DAY IN THE LIFE
Considering applying for a consultant social worker position? Take a look at what two typical days might look like:
9.30am – Children in need review meeting
There are three children in the family and there is a large professional network. You are supporting one of your participants who is chairing the meeting as it is the first time they have chaired a meeting of this size. You have an opportunity to debrief them after the meeting before going to your next visit.
11.30am – Home visit
You are undertaking an assessment with another participant from the unit. In this session you are exploring concerns about the parent’s historical and current substance misuse. During the visit you are assisting the participant to apply motivational interviewing techniques.
2pm – Home visit and graded direct observation
You are undertaking a formal graded observation of another participant in the unit. Following the visit you give initial feedback to them.
3.30pm – Section 47 investigation and child protection medical
You need to start a Section 47 investigation after a child makes a disclosure of physical abuse. A participant accompanies you and it is the first time they have been part of this kind of investigation. You will be taking the lead but expect the participant to be fully involved in the process. Through observing your own skills and practice the participant will be asked to think and reflect about each stage of the assessment and decision making process.
9.30am – 12.30pm – Weekly unit meeting and practice tutor visit
The weekly unit meeting is where all case supervision and management happens. Today your practice tutor is joining the unit.
One of the cases you discuss involves a mother with mental health difficulties. Following a recent episode of ill health, the children have been placed in foster care under a Section 20 agreement. During the discussion, you spend time reflecting with the unit on the emotional impact this has had on them. It is an opportunity to revisit teaching around developing emotional resilience in social work good practice. You then spend time thinking about the impact the events have had on the children and devise a plan of work that will look at how the mother can be supported to care for the children at home.
You have another case where there is a high level of concern about domestic abuse and you have been struggling to engage with the parents. The practice tutor has brought a piece of research on engaging with perpetrators of domestic abuse, to help the unit think about some of the complexities of engaging with the parents. You help the participants think about the protective factors and risks and, based on your current assessment, you devise a plan of work with the family.
2pm – 4pm – Marking a direct observation
While the practice tutor is delivering teaching to the unit, you are able to grade and give written feedback on the direct observation of practice you undertook yesterday.
4pm – One to one coaching session with your practice tutor
An opportunity to reflect on particular issues that have arisen since you last met, and to think about your current assessment of your participants individually and the unit as a whole.