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James Palmer

Job title: Experienced Social Worker

Area of work: Adult Community Health and Social Care Team - Coastal

Hi, my names James Palmer. I’m an Experienced Social Worker at Devon County Council. I work in Adult Services down in South Devon. I qualified as a Social Worker ten years ago in Essex and I’ve worked, in both, Childrens and Adult services.

When did you start at Devon County Council (DCC)?

Back in 2019, I felt a bit stuck, and I was looking for a change. I had a county-wide role at the time which
got me thinking about moving home. I realised if I was going to move, I might as well really think about where I wanted to be. As a family we’ve always loved Devon, we love the outdoor life, and the kids are always happiest on the beach. So, that was that!

What made you choose to work for DCC?

I didn’t really know anything about social services in Devon, but I saw an advert for the Peripatetic team which completed 3-to-6-month placements in teams all over the county. This seemed an ideal way for me to get to know the area while getting experience in lots of different teams. Maybe I’d find one I’d like to stay with,
but for now, I like the variety.

How was the relocation process for you?

After the interview the relocation process was pretty straight forward. I was in regular contact with my manager and
was able to do everything online. Devon offers a really good relocation package, so I could reclaim all my moving costs which meant we would have more money to spend on the house we really wanted. We rented at first, so we got to know the area a little bit first.

Did you have the support of a relocation buddy?

Starting work was a bit strange, as we were in the middle of a pandemic, but it’s worked out really well. Devon has relocation buddies which can make things easier, especially when you’re first settling in.

What benefits do you enjoy?

I work mostly from home now, but I can go into the office on a regular basis. It’s really helpful for me as I’m still learning my way and I enjoy being around other people. I’m able to work flexibly so I’m able to do school drop off in the morning, which is really handy. I’ve been genuinely surprised by how supportive everyone has been in Devon. I thought that I was only in teams for a short period, I would feel like an outsider but that certainly hasn’t been my experience!

What do you enjoy about living and working in Devon?

I’d definitely recommend anyone moves here. Your pension can just transfer, and my previous
experience was recognised so I got to keep my annual leave entitlement, which was a real
bonus. I just love living here, in summer we sometimes go to the beach after work, and I’ve taken the kids wild camping at the weekends. First time I took my son snorkelling he saw a small shark, now he’s hoping to learn to scuba dive. So that’s my experience of living and working here in Devon.

I hope you found it helpful.