Shining a light on social work - Working for Essex

Shining a light on social work

“I would be in meetings with social workers, thinking ‘I want to be sat where you are.”

As part of Social Work Week, we wanted to cast a spotlight on one of our apprentice Social Workers. Emma Lee works in an Assessment and Intervention team at Essex County Council. These teams are the gateway for children, young people, parents and carers, and other agencies to gain access to our Children & Families services. Here’s what Emma had to say about her experience in social work.

What motivated you to pursue a career in social work?

I had done previous jobs which involved family support. The more I learnt about being a social worker, the more my interest grew. I feel very passionate about children reaching their full potential and being given the care and tools to do so.

Did your previous experience influence your decision to become a social worker?

Absolutely, the more I worked alongside social workers the more I knew it was a role that I really wanted to do. ‘I would be in meetings with social workers thinking ‘I want to be sat where you are.’ I really enjoyed working the more complex cases and providing support to families.

“It’s fast paced and exciting. I have a huge amount of support and feel very lucky.”

Are you enjoying your role?

I love it. I am really enjoying being able to hold my own cases and manage my own diary. There is no denying that it is a tough job which requires a lot of commitment and focus, but it is a rewarding job where you can really make a difference to peoples lives. I have been so lucky to get a permanent job in a front-line team. It’s fast paced and exciting. I have a huge amount of support and feel very lucky.

What are some of your daily tasks and responsibilities?

I work in the Assessment and Intervention team. This is the ‘front door’ to children’s services. Once every four weeks I am on duty. This means that as part of a pod I am responsible for triaging cases that get referred in. Being on duty can also include attending strategy meetings and joint visits with the police. I pick up cases on my duty week.

When not on duty, I carry out assessment visits, visiting families in their homes or seeing children and young people at school to gather information which informs the assessment and supports with making decisions moving forward. I also write up assessments, liaise with other professionals and deal with any emergency situations which may arise.

Would you recommend a career in social work?

Yes!! Social work is an amazing career with multiple opportunities. The social work role is incredibly varied and there are a number of different teams and aspects for you to choose to work in.

If you are interested in pursuing a career in social work, we’d love to hear from you.

Find out more and apply for roles in Children and Families.