Hello, my name is Tina Ramage. I’m the Principal Social Worker for Devon County Council Operations.
I started working in Devon in February 2019. Prior to this, I worked in the East Midlands for the majority of my career. But I made the decision to move to Devon to be closer to my family, the sea, and the countryside.
Could you briefly explain what your role entails?
My role, as Principal Social Worker, involves being the Professional Practice Lead for all Social Workers across Devon.
This entails leading, overseeing, supporting, and developing excellent practice. And, in turn, leading the development of excellent Social Workers and Social Care Practitioners. All this alongside my Principal Occupational Therapist colleague, Caroline.
It’s important to recognise the unique contribution that social work offers. My role is to celebrate the hard work of our social care workforce and raise the profile of the important work they do, day after day.
Could you explain a bit about the role of Social Workers within Adult Social Care and Health?
Social work is a valuable, rewarding, and challenging profession. Supporting people at a time when they may be facing difficulties in their lives.
Social Workers in our service work with adults over the age of 18. Providing advice and guidance. Undertaking assessments and reviews. And using an approach which ensures we focus on the person, their views and wishes, and their wellbeing.
Social Workers use this strength-based approach to work with the person and their family. To look at their needs, how we can help them to identify the support they need and promote their independence. This involves good communication skills and building good relationships with people in our communities.
Our workers have to develop a skilled use of legislation to both advocate for people and ensure they are protected, where that’s needed, whilst ensuring their human rights are upheld.
We work in a diverse range of services, from communities to prisons, to hospitals, and work in partnership with our fellow professionals to achieve the best outcome for the person and their family.
Why is Devon County Council a great place to work as a Social Worker?
Devon County Council has an excellent reputation in providing a good student and post qualifying experience. The Assessed and Supported Year in Employment programme for Newly Qualified Social Workers is a comprehensive, well supported and regarded programme.
We are currently also refreshing our Core Training programme and Professional Supervision offer.
Devon is a large county with diverse communities and for those coming to work in Devon this offers opportunities to work in a variety of locations and possible specialisms.
It’s our intention to support Newly Qualified Social Workers, Social Workers who have been out of direct practice for a while and those who have limited experience of working in Adult Services. By offering a bespoke Skills Development package to enable the Social Worker to reach their potential, without being thrown in at the deep end.
Devon really cares about the person, and it’s supported Social Care Workers’ wellbeing throughout the pandemic by developing a team wellbeing programme and ensuring staff have access to the emotional support that they need.
We know that this is really valued by our staff. We can obviously always do more, and Devon is a place where we are always striving to excellence. Often asking out staff ‘what would be even better if?’.
What do you love about your job? What motivates you?
I have been proud to be a Social Worker for nearly 30 years and I’m very passionate about the contribution that Social Work offers.
I meet so many interesting and compassionate people in my role. Those who provide such great support to those in our communities who have care and support needs.
I’m very driven to support excellent practice and develop excellent Social Workers.
What are some of the wider benefits of working for Devon County Council?
We have the opportunity for flexible working and condensed hours. And a commitment from Devon County Council through its hybrid working project to work with staff and consult them about how we will work in the future.
What are some of the benefits to living and working in Devon?
Devon is great, it’s such a beautiful place to live and work. I live in a small town and I’m close to all I need. It have the moors, the sea, and a city all approximately 10 to 20 minutes away.
I love it here in Devon and I have such wonderful colleagues to work with.