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‘Leadership programme reignited my passion for social work’

Community Care hears from a social worker who helped pilot a new social work leadership scheme that’s set to expand

When social work managers in Manchester children’s services were invited to pilot a new leadership training scheme last year their initial reaction was, says Susan Butlin, “quite mixed”.

The local authority had not long been hit with an ‘inadequate’ Ofsted rating. Butlin’s own team, which dealt with initial assessments, was in the midst of an “incredibly busy” period, with hundreds of referrals coming in each month.

“So there were a few questions about what is this? How is it different from other training? Some people were thinking ‘I’m really busy, I’ve got loads of cases, this is going to put more demands on my time, is it worth it?” she recalls.

One year on, Butlin says her decision to take the plunge and apply to the Firstline programme is one of the best she’s made.