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Social Work Week 2024: A Day in the Life of a Social Worker

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Social Work Week 2024: A Day in the Life of a Social Worker

​Social Work Week aims to celebrate the success of social workers and highlight the impact they have on the community. At Charles Hunter Associates, we are incredibly proud of the social workers we work with and want to continue to raise awareness of their importance.

For Social Work Week 2024, we spoke to three of our social work candidates to see what their average day at work looks like.

Cassandra Todd-Allen

Cassandra is an Assistant Team Manager in an Assessment and Intervention Team. Within her team, there are five social workers, two of whom are senior, a family support worker and two ASYE students. Although she works from home four weeks in a row, before being in the office for a duty week, Casandra ensures she checks in on her team regularly.

While working from home allows Cassandra to focus on the family routine first and is beneficial when having to complete admin or specific tasks that require a lot of focus, she enjoys the buzz of the office. She mentions that going into the office helps maintain her working relationships.

A job in social work means two days are never the same, and Cassandra admits that prioritising can be difficult. A day plan can change by the hour, with admin tasks rescheduled due to a case needing attention.

Cassandra loves her job and the element of working with others. When asked what she loves most about her role, she said it’s the ability to make a difference in a young person’s life. Cassandra likes to know what makes people ‘tick’, and why people have made the choices that they have. It is important to her to learn about the individual families, and she encourages her team to do the same. These families aren’t just numbers on paper to Cassandra, she wants to learn all about them.

However, the job does have its challenges. Cassandra often faces individuals or families who do not want to work with her team due to the stigma surrounding social care services. Cassandra’s team must engage the parents, but some may have had negative lived experiences with a social care team previously. As an Assistant Team Manager, Cassandra must give her team the knowledge and skills to engage the parents.

Due to the nature of her work, it can be difficult for Cassandra to switch off at the end of the day. As a locum social worker, her hours are 9-5, however, this is not always the case if she is authorising a case. Although she never stops thinking or worrying about the families she works with, Cassandra tries to take her mind off it by walking, spending time with her family and meditating.

Catherine Wilcox

Catherine is a locum social worker working with adults and based in Guildford. While the work has its challenges, Catherine loves working with and speaking to a wide range of individuals whom she may not have met in other circumstances. She enjoys connecting with people and working with them to achieve their goals.

There are two types of typical days for Catherine, completing paperwork or visiting clients. On an admin day, Catherine will complete assessments, look at what individuals' needs are, and review the care they currently have. This can include care in their own home, or a care home.

When visiting clients, Catherine must prioritise her time and consider any risks which may be present for each individual. Some clients require more support and dedication due to having more complex needs, such as housing, hoarding or safeguarding issues.

The biggest challenge Catherine faces is having to work with individuals or families who are not happy with the service adult social care can provide them. Due to working under legislation, there are clear eligibility guidelines which people do not always meet. This can lead to difficulties in managing expectations.

With huge demands on social workers, they must maintain a healthy work/life balance. Catherine admits that it can be a struggle to maintain a healthy balance, but remaining active often helps relieve the stress. Switching off at the end of the day is hugely important. Catherine remains strict at turning her computer off at 5 pm and doing something that is not related to work. Although that is the easy part, ensuring her mind doesn’t linger on work is where being active comes in. From yoga to the gym or going for a walk, Catherine has many different avenues to relax after a long day.

Kelle Ashall

Kelle is a supervising social worker for an Independent Fostering Agency. She is responsible for ensuring that the children in her care and being cared for and the foster carers are meeting all expectations.

A usual day for Kelle includes going on visits to see her foster carers and fulfilling her role of advocating for them. As a mother, she must fit in school runs and breakfast clubs to her busy day. First thing in the morning, Kelle will check her diary with a coffee.

Every two weeks Kelle attends training in the office with her colleagues, has a monthly face-to-face meeting with her manager and monthly therapeutic support.

To end her day, Kelle writes up reports, looks for training that needs to be addressed and checks her emails.

Social Work Career Support

The role of a social worker is incredibly demanding but also varied and rewarding. At Charles Hunter Associates we are proud to work with amazing candidates every single day. We will continue to highlight the importance of the work they do throughout the year.

If you are a social worker and interested in a new role, or looking to find out more about a career in social work, contact us today.