I joined Devon County Council in 2015 having applied whilst completing my Master’s degree in Social Work. I was pleased to be offered an ASYE (Assessed and Supported Year of Service) placement within an adult social care community team. These placements are designed to give newly qualified staff additional professional support and training whilst gaining valuable experience. A year later and I was a senior social worker within the same team and a further year on from that, I have been fortunate to gain the post of Manager for the Preparing for Adulthood Team, working with young people with a disability.
The Council ensured that I had the correct support in place to help me with my dyslexia, and I found that my team were really very supportive and helped me a great deal with their experience and friendship. I was also able to gain flexible working arrangements which meant I was able to either drop off or pick up my children from school, which aided my home life and stress levels greatly. Being a large local authority, Devon has developed numerous teams which gives social workers a great deal of scope to specialise their practice if this is what they would like to achieve.
Having the social work qualification has opened so many doors for me and allowed me to work with some fascinating people delivering person-centred outcomes which I am proud to be a part of. My advice to others would be to take up any offers of help and support from your employer to get into social work.