What does a Mental Health Social Worker do?

I think there’s a lot of misunderstandings about what I actually do at work. What do social workers who are in mental health services do? What do social workers who work in adult services do?

I hope by reading, some people get to learn a little of my day to day role but I also thought it might be useful to set it out more explicitly.

I’ve worked in adult services and I’ve worked, as I do now, in mental health services but I’ve never worked in childrens’ services so I can’t comment at all about the work that is done there. This is my attempt, not to explain social work as a whole, but to explain the bit of social work that I’m familiar with.

I work in a multidisciplinary Community Mental Health Team. We have a consultant psychiatrist attached to the team as well as a few (the amount fluctuates!) other doctors. We have occupational therapists, clinical psychologists, assistant psychologists, community psychiatric nurses and of course, social workers. We always seem to have students around, whether psychology trainees, OT students, nursing students or social work students (and even some medical students pop in occasionally).  I sit opposite a psychologist and between an OT and a nurse.

Although no week is typical, I’ll give a few examples both of the generic role and the way that social work fits into a mental health setting, in England, at least (because I’m not sure if there are differences in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland).

Work is allocated for ‘care co-ordination’. Care co-ordination is akin to what we would have called ‘care management’ in Adult Services although there are some differences and responsibilities under the Care Programme Approach.  It basically means we take responsibility as a kind of ‘key worker’ for individuals who are ‘taken on’ by our service.

Allocation should be done on the basis of appropriate professional expertise so for some issues that have a more ‘social work’ tilt about dynamics, organising personal budgets or residential placements might be preferred as allocated to social workers, some that are more rehabilitation orientated might be allocated to an Occupational Therapist and more medical or medication management might be allocated to a CPN but that is a very broad brush to paint and in practice – most people are a mixture of all the different needs and so are allocated generically. If I have need a of specific OT assessment for one of the people that I am care coordinating, I will ask one of our OTs and similarly, I care coordinate one person who receives a monthly depot injection from one of my nursing colleagues.

So what is care coordination/care management about? Well, we start by working with and on a care plan and this should be led by the user of the service. If there is a carer involved it would also involve them and we put together plans. In my service which works predominantly with older adults, there may well be care services needed and this is now all delivered through personal budgets so I would take someone through the supported self assessment questionnaire, the resource allocation system and develop with them and/or their carers, depending on capacity issues on a support plan and way that services would be delivered. This would be reviewed and implemented in partnership.

I will also arrange respite placements  and services when they are needed and review services as they are delivered.

Alongside this, I would also be responsible for monitoring any changes in mental state and might provide some brief therapeutic interventions mainly through basic CBT type models according to additional training which has been given in the NHS Trust I work in as they are trying to ‘skill up’ all care coordinators!  When I meet with someone, my discussion ranges for more broadly than about their care needs specifically. Sometimes it is about sourcing and finding ideas, services and people that might be able to help, namely through group work which is run across the service or through referrals to specific psychologists attached to the team. Sometimes it is much more difficulty to quantify – and log – and record.

I work with carers and work through carers’ assessments and services such as they are. Often I feel one of the most important aspects of my work is carer support as we rely so heavily on some carers. I might liaise with different organisations on peoples’ behalf if they can’t manage or need some assistance. Sometimes I help with Attendance Allowance or Disability Living Allowance claims but there are council teams that do that so it would only be in circumstances when I might know someone particularly well and be concerned that someone who doesn’t know them that well might ‘underplay’ some of their needs.

Sometimes it is about liaising with creditors, gas and electricity companies, housing etc with various degrees of success. I like to think of myself as an advocate at times.

Although at times, I am very far from an advocate. I am subject to specific ‘terms of reference’ of my job and have no control over things like budgets that can be assigned to various people with various needs. I would ‘present’ the needs of service users I work with to various internal funding panels so on that basis I need to advocate clearly.

We have to review the services that are in place regularly. I would attend meetings at day hospitals and on wards when I am allocated to people who currently attend or are inpatients.

I work to plan and organise discharges from hospitals both the psychiatric hospitals and the general hospitals when people whom I am allocated to are inpatients. There are some very obvious time limitations on these pieces of work and no-one wants anyone to be in hospital any longer than they have to – but equally no-one wants someone to be discharged from hospital before they are well enough to be – which is another very important consideration.

I conduct safeguarding investigations as well. Alerts come up with what can be surprising frequency and there are prescribed procedures through which we approach these investigations. It’s hard to generalise as they can be very different. Interestingly most of my recent ones have involved residential services in some way or another. I think I’ll come back to the process of investigating abuse in another post as it is altogether a subject in its own right. We tend to get more of these investigations in older adults services than occur in the working age adult services.

I am an Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP). That means that I am on a rota to carry out Mental Health Act (MHA) Assessments . There is an important difference between a Mental Health Assessment which is a more generic term for an assessment of someone’s mental health and a specific ‘Mental Health Act Assessment’ which is a formal assessment under the 1983 Mental Health Act which can result in a compulsory admission to hospital without consent.

The role of the AMHP could be a post all of its own and it probably should be so I’ll condense here for clarity because it has increasingly become a part of my day to day role. I organise and arrange these assessments by arranging for ambulance service and doctors attendance (there have to be two medical recommendations written by doctors – one should know the patient (usually their own psychiatrist or GP along with an independent doctor who has had additional training). I also attend a magistrates’ court to obtain a warrant to enter if it is likely that we would not be allowed access to a property. I  arrange police support if necessary and would also organise a hospital bed if necessary.

There are legal forms to complete and I have an obligation to be mindful and respectful of legal rights and human rights when involved in these processes.  I am obliged to attend a specified amount of ‘legal updates’ every year to maintain my approval as an AMHP and every five years I have to be ‘reapproved’ which involved me taking a legal test and submitting some reflective pieces and examples of my work as well as carrying out a set number of assessments per year (no problem with the numbers – I’ve done the requisite annual number in the past week!).

I’m also a BIA (Best Interests Assessor). This means I have specific duties and responsibilities to carry out assessments under the ‘Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards’. Again, that probably demands a post or two of its own. Suffice to say that every so often I am called out to do a specific type of assessment on this basis.  I had to attend additional training to be able to do this and have to attend update workshops and training to retain my approval.

Apart from the things I’ve listed, my job involves other pieces of work. I write social circumstances reports for tribunals. I occasionally have been involved in assessments and writing reports for Guardianships and in taking part in the process of approving or extending a Community Treatment Orders. I frequently carry out Capacity Assessments for various reasons.

I’m a practice assessor too so when I have a student, well, I have a student to supervise. I tend to enjoy having students around. It does create more work though and there’s no recompense in terms of reduction of caseloads! And the universities and local authorities wonder why we can’t offer as many statutory placements!

My work is often one of juggling and trying to prioritise and reprioritise on the basis of risk management. What is more important for me to complete on any given day.

I haven’t even mentioned data input or writing case notes but takes a fair bit of time. We have regular audits of our ‘productivity’ – we have to input our ‘outcome measures’ and re-input them regularly so our management overlords accept that we are actually spending our time at work, working effectively and not just twiddling our thumbs and playing Facebook games.

The amount that we have to ‘report back’ is, of course, growing at an exponential rate.

So that is my job – as briefly as I could manage and I have missed out some of the million subtleties that might change on a day to day basis.

I generally enjoy it. I love the variety that is thrown my way on any given day. Some days it frustrates me and there are rarely enough hours in the day to get what I want done, done. This may explain some of my frustration with the bodies who all say they ‘speak for social work’.  Have they explained the role of social work outside child protection? Would you know, if you are not involved in the ‘system’ what a mental  health social worker actually does?

But really, that’s another fight for another day. For now, well, I need to go to work!

But I had over to you, dear reader. Is there anything that surprises you? What you expect? What have I left out – as I’m sure I have missed a lot of things!

Life as a Social Work Student 4 – The Half Way Point

This is a guest post from the student who has contributed since before her course started. She first wrote here about her pre-course shadowing experiences, her initial impressions after a few months on the course,  the start of her first placement and the midpoint of her first placement. Here, we join her at the end of her first year of the Masters. 

Again, I’m very grateful to her for contributing, especially as she now has her own blog here – and she’s round and about on Twitter.

One Down, One to Go

As I write this, I’ve just received the official results of my first
year on the Social Work Masters course, which is that:
“You have successfully completed your studies this academic year and can progress to the next year of your studies.”

That one short sentence summarises all the various essays, lectures, seminars, placement work and portfolio, and dissertation proposal into a single pass/ fail. I am proud of the pass, I feel I had to jump through a lot of hoops to get it and I hope I’ve done so with a general good grace. I’m also proud of having written academic essays for the first time in my life and having learned to do it well enough to get a pass at masters level.

I think it’s a truism of any kind of training, whether academic or job-based, that you never feel that you get enough feedback. A sentence or two on an essay that took weeks of stress, reading, and planning can seem a bit sparse. It’s not that I even know what feedback I’d want, maybe just a chance to explain why I did the non-optimal thing, or why the references list may look a bit thin. At college it’s particularly odd because we have to give feedback on the courses as well, usually at a point where you’re pleased to have got to the end of the course so will give it a good mark purely for that. Or maybe that’s just me, I think some of my fellow students are far more critical.

Truth is, I have been generally happy with the standard of teaching. I have learned a lot over the past year, and picked up new skills as well. I can’t judge how relevant or useful any of these will be, except that I felt confident in finding appropriate theory books to back up my extended case study on placement and when I started the course I don’t think I would even have known which part of the library to search.

In any case, now is the calm before the storm of the second year, final placement, dissertation, job hunt, and things in general getting more serious. I really have no idea what the job situation will be like when I’m searching properly next year, I just know that I have a few backup ideas in mind and am not planning to put all my eggs in the statutory sector basket.

Some of my cohort are working through the summer ‘vacation’ which is a great opportunity to get more experience. I’m fortunate in that I get more of a break which I am very much appreciating. Next month I plan to spend more time down at the library making a start on scoping out the dissertation. Meanwhile I’m discussing a possible second placement with a placement agency that looks very hopeful (read: it’s perfect, but just need to sort out whether it’s practical or not due to travel issues.)

And hopefully I won’t have forgotten everything from last year when September rolls around.

Making Adult Social Care Better 1

I think I’m fairly good at griping and raising ‘problems’. For the next week, I want to try and take a positive approach and look at solutions as well as problems.

A few conversations I’ve had over the past week have focused on what is wrong with adult social work and mental health social work at the moment but more importantly what can be done to make things better.

My frustration is that for all the discussions that take place in the sector, so few seem to focus on those of us who have worked and are working at the so-called ‘front-line’. A home carer knows about the ways that contracts have been managed and awarded at the lowest cost and they will be able to tell you with far more insight than any contracting manager about the effects of 15 minute ‘spot’ visits and the lack of dignity present in the care for older people. They would also be able to give you an amalgam of ideas which branch from consideration, knowledge and experience of a wide range of service users.

Are employed home care workers ever invited to discussion forums and debates about the future of care? No. But you know, maybe the feedback would be the most valuable.

On a more personal level it feels as if the conversations about service design and delivery take place around and above us – with us being the people at the front line of support. Yes, there are discussions  with service users and carers but how much effort is made to seek out opinions that do not fit in the model that the consultants want them to express? How many of the people who attend these meetings, discussions and debates become self-selecting.

If you create a service user group, for example, in a particular borough, it seems to me obvious that you are most likely to engage will be those whose voices are already heard through different means.

I like to set myself up as some kind of advocate in terms of having an understanding of the needs of people who don’t often have their voices heard in these kinds of meetings and debates because the discussions I have are mostly with people who are at their lowest ebbs on the scale of health and need.

For me, it is crucially important that these people are not left behind by commissioners and service design but my experience and understanding of the sector suggests that they are.

I don’t want to keep harking back to the roll out of personal budgets on the back of the model of direct payments but I will. The voices of those without support and without advocates are understandably quieter and the way that the services have been designed focuses quite rightly on choice but what is not present is a way for an equitable service to be delivered to those who aren’t for some reason able to express choice.

So things that can make things better

– Use of advocates in a more formalised manner throughout the system. Volunteer advocates have a role but I see more mileage in professional advocacy with extensive investment in non-directed advocacy as that is potentially where the greatest need lies. If I weren’t so tied to my job in terms of needing a salary to pay the bills, I would, at a flash, try to establish some kind of enterprise to focus specifically on support planning and advocacy for adults with dementias. I hope there is a role for independent social work in this area in the future – in the meantime, if anyone wants to jump on my idea and run with it, I am happily ‘open sourcing’ it.

– involving front line practitioners in conversations, debates and discussions with the local authorities relinquishing some of the reins of power in respect to conversation. Recognise our professional vigour and competence. We see people and have discussions with people that will never attend forums collectively. We can signpost and support commissioners and contracting officers but we are never asked and never given the time to think more creatively outside our little boxes of control. We have ideas and a happier, more connected workforce is an engaged and interested one.

– speak to home care workers too – those with agencies and where in-house services still exist, with them. They will have good ideas about the ways that their services are failing.

– home visits to facilitate discussions – why have all meetings in a central hall when it can be limiting regarding those who have greater physical and mental health needs.

Technology can facilitate greater conversation and communication with two-way flows but face to face discussion is still very important as technology and keyboards can alienate some people – perhaps exactly those people whom it is most important to connect with.

-Practitioners have to be more engaged with developments in the sector and unfortunately I don’t see BASW or the embryonic College of Social Work being particularly engaged with social workers. Why have social workers become so disengaged from professional organisations and unions? Is it to do with a fear of employers? I think some more group action could really build the strength of social work but it is hard to shrug off the feeling that we are a disengaged and disenfranchised profession that like to feel sorry for our collective selves and wallow in our diminished status. I think if we took a stronger political stance and stood up to our employers and their political agendas and displayed more independence of thought, we would be able to demand more respect.

I have decided that while I can moan and groan with the best of ‘em, coming together with ideas for improvement is by far the best way of making our voices heard.

College update

Community Care has published the names of the members of the Interim College of Social Work Board and I have to say, when I glanced at the list I was prepared to be sorely disappeared and pessimistic but when I looked further, I actually couldn’t continue with my cynicism.

It’s quite unusual for me to be actively hopeful about a current development in social work in the UK, but you know, this time, I really am.

The list includes the usual managers and directors/assistant directors/academics  but it also has made a distinct effort to include front line practitioners who are currently working through a wide range of different services (adults, childrens, mental health, hospice, independent and voluntary sector) it also includes a newly qualified social worker who qualified this year.

I went to one of the College of Social Work consultation events. I found it useful and invigorating. What I found productive was that it united social workers and some social work students across different branches of the profession and with differing amounts of experience and tried to find the commonality that exists through the profession.

There was an element of cynicism (of course, what do you seriously expect from a room full of social workers!) but there was so much skill, experience and enthusiasm for change in the room – it felt in a way that some people were just waiting for some kind of leadership to create a body to develop the profession.

Of course until the College has been established, it is easy to be hopeful. The budget will remain absolutely crucial and it’s hard to see the government sparing much for the establishment of the College of Social Work so the money will likely have to come from members – but I know it’s something I’d be prepared to pay for (within limits of course!).

So in a week of misery, it’s good to have something hopeful to look forward to and feel more positive about.

Shadowing a Social Worker – pre-course reflections

This is a Guest Post by a friend of mine who is going to start her social work course in September. She was speaking to me about the pre-course shadowing and I asked her if she’d write a post about it! I think it’s great – I might ask her for updates as she starts her course (I haven’t told her that yet but she knows who she is!). Many thanks to her! – cb

What I have learned from shadowing a social worker

First thing is, I didn’t see a single cardigan in the office during the whole week I was there.

But I digress. Let me go back a month or two … I have just heard that I had a place at university to study social work in September 2010. Once the paperwork turns up with the unconditional offer, it’s suddenly real enough to make me nervous. I know from past experience that this is a good sign – I love a good challenge and I know I will enjoy this course, it’s another stage on a long journey from a very unrelated profession but I know that I am happy with the direction it is going. I’m still nervous though.

The university send me a friendly email about pre-course requirements, one of which is that I need to shadow an experienced social worker for a few days. It is clear that it’s up to me to make this happen.

Finding a place to shadow

I consider my options. I do know a few social workers and I could ask around for any shadowing opportunities in their workplaces. But they mostly live in London and really if it’s my choice, I’m curious to find out more about the community/ies and local authority where I’ve lived for the last 10 years. After all, I may want to work there when I’m qualified. I realise when I think of it that this is probably cheeky – will they want to do a favour for a random person they don’t know? But it doesn’t hurt to ask, right?

Since I have approximately zero contacts within the local council, I started with the website. It has a page on health and social care which sounds like a good start. I decide to read through all of it in the hopes of finding a name somewhere who I could contact. I pause when I read the articles on social care training. What I am asking seems connected with that. So I drop a polite email to one of the people who is named at the bottom of the page, explaining what I would like to do and asking if it might be possible. I explain that I’m asking because I’ve lived in the borough for over 10 years so I feel attached to the community and it was my first natural choice.

After that, everything happens very quickly. She emails me back that day to say that she has passed on my request and to wish me luck with my studies. And very soon after that, I am in contact with an actual social worker who has agreed to let me shadow her for a week. She says, “How about next week?” I think – crikey, this is all so quick. I say – that would be great, I’ll see you on Monday morning.

Things I have learned about social work and social workers

  • Social work is fuelled by tea and biscuits.
  • A lot of useful work also goes on in the canteen at lunchtime, as people discuss aspects of their cases informally over food.
  • When procedures talk about putting service users at the heart of the work, they don’t tell you that clients can change their mind a lot about what they want. Sometimes twice a day!
  • The rest of the council (e.g. care procurement) seems very phlegmatic and good natured about the above fact. I figure they’re used to it.
  • People in general really care about their work (this is rather different from private industry). This is very obvious when you sit down to talk to them about it.
  • Many people in the public sector have not worked in industry and may have unrealistic assumptions about it. (I laughed aloud when someone told me that they thought that no one had any issues with IT “in the real world”. Sorry, but that’s a constant and local authorities are also the real world 😉 )

Yes but what did you really learn?

The shadowing week has been a very positive experience for me. I’ve been able to really shadow a social worker through her week. I’ve seen how she handles her caseload by updating records, arranging service provision, getting agreement from appropriate groups for any extra spend, and by going out and visiting with the client/s. I see how the work expands to fill the available time. I see how many other people she has to liase with.

I’ve seen how a group composed of OTs, community nurses, case co-ordinators and social workers get along and work together.

I’ve been able to sit down and talk to people in different teams about what they do and how they do it. I’ve also been able to read through the procedural handbook used by a live team, which really shows how the social work principles are applied in practice (by that team, and via the procedures.)

I’ve been able to reflect on what I’ve seen. I wrote a short essay about one of the interviews I observed with the person I was shadowing, and discussed it with her afterwards.

And most importantly for me, I can imagine myself doing this job and doing it well. Not yet though. I need that training, and I will need support while learning the ropes, and it will take time for me to become as competent as the people I have been shadowing this week. But I didn’t come away thinking, “Oh no, this is all a terrible mistake.”

The other side to my week is that I think it was also a positive experience for the team. People seemed to really respond to my showing interest in their work – and it was genuine interest.

The woman I was shadowing also mentioned (when we were saying goodbye) that when her manager had first told her that she would have a student following her around, her first reaction was to think, “Oh no, why me?” But she’d enjoyed the week a lot also, and was now planning to take up a training opportunity she had been offered to train as a practice teacher so that she could have a student to supervise herself. I think she’ll be great! (And I told her so.)

The Future of Adult Social Work

I am running late for a training course that I haven’t finished the ‘pre-reading’ for yet – due to an unusually busy weekend (for all the good reasons which involve sunshine and basically being outside!).

But I thought it would be remiss not to mention the publication of the the ‘Future of Social Work in Adult Services’ document on Friday.

It’s a short document that clarifies some of the expectations and directions that will likely be taken in social work in the UK, drawing on the definition of Social Work given by the International Federation of Social Workers and then narrowing it down to not only a more UK centric focus but also an adult-centred perspective.

It is a fairly uncontroversial document that balances some of the future direction of the personalisation and transformation agendas – addressing some of the fears about the dilution of ‘social work’ and ‘social workers’ into unqualified posts where some of the expertise is reduced in order to reduce employment costs saying

Giving people control of their own resources and determining how their needs are met is transforming social services. Services are being personalised. Many people will want to organise all their supports and services themselves, based on good information. Others will want help from peers and user and carer led organisations. However, many will want social work to support them when they feel most vulnerable, to manage risks and benefits, and to build their self-esteem and aspirations so that they can take control or make difficult decisions.

This acknowledges the fear of some social workers about being pushed out of the role however I wonder how it tallies with the workload issues and the reassurances that certainly happened in my borough that some of the increased paperwork that is generated by self-directed support will be farmed to smaller advocacy services. It can’t work both ways – either the professional support is offered and time is allowed for it by management – or it is not offered and independent, voluntary sector advocacy services are employed (very well in most circumstances) and ‘social work’ tasks revolve around managing pieces of paper in an office. Not necessarily by a qualified professional.

The report also expands to explore other aspects of social work within specialist and multi-disciplinary teams. I admit to being concerned at a driving focus on community care legislation and directions but that doesn’t seem to be the case. It emphasises that

Social workers also have an important role in working with people whose rights may be undermined through abuse or neglect, or where the law requires some deprivation of liberty. Social workers can assess and manage risk and balance competing rights in order to protect those in need. Social workers make sure that legal action is taken only where necessary, for the shortest time and with the least restriction.

This distinct approach provides an important contribution to multi-disciplinary teams, to support better outcomes. It also complements the contribution of other professions. Social workers in multi-disciplinary teams bring a perspective of the whole person, rather than just their symptoms or circumstances. Seeing the individual in the context of their family, friends and community, and reflecting their hopes and fears for their own future is where social work can bring an important contribution to the work of the team.

The document needed to address social work as it stands within a legislative framework which often (although not exclusively) allows and demands that social workers play a role. For me, the key to my role as a social worker within a multi-disciplinary team is exactly to ensure that the ‘whole person’ is not lost in the background when the consideration of medical concerns are raised although to be fair, in my team, I would say we are very much pulling in the same direction and by no means would I say that the medics, nurses, OTs, psychologists think in any different way – however the training does shift the focus and I think it is a really important that a person who has not come through ‘medical training’ sits at the multi-disciplinary table.

The document also looks towards the future, setting out a few possible roles that will develop over time

Social Work and interpersonal support: With the development of information, advice and advocacy services, support planning and brokerage, there may be new roles for social workers alongside services led by people using services and their families. This may include services for people who fund their own social care.

Social work and safeguarding rights: Social work could have an important role in community development work and promoting social cohesion, for example where disabled, mentally ill or substance misusing people are victims of hate crime.

Social work with families: Social workers already help to break the cycle of families where generations of individuals are trapped in abusive relationships, crime, substance misuse, poor health, unemployment and other factors. Their role in this work could be strengthened to support the current priorities for local authorities to create safe, healthy and prosperous communities

All possibly interesting ways to go and perhaps each will form a post in its own right. All I will say at present from initial, swift reading of the document is that the its interesting (and very positive, in my mind) that social work with families moves into the broader context than simply being placed alongside ‘childrens’ services. Families are about more than that and without ways of working with and alongside adults, there can be no way of proactively protecting children. One of the reasons I always opposed separation and polarisation of ‘childrens’ training and ‘adults’ training – and ‘childrens’ services and ‘adults’ services.

I expect to read and reflect more on the document over the next week and/or months. In the meantime, it generally strikes me as a positive step. I just wonder why it took so long to come out!

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Help Give Them a Voice

I haven’t mentioned the ‘Give Them a Voice’ campaign that has been trickling out videos to promote social work as a career over the past few weeks– and as it is due to launch the beginning of September – and looking at my calendar, that seems to be about now, I think it’s as good a time to bring them up.

There are a number of short clips they have compiled

There are many more on their site and it’s worth having a look through them

It’s clearly the start of a campaign which is to be rolled out more broadly. In the meantime, you can follow @GiveThemaVoice on Twitter to see what they are up to next (they are launching their TV campaign today in fact – see, Twitter can be incredibly useful).

I wonder if putting the words of recipients of social work services into the mouths of ‘famous’ people is the best way, but like it or not, it is the recognisable faces that draw the attention in. I don’t think it is a bad way of going and the messages are strong. These adverts aren’t meant for people like me, who know what social workers do but for people who haven’t got a clue and in that sense, famous faces and supportive words do, I think, really help.  Some of the actors/musicians involved in the project have written some words about ‘their’ persona (all situations are based on reality) and there are follow-ups on the Help Give Them a Voice website.

Some of those involved in the campaign such as Samantha Morton and Goldie have talked about their own experiences of growing up within the care system and have spoken positively of the impact that social workers have had on their lives. In this respect, I think the words feel stronger.

All in all, I think it’s a rather good project – I like to think positive and hope that it will inspire some people who had been deterred from social work by false perceptions and negative press that there is a good career to be had in the field – as I genuinely believe there is.