling with family relationships and engaging in risky behaviours.
Following the meeting, there’s more email to deal with, and phone calls arranging home visits and meetings. I make revisions to my Parenting Assessment and send it on to the solicitor for the case. At 5:00 I set out for a home visit relating to the earlier Review Children Protection Case Conference. By 5:40 I’m heading home and looking forward to pizza with friends.
To find out more about careers in children’s social care at Kent County Council, please visit www.kent.gov.uk.
To view the current vacancies at Kent County Council, click here.