Social Pulse: Insights from the Frontline with Margaret

Welcome to our brand new opinions column Social Pulse: Insights from the Frontline, where we hear from our candidates about their experiences working in the diverse world of health and social care.

In this blog, we had the delight of talking to our first-ever guest, Margaret, who has over a decade of industry experience.

From seizing opportunities for growth to overcoming challenges with empathy and collaboration, Margaret’s story exemplifies the transformative power of compassion in social work.

What inspired you to start a career in social care? 

“I started my career working as a carer. I used to work in the hospital and in the community, and I used to see social workers coming to meet our clients and supporting them.

“I just liked the positivity of being a social worker, the way they were looking at things differently. That’s what inspired me.” 

What unique qualities or skills do you think are essential for someone considering a career in social work?

“It’s all about resilience and strong communication skills,” Margaret explains. 

“You also have to be knowledgeable about the policies and the social worker guidance – but overall resilience is the most important quality needed to be a successful social worker.” 

How do you maintain resilience and avoid burnout in such a demanding field? 

Margaret emphasises the value of having supportive colleagues when it comes to coping with the complex challenges that come with being a social worker. 

“If you feel stressed, good management and supervisors – someone you can actually go to for support. 

“Having that core knowledge that you gain during training will also help you deal with difficult situations – but the backup of management is crucial.”

What opportunities for growth and advancement have you encountered in your social work career?

“After some time working as a social worker, I trained to become a DoLS assessor which eventually led me to become a senior practitioner.

“You have to put yourself out there,” she stresses. 

“In my current role with Hampshire, I’ve been one of the policymakers and even initiated the Zero Tolerance statement.” 

Margaret adds that to climb the social care career ladder you have to be very confident in yourself and not sit around waiting for opportunities to come to you. 

Can you describe a particularly challenging case you’ve worked on and how you navigated it?

“I dealt with one particularly challenging case for a lady who was in a care home. 

“My other colleagues believed it was too high risk for her to return home due to it being really dilapidated, they told me she doesn’t want care and that she doesn’t like support.

“However, when I worked with her I got a different perspective.”

Margaret explains that by being transparent with the service user, she was able to collaborate with her to come up with a solution that allowed her to go home, as she wished.

“I picked up on the job of actually managing the builders. She agreed for the house to be revamped while she was in the care home. I supported her throughout and she ended up living with a carer. She’s still in that home now, after two years.” 

What advice would you give to someone considering a career in social care or social work?

“It’s a rewarding career,” she states. 

“But it can be complex. You need to work hard for it. 

“It’s all about confidence, knowledge and the ability to be resilient in the face of adversity, and raising your points in the right way, at the right time.” 

What do you find most rewarding about working in social care?

“For me, it’s the positive outcome of every case that I hold. That’s the rewarding part because if I can change someone’s life it makes me really feel like I’m a social worker. 

“To be able to advocate for people who are not able to advocate for themselves. Especially those who lack capacity. To do the right thing for people and be open with people. Those are the things that make you a good social worker.

“Which I am!” she laughs. 

Social Personnel would like to thank Margaret for taking the time to speak with us and providing behind-the-scenes insight into her inspiring career journey as a social worker. 

Interested in becoming a social worker? Here at Social Personnel, we specialise in health and social care roles and closely support our candidates throughout the recruitment process and beyond. Find out what roles we currently have available by contacting our expert consultants on 0203 8929 340.

carlette Isaac

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