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Social workers share their own unique experiences on World Social Work Day

Wiltshire Council staff have been sharing their experiences of being a social worker during the pandemic as they mark World Social Work Day this month.

Published 10 March 2021
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Wiltshire Council staff have been sharing their experiences of being a social worker during the pandemic as they mark World Social Work Day this month.

World Social Work Day is always in the third week of March. In 2020 the national pandemic lockdown hit Wiltshire just before a Social Work Conference had been planned. This year social workers have been reflecting on how working practices changed and coped with the challenges of working in the pandemic.

Chelsea came into social work as she wanted a career where every day was different and varied and where she could work with people.

She explained: "My job has changed loads since the pandemic; I'm working from home more. I started the pandemic in the children in care team. Working from home more was difficult and all my visits became virtual. Virtual visits were more difficult but we quickly adapted our practice so that it was safe for us to get out and see children face to face again. I also had to reassure parents and foster carers during the lockdown period about COVID-19. I'm now part of the integrated front door team, we're doing visits again and things are getting a little bit more normal, though we are wearing masks, which is definitely unusual for us."

Holly chose to become a social worker because she had always felt a strong pull towards social work in her previous roles. Social Work plays a big part in her identity. At the start of the pandemic she had just finished her newly qualified social work year and was working in the community.

She said: "I now work as a hospital social worker within the RUH in Bath - while it's been a significant change in pace and language, I'm very much enjoying it." Social Work is full of variety.

Wiltshire Council has more than 300 social workers.

Cllr Laura Mayes, Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Skills said: "We are fortunate to have a team of hardworking committed social workers who make positive changes to children and adults' lives every day. Throughout the pandemic, with its own set of challenges, our teams have continued to put the people they care for first and I wanted to thank them for their continuing efforts to make a real difference."

Cllr Simon Jacobs, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care said: "Our social workers support some of the most vulnerable people across Wiltshire. Their role has been more important than ever during this past year and I want to pay tribute to all of them for their commitment to providing that valued support."  

This year's World Social Work Day 2021 (opens new window) is "Ubuntu: I am because we are" - a Nguni Bantu term meaning humanity, which reinforces the importance of global solidarity and co-operation.

The international day is preceded in England by Social Work Week (opens new window) a virtual programme of events, including thought provoking speakers, artistic content, workshops, debate, discussions, and wellbeing drop ins. The events have included "Reflections on a pandemic' by Wiltshire social care staff and children.

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