1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I work for Children’s services as an early help practitioner. However my course is asocial work degree apprenticeship so I will join the Social work team in my third year. I complete assessments and interventions to support families who are in crisis or have a level of need below statutory services but supporting children and families to promote good outcomes and long term change and avoid the escalation to social care. Includes parenting work, family work, direct work with children and multi agency plans and meeting to support families in Stockport. We work in partnership with schools and families to create support plans and analyse people’s situations to form theory informed plans.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Academic writing skills Theory to underpin the work I do Reading and understanding critical thought and analysis A wider understating of social work in practice Legal frameworks for social work, obligations and rights/responsibilities A deeper understanding of my own assumptions and lens in the world Different work based experiences
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I really enjoy my programme. It has been challenging through covid and not having face to face learning has been challenging. However it has been excellent so far.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
As we were the first cohort there has been some learning for both my employers and the university. However, it has adapted well to covid lockdown and support has been fantastic.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Lots of support. We have a specified Academic mentor and continual reflective supervision
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
MMU have been fantastic. I would have liked the same tutor all the way through to know them better but have felt there has been enough support and access to it from them. Good communication.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
I am a lot more knowledgeable about legal frameworks we work in and understand better the underpinning theoretical basis for the work we do. It has developed my work enormously.
8. Are there extra-curricular activities to get involved in at your work? (For example, any social activities, sports teams, or even professional networking events.)
Yes, but as I have two children and other commitments, I have not engaged in much of this. I have really enjoyed some extra activities some tutors have done over lockdown such as online Zumba and a Facebook group. Would like work to have more off the job activities like sports teams would be brilliant but there is not much to be honest.
9a. Would you recommend Stockport council to a friend?
I have worked for the authority for over 16 years and felt supported, professionally developed and believed in by my managers and the authority. I have been through major changes which has been tough and seems to be a regular occurrence with the stripping back of youth services and the redesign of the authority. However, I have then found new paths and ways forward within SMBC to support my development and skills. The offer of this apprenticeship has been valuable for my own development and also withing the service.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Stockport council?
Good company, restorative culture and supportive. There are opportunities for learning such as the apprenticeship and ongoing training. Good authority to work for.