We provide the full range of children’s social care services. We support our social workers to undertake creative methods of intervention by using the Signs of Safety model with strength-based and systemic support for our families. This ensures the voice of the child is at the centre of service development.
The video below talks about the career path of a social worker.
Transcript of video
I have been at Achieving for Children for five years. I started my social work journey with Kingston. I completed the Frontline programme and was placed here as a student where I did my on the job training. And I did 170 days of placement within a team with a CSW, Consultant Social Worker.
And at that point I sat within a safeguarding context. So I was holding child in need cases and coworking cases. I then completed my assisted and supported year of employment in Achieving for Children, where I moved over to a referrals and assessment team.
And I spent two years in that team where I really kind of honed my assessment skills, my knowledge, and really kind of got a good feel about what thresholds were like in Kingston. And I got to do some of the work that perhaps I wouldn’t have done if I’d have gone straight into safeguarding, because you just see so much more in a referral and assessment team.
Within that team, I was supported by a really, really great manager who saw my areas of strengths, and she saw the areas where I needed to be pushed a little bit farther and where I needed to have that little bit of support to help me to develop and grow into the social worker that I am today.
So even though I was in a referral and assessment team, I was able to complete parenting assessments for the safeguarding team, which gave me some experience of court work, all be it a very small kind of snapshot of that.
After two years, I then moved over to the safeguarding team where I became a senior practitioner and I got a little bit more experience in the court arena. And I had that experience of working longer term cases of working cases where we were considering removal or had to remove children.
It’s a part of our job, but it was about doing that in a way that was positive. And was as positive as could be for that family. And I was supported all the way through that. I never felt alone in those moments. I never felt that I had to make a decision on my own. It was all about the management support that I was getting to help me and to reflect on, you know, why we were making those decisions.
So I did that for a year and then I’ve stepped up now and become a team leader. So my progression has been quick, but I’ve always been supported. I have been pushed at times when I’ve not necessarily thought that I could do things. I have had access to some of the most incredible training.
So I was funded to do my achieving best evidence training with the police. I’m now being funded to do my practice educator training. And it it’s just about me having that opportunity to expand my skillset. And that’s something that Achieving for Children really push and promote.
They want their social workers to be the best social workers that they can be. And we have the opportunity to do that. If there’s an area that you are interested in, then there is a space for you to have those conversations with your management team and to look at how you can increase those goals. And so, at the moment, I sit as a life story work champion.
So I have an interest in developing life story work for the children that we work with. And I’m on a team of people that can think about how we push that forward and how we implement that. And there is a real view of kind of bottom up thinking at times, you know, it’s about what are we saying? What are we as practitioners saying, and this is what we need. And we have a space to have those conversations with senior leadership and to really sort of explore that with them. And I think that’s just a really positive thing.
I think I’m really, really supported within this team and within this service. And I think that’s something that I can’t get across to you guys enough, is that the reason that I’ve been here for five years is because I work with wonderful people and not just my team, but the back office staff, the senior leadership team, you know, there’s a real drive for us all be together and to you know, do our jobs to the best of our ability.
And I think that’s probably why I continue to work for Achieving for Children.
We provide an extensive range of services for schools, including: school improvement and curriculum support, governor support, educational psychology, online safeguarding advice, school workforce development and school business support.
In the the video below members of the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Service talk about their roles.
Transcript of video
- Hello, Chantelle Alleyne speaking from the Special Educational Needs Department for Achieving for Children. How can I help? Hi there, I'm Catherine Marks, Deputy Head of the SEND Service. Please take a few minutes to hear from some of the team about achieving for children's SEND Service.
- Recently, I have moved on from being a coordinator to being a senior EHCP coordinator, which means that I have some management responsibilities now. Now that was offered to me because the other managers in the service have seen that there are good qualities in me and they wanted to progress that further. I've been doing that for roughly about five months now, and I will say that I'm enjoying it. It is challenging. It's been a bit of a leap, in terms of a change in environment, a change of responsibility, also a change of respect. I'm now attending meetings that managers attend and representing the SEND Service. I've also got responsibility for particular coordinators within the team.
I think that's one of the things that makes me get up and out of bed in the morning, and come here is the fact that I know that I'm valued, the fact that I was chosen for that role that was offered to me. Also, just the team are so supportive in terms of someone is always there, whether it's a good moment a bad moment, a sad moment, whatever type of moment it is, you can just, there's always someone available. We're not just workers. We are people who have lives, and that is respected within the team. You know, managers come around in the morning and they ask you how you are. They don't just want to talk to you about, where are you with X case? They want to know, you know, you've been on annual leave. What did you do? Did you have a nice Christmas? What did you do at the weekend? All those thoughts of the things, and I think that really does create a good sense of morale.
Our team can come up with some challenges sometime, just because of the type of service that we are. We're dealing directly with young people's education, and their lives as a whole, which can bring up challenges, challenging conversations with other professionals, but also with families, with schools, with other services. And I think it's really important that we all understand that and that we've, you know, we've got each other's backs at the end of the day.
- There can be a lot of information to, kind of, wade through throughout the process. When there's a needs assessment happening, you're having to look through reports, and that kind of also builds on your communication skills 'cause you might find when doing that that something's not quite clear and you might have to go back to the advice giver, just to clarify on points. You might have to go and speak to the parent to find out something that wasn't so clear, so that when you're taking the case to Panel, for them to make decisions on that child, that you're kind of preempting something that they might then send you off to go and find out. So, you're cutting the time down so slightly.
- I'd reached a place where I wanted to take all the skills that I'd got and further develop them, but outside of a school environment. I was looking for something that was very rewarding, and one of the questions that I had for myself was, am I too old to do that at this stage? And so when I got to AfC, one of the things that was really fantastic for me and really helped me was it was a buddy system.
- So, another good thing about working within this team is that you are trusted to get on with your work by yourself. You're not micromanaged. You can plan your own meetings, work out when you're going to schedule having a certain day to do a certain task, or whatever is needed, but on the same light, you're also supported by management, and you do know that you can tap into them when needed. So, it's like having a mutual respect for each other, and that really goes a long way in any field. So, it makes it a nice environment to work in, but I think all in all it just makes the SEND team a lovely place to work.
- If you're a team player and you are able to work independently and collaboratively work with a range of different service users, and you've got a passion for making a real difference to the lives of children and young people. We'd love to hear from you.
We provide a range of health-related services including community paediatrics, paediatric and specialist physiotherapy, occupational therapy, community nursing, speech and language therapy, clinical psychology.
We have a range of business services including policy and research, business development, communications, business systems, intelligence analysis, child protection conferencing and business support.