Seven reasons to become a social worker

If you want an in-demand career that lets you make a real difference in the world, there’s never been a better time to become a social worker. If you need a little persuasion, here are seven reasons why you should join.

It will challenge you in ways few other careers will

Social work challenges much more than just your typical professional skills. Social work is practically challenging. No two cases are the same, which means social workers must constantly solve problems and apply their studies and experience in creative ways. Social workers also have a direct influence on someone else’s life, which can be extremely rewarding, but also emotionally difficult, which is why social work requires a unique combination of intelligence and emotional strength.

You get to change someone’s life for the better

You may not get a thank you or card every day, or even every year, but when you do occasionally get someone thanking you for helping them to overcome the challenges in their life, you will not be able to stop smiling. To know that you helped another person in some small (or sometimes big) way is quite rewarding and one that you will cherish throughout your career.

You will learn new things about yourself

The situations social work put you in are unique and often extreme. You will learn how to cope when someone feels unwell or has emotional and well-being issues; you will learn how do deal with aggressive or challenging behaviour. You will learn your different strengths and weaknesses as you constantly reflect on your practice.

Being a social worker is really diverse

Whilst training to be a social worker, you will be trained in all aspects of the profession, from child protection to mental health. While you can choose to specialise in one area once you qualify, you will have the opportunity to move around different areas.

It is not just a desk job!

At any point during the day, you may get a phone call that requires you to drop everything and go to the scene of a crisis. You have to attend people’s homes, hospitals, schools, and community centres. Being an effective social worker means engaging with the community and this cannot be done from behind a desk. In fact, when you do eventually get to sit down at your desk, you enjoy the short break.

Your job will never be boring

In social work, each day is completely different than the next. While you may try and plan meticulously, you can guarantee that there will be several unexpected challenges for you to deal with each week. Social work constantly keeps you on your toes, allowing room for new challenges each day.

Opportunities to make a difference

Social work is undeniably stressful, because you witness many challenges firsthand. You might have to help families living in poverty, parents with drug problems or young people who are turning to crime. You might also witness mistreatment of senior citizens or meet victims of sexual violence. Social work careers are not for the faint of heart, but they are for those who want to make a difference. Few careers offer you the opportunity to be an advocate and a positive force for change the way that choosing to become a social worker can.

Deciding on whether or not a career in social work is for you takes a lot of thoughtful consideration. If, however, a passion for social justice and an interest in both your community and job security appeal to you, then social work may be exactly the career you’ve been looking for.

Communicating with Children

How often do you change your tone of voice or find yourself adjusting your vocabulary when communicating with children? One of the earliest forms of communication for children is the ability to pick up on cues given by adults. Some of these are nonverbal cues, such as a smile, touch, furrowed brow, etc. Others are verbal, and come from reading subtle changes during an interaction, such as inflection and tone of voice. Tone of voice is very important in human interaction, as it tells us more about the topic of conversation than just the words. However, communication is not just about the words you use, but also your manner of speaking, body language and, above all, the effectiveness with which you listen. To communicate effectively it is important to take account of culture and context, for example where English is an additional language.

Good communication is central to working with children, young people, their families and carers. It involves listening, questioning, understanding and responding to what is being communicated by children, young people and those caring for them. To build a rapport with children, young people and those caring for them, it is important to demonstrate understanding, respect and honesty. Continuity in relationships promotes engagement and the improvement of lives.

The importance of listening to children

Children experience a range of problems and worries at home, at school, with their friends and in the community. Some children may talk in a way that ‘normalises’ abuse and neglect because that’s what they have experienced as normal. Alternatively, they may avoid discussing these topics because they are painful to acknowledge or because they’re concerned about the consequences of telling.

With that being said, it is vital that professionals and carers pay attention not only to what the child says, but also to what they are not saying. They also need to pay attention to how the child behaves. Listening to the child’s views will help social workers and others to build a trusting relationship with the child.

The importance of relationships

Looked after children and young people are vulnerable individuals. The experiences that led to placement, including mistreatment or neglect, will have resulted in separation from their birth family which, even if unsafe, was the home they knew. Developing trusting relationships is important for these children to help them build security through attachments. Continuity of relationships is key to helping children construct their identity and develop a strong sense of belonging.

A consistent message is that children value relationships with people who:

  • are always there for them
  • love, accept and respect them for who they are
  • are ambitious for them and help them succeed
  • are willing to go the extra mile, and
  • treat them as part of their family, or part of their life, beyond childhood and into adulthood.

What skills do you need to communicate effectively with children and young people?

In order to communicate effectively with children, social workers need to be confident and have a range of skills. These include:

  • active listening
  • empathising with the child’s point of view
  • developing trusting relationships
  • understanding non-verbal communication
  • building rapport
  • explaining, summarising and providing information
  • giving feedback in a clear way
  • understanding and explaining the boundaries of confidentiality


Check out our Children Services resources out here.

In summary, spend some time reflecting on the words you use when communicating with children. Build a rapport, develop a trusting relationship and use language that the child will understand, but above all – listen.

Free direct resources, guides & more

How digital technology can transform social care – TEC

[vc_row bg_type=”” dima_canvas_style=”” translate_x=”0″ dima_z_index=”0″ delay=”” animate_item=”” delay_duration=”” delay_offset=””][vc_column bg_type=”” dima_canvas_style=”” min_height=”” translate_x=”0″ dima_z_index=”0″ delay=”” delay_duration=”” delay_offset=””][text delay=”” delay_duration=”” delay_offset=”” id=”” class=””]Technology Enabled Care (TEC) – What is it? Connected health, also known as technology enabled care (TEC), involves the convergence of health technology digital media and mobile devices. What does it do, you ask? It enables patients, carers and healthcare professionals (HCP’s) to access data and information more easily and improves the quality and outcomes of both health and social care.

TEC is not simply about the technology, it’s about putting people first. To do TEC right, it’s about joining up services around the individual – using data from various sources which provide real-time monitoring and communication, in relation to mental health as well as physical health. When people are living alone with long-term conditions or health challenges, TEC can keep them in contact with practitioners, monitoring services and carers in the form of digital media and mobile devices.

As you know, opportunities for using mobile technology have improved vastly over the last few years with the growing population of smartphone and tablet users in the UK, even among older age groups. Other notable developments are the availability of healthcare ‘bio sensing’ wearables, such as digital blood pressure monitors and glucose sensors and patient and provider access to real time healthcare data and information. Mobile technology can empower patients and carers by giving them more control over their health and making them less dependent on HCP’s for health information.

Just as you guessed, there are always going to be challenges arising. Overcoming staff reluctance to engage with technology is a tough one – HCP’s are often reluctant to engage with technology, partly due to the scale and pace of development and the proliferation and speed of development. As you can imagine, staff find it difficult with keeping up with the constant development and changes of technology. There are also concerns about quality, reliability; data, privacy and security- which will be discussed further in future blog posts!

Technology has the power to improve access to healthcare services, especially those with mobility problems.  Moving forward, technology will extend to more wearable, voice-controlled and implanted devices – we need to be ready for widespread availability of sensors and how we can make use of them without ethical or security worries. Health and care professionals also need a wide understanding of what is available and how it can be personalised.

We can come to the conclusion that;

  1. The digital shift is inevitable, a plan of action is needed to minimise disruption.
  2. The great opportunities of digital health care cannot be missed.
  3. Care services must keep up with consumer expectations and emerging technologies.
  4. Collaboration and alignment are vital
  5. Costs will be significant, but the investment is worth making.

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Who are we?

[/custom_heading][text delay=”” delay_duration=”” delay_offset=”” id=”” class=””]Log my Care are a UK based care management system provider focused on providing an easy and cost-effective way for residential care homes to move towards electronic care planning. We are proud to say that our newest system is ‘by carers, for carers’ and has been specifically designed to overcome the challenging amounts of admin and paperwork involved in day to day residential care.

We do this in two ways. The first is a smartphone app, in which carers can use to record at the point of care. This shows their daily to-do list, so they can keep on track of what to do and when. It also lets carers add a second signature for two-person activities and helps improve care by letting carers know if any of their tasks are overdue. The second part is ‘The Care Office’. This is a web portal created to give Managers and Owners the simplest way of organising the delivery of care across the whole home. It not only helps to set care standards, but it also provides an audit-trail and reduces repetitive admin tasks, freeing up time for more important activities.

We were inspired to create Log my Care following research into the challenges facing front-line carers every day. Log my Care is designed to empower carers, with user friendly hardware helping them to deliver better care.

Log my Care’s main features are free to use for all UK care homes. This, along with advantages such as the 2-factor authentication, mean that care homes don’t need to spend large amounts on hardware and can simply use a smartphone, saving costs from the get-go.[/text][callout type=”style_one” delay=”” delay_duration=”” delay_offset=”” title=”Featured Resources” message=”Download these fantastic free resources for social care practitioners.” title_color=”” text_color=”” bg_image=”” href=”” id=”” class=”” style=”” tutorials=””][button text=”Social Care Jargon Buster | Think Local Act Personal ” type=”” color_class=”” float=”start” target=”blank” lightbox=”” delay=”” delay_duration=”” delay_offset=”” href=”″ title=”” popup_content=”” id=”” class=”” style=”” tutorials=””][clear by=”10px” id=”” class=””][button text=”Guide for line managers: Wellness Action Plans (WAPs) | Supporting Staff” type=”” color_class=”” float=”start” target=”blank” lightbox=”” delay=”” delay_duration=”” delay_offset=”” href=”″ title=”” popup_content=”” id=”” class=”” style=”” tutorials=””][/callout][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row bg_type=”” dima_canvas_style=”” translate_x=”0″ dima_z_index=”0″ delay=”” animate_item=”” delay_duration=”” delay_offset=””][vc_column bg_type=”” dima_canvas_style=”” min_height=”” translate_x=”0″ dima_z_index=”0″ delay=”” delay_duration=”” delay_offset=””][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row bg_type=”” dima_canvas_style=”” translate_x=”0″ dima_z_index=”0″ delay=”” animate_item=”” delay_duration=”” delay_offset=””][vc_column bg_type=”” dima_canvas_style=”” min_height=”” translate_x=”0″ dima_z_index=”0″ delay=”” delay_duration=”” delay_offset=””][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row bg_type=”” dima_canvas_style=”” translate_x=”0″ dima_z_index=”0″ delay=”” animate_item=”” delay_duration=”” delay_offset=””][vc_column bg_type=”” dima_canvas_style=”” min_height=”” translate_x=”0″ dima_z_index=”0″ delay=”” delay_duration=”” delay_offset=””][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row bg_type=”” dima_canvas_style=”” translate_x=”0″ dima_z_index=”0″ delay=”” animate_item=”” delay_duration=”” delay_offset=”” css=”.vc_custom_1561376691968{background-color: #ffffff !important;border: 3px initial !important;}”][vc_column bg_type=”” dima_canvas_style=”” min_height=”” translate_x=”0″ dima_z_index=”0″ delay=”” delay_duration=”” delay_offset=””][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row bg_type=”” dima_canvas_style=”” translate_x=”0″ dima_z_index=”0″ delay=”” animate_item=”” delay_duration=”” delay_offset=”” css=”.vc_custom_1561376486342{background-color: #848685 !important;border: 3px initial !important;}”][vc_column bg_type=”” dima_canvas_style=”” min_height=”” translate_x=”0″ dima_z_index=”0″ delay=”” delay_duration=”” delay_offset=””][/vc_column][/vc_row]

5 Best Cars for Social Workers

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Today at One Stop Social, we’re breaking the stereotype and I, a woman and novice driver, am telling an entire community what car they should get. But, before anyone gets up in arms about my inexperience or the misconception that women don’t know about cars, let me point out, I am acting as the megaphone for the whole One Stop Social team in this regard. Why though am I spending my morning talking to you about cars, I hear you ask? The answer is simple: social work revolves around easy transport, and even in a time of such good public transport, so many social workers still rely on their cars daily. After our Directors spent an entire lunchtime discussing how many miles they’d travelled for their practice in the past month, it got us all thinking about what a large role a car plays in the life of a social worker. We practically live in them, travelling to and from home visits, meeting with practice educators, attending training or networking events… And that’s before you even look at our personal lives, where we could be busy with the school run, weekly shops and Saturday rugby matches.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]There’s no denying that, however much we may try to reduce our carbon footprint, cars are still very important to a social worker.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]But which ones to consider?[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Disclaimer: I’m just having a bit of fun here and One Stop Social are by no means endorsing specific brands, cars, etc. Though if any sponsor wants to offer me a free Ferrari, I’ll happily change my tune… ” font_container=”tag:h1|font_size:12|text_align:center|color:%23848685″ google_fonts=”font_family:Open%20Sans%3A300%2C300italic%2Cregular%2Citalic%2C600%2C600italic%2C700%2C700italic%2C800%2C800italic|font_style:400%20italic%3A400%3Aitalic” css=”.vc_custom_1557838678954{padding-bottom: 10px !important;}”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”The Eco-Champion – Tesla’s Model S” font_container=”tag:h1|font_size:24|text_align:center|color:%23ef7e21″ google_fonts=”font_family:Open%20Sans%3A300%2C300italic%2Cregular%2Citalic%2C600%2C600italic%2C700%2C700italic%2C800%2C800italic|font_style:600%20bold%20regular%3A600%3Anormal” css=”.vc_custom_1557838336928{padding-bottom: 10px !important;}”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”5085″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]We’ve all realised that we need to start actively working to fight climate change, so there are now a million and one environmentally friendly cars on the market. However, you can’t think eco-warrior car without your mind immediately going to Tesla. They bring a new approach to driving in the modern era without sacrificing style or gadgets. The Autopilot feature may make you worry about the robot revolution but realistically, this is just a very cool car. It’s built to be not only efficient but safe. So, if you’re a social worker who likes to have a bit of style, but is conscious of your emissions, Tesla is the way to go![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”The “will even fit the kitchen sink” Car – Peugeot 3008 ” font_container=”tag:h1|font_size:24|text_align:center|color:%23ef7e21″ google_fonts=”font_family:Open%20Sans%3A300%2C300italic%2Cregular%2Citalic%2C600%2C600italic%2C700%2C700italic%2C800%2C800italic|font_style:600%20bold%20regular%3A600%3Anormal” css=”.vc_custom_1557838856971{padding-bottom: 10px !important;}”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Do you have kids or a bulky hobby like skiing or mountaineering? Or maybe you know you’ll travel to slightly remote areas in your practice and need space for the emergency snow boots? The Peugeot 3008 is an SUV with an edge. Unlike big people carriers, this sleep model looks at maximising boot space; so, you may not be able to seat 7 but you could probably fit an army of spaniels in there. Or about 5 suitcases. So, for those days when you’re all over the place and need to take emergency supplies with you, this car is definitely a good shout.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”5089″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”The Foodie’s Dream – Volvo V90″ font_container=”tag:h1|font_size:24|text_align:center|color:%23ef7e21″ google_fonts=”font_family:Open%20Sans%3A300%2C300italic%2Cregular%2Citalic%2C600%2C600italic%2C700%2C700italic%2C800%2C800italic|font_style:600%20bold%20regular%3A600%3Anormal” css=”.vc_custom_1557839472138{padding-bottom: 10px !important;}”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”5091″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]There are 2 reasons that make this car a great choice for food lovers – the back seat is pretty massive, and the seats are incredibly comfortable. So, if you’re someone who enjoys their food, even when on the go, this Volvo should be on your list of contenders. It’s an elegant estate car which you can personalise to really make it your own, with optional extras that include entertainment packages or resilient floor mats to protect your car from crumbs! It allows you to enjoy your lunch on the go a little more, making that Asda meal deal all the tastier, because it’s eaten in style and comfort. Social workers are professionals who rarely have a traditional lunch break or office canteen, and so our cars become mobile dining rooms, and we want to make sure they’ve got enough space for all the wrappers we could ever need![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”The “Will Fit into Any Parking Space” – Hyundai Elantra” font_container=”tag:h1|font_size:24|text_align:center|color:%23ef7e21″ google_fonts=”font_family:Open%20Sans%3A300%2C300italic%2Cregular%2Citalic%2C600%2C600italic%2C700%2C700italic%2C800%2C800italic|font_style:600%20bold%20regular%3A600%3Anormal” css=”.vc_custom_1557840153119{padding-bottom: 10px !important;}”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]We have all experienced the struggle to find a parking space. And it’ll always happen when you’re pressed for time. While we can’t fix the lack of parking spaces next to your office or service users house, we can suggest a decent small car that should (hopefully) fit into those parking spaces that look designed for the tiny Who’s from Whoville. This Hyundai meets that requirement without making even the tallest practitioners feel cramped, while embracing modernity with integrated mobile app systems and a boot that opens itself. It’s also got Smart Sense to support your parking requirements, which includes a monitoring system of how weary or inattentive the driving is. It’s a car that will even tell you when you’re getting too tired! It’s so much more than just a compact mode of transport, it’s an intelligent companion for a social worker![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”5092″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”The One on a Practitioners Budget – Dacia Sandero” font_container=”tag:h1|font_size:24|text_align:center|color:%23ef7e21″ google_fonts=”font_family:Open%20Sans%3A300%2C300italic%2Cregular%2Citalic%2C600%2C600italic%2C700%2C700italic%2C800%2C800italic|font_style:600%20bold%20regular%3A600%3Anormal” css=”.vc_custom_1557841258771{padding-bottom: 10px !important;}”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”5093″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]We’ve written enough about the funding issues within social work to know that despite the fantastic work being done, social workers are undeniably underpaid. There’s not enough money in the sector for practitioners to enjoy comfortable wages and so we know that there’s a thrifty nature imbedded in most of our community. Therefore, for some, the main factor in a car is the price and from just £6,995 for new, the Dacia Sandero is an excellent investment. It’s not only inexpensive for a car, but it’s not terrible looking either! In fact, the social worker on a budget shouldn’t dismiss it. Car lovers will complain that the sacrifices you must make for the cost (wind-up windows and optional air con) are excessive but if you just need something that will get you from A to B, then consider a Sandero![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]By Elena Jones, One Stop Social Team. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row parallax=”content-moving” css=”.vc_custom_1557841710122{background-color: #848685 !important;background-position: center;background-repeat: no-repeat !important;background-size: cover !important;}”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”While you’re here…” font_container=”tag:h1|font_size:30|text_align:center|color:%23ffffff” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1557841994468{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]

No matter what your social work journey has been, we’re here for you. One Stop Social are a community of practitioners who work together to develop the future of social work, and your voice matters to us in this mission. We want to champion the causes that matter to you, celebrate your successes and have a positive impact on your working life however we can.

[/vc_column_text][vc_btn title=”Find Out More” style=”outline-custom” outline_custom_color=”#ffffff” outline_custom_hover_background=”#ef7e21″ outline_custom_hover_text=”#ffffff” shape=”round” align=”center” link=”||target:%20_blank|”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

That Wrinkles My Haltung

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”I’m hoping the heading has grabbed your attention?” font_container=”tag:h1|font_size:26|text_align:center|color:%23ef7e21″ use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]What’s my haltung?  Why does it get wrinkled?  What’s the difference when your haltung is nourished and why we all need to recognise our own haltung?[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]This blog aims to share my learning from my MA Social Pedagogy Leadership and for me, learning about haltung sticks out as the absolute lightbulb moment when everything made sense, in work, in life, how I behave and how I am supported.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”So rewinding a little bit, let’s start by introducing social pedagogy” font_container=”tag:h1|font_size:26|text_align:center|color:%23ef7e21″ use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]“Social pedagogy describes a holistic and relationship-centred way of working in care and educational settings with people across the course of their lives…it has a long-standing tradition as a field of practice and academic discipline concerned with addressing social inequality and facilitating social change by nurturing learning, well-being and connection both at an individual and community level.” Gardner 2018[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”It’s not what we do, it’s the way that we do it” font_container=”tag:h1|font_size:26|text_align:center|color:%23ef7e21″ use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]For me, ‘social pedagogy’ is the ‘how’ of social work.  Social work in its broadest sense is the ‘what we do’ to support people, a whole range of services including, amongst others, children’s services, residential care and home care.

Social Pedagogy is ‘how’ we do this; enable people to have what matters to them in their life, provide great support, build relationships and support people to be part of their communities.[/vc_column_text][vc_btn title=”For more info check out Ali Gardner’s blog” style=”outline-custom” outline_custom_color=”#ef7e21″ outline_custom_hover_background=”#ef7e21″ outline_custom_hover_text=”#ffffff” shape=”round” align=”center” link=”||target:%20_blank|”][vc_btn title=”Or have a look at my short introductory video” style=”outline-custom” outline_custom_color=”#ef7e21″ outline_custom_hover_background=”#ef7e21″ outline_custom_hover_text=”#ffffff” shape=”round” align=”center” link=”||target:%20_blank|”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Social Pedagogy is primarily concerned with well-being, learning and growth and seeks to recognise and promote individual potential.  It is underpinned by the concept of ‘Haltung’, a German phrase roughly translating as ‘mindset’ or ‘attitude’.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Haltung is about how we guide our actions by what we believe in and how our values cause us to respond in a certain way.  Haltung is fundamental to social pedagogy because it demonstrates the importance of the professional being authentic.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]According to Gabriel Eichsteller (Thempra) your haltung is not like a coat which you can take off at the end of your working day but rather your ‘skin’ that makes you who you are.

For me haltung is reflected in values; the fundamental beliefs of a person or organization, the guiding principles which determine behaviour.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Research shows that people who are consciously connected with their priority values are better equipped to lead with authenticity and suffer less from stress than people who are unaware of their personal priority values (Le Fevre 2018).[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]I first learnt about values doing a future leaders course with Wellbeing Teams, facilitated by Helen Sanderson and Emily McArdle, with contribution from Jackie Le Fevre, who passionately shared about the importance of values.  According to Jackie, values are “big, emotionally rich ideas that help us make sense of the world and our place in that world.  Our values lie behind our choices and our behaviours. Our values shape how we feel about, respond and rise to both our daily life and our ultimate grand plan.” (2018)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”4646″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center” onclick=”custom_link” link=””][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Completing my values profile and recognising the link with my haltung was a light bulb moment.   Emily, my critical friend, supports me to think bigger and deeper and asked “are there times when your values cause you to act in ways that aren’t helpful?.”  My initial response was, of course not!  But then I reflected a bit more…[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]My top value of belonging is described as “having a place or sense of home. To be devoted to people you consider family and to experience belonging and acceptance.”   My need to have a sense of belonging is at my very core, whether at home, with family, with those I’m close to and in work.  Remember haltung is a skin not a jacket and you can’t remove it, it’s who you are.  If I have a sense of belonging, I feel connected, joyful and productive.  It’s the feeling of being valued, of being part of something bigger.  When I don’t have a sense of belonging I sulk, feel left out and withdraw.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Having no sense of belonging wrinkles my haltung.” font_container=”tag:h1|font_size:26|text_align:center|color:%23ef7e21″ use_theme_fonts=”yes”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The lightbulb moment learning about values and haltung helped me to understand why I behave in this way.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]According to Brent at al (2017) “the ability to align our personal values and tap into our own intrinsic motivators is a wonderful privilege.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Haltung and values are weaved like a golden thread through all aspects of Community Circles and Wellbeing Teams and underpin all we do; building authentic relationships, taking responsibility through the principles of self management, enabling people supported and team members to flourish, being creative and curious to deliver compassionate care and support.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]I am in a wonderful position of working in a space of psychological safety, that space “where team members feel safe to take risks and be vulnerable in front of each other” Rosovsky (2015) where I can bring my whole self to work and ask for what I need.  It’s also great when you’re asked, “how can we nourish your value of belonging?”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]My values now have a more prominent space on my one page profile, people around me know what nourishes and what wrinkles my haltung and this gives me a greater sense of purpose and wellbeing.  I’m conscious to reflect with colleagues about their haltung and how we can do more of the things that reflect our values.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Connection with values and recognising your haltung can increase innovation, productivity, trust, confidence and courage while reducing the harmful effects of stress and fear.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Find out what nourishes your haltung.” font_container=”tag:h1|font_size:26|text_align:center|color:%23ef7e21″ use_theme_fonts=”yes”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_empty_space height=”50px”][vc_column_text]

Contributed by Cath Barton, Community Circles

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We believe in giving something back to the social work community. To this end we are working with a number of like-minded organisations to provide you with the tools to develop good practice across the UK. Most importantly, we believe that everyone’s voice matters. By joining OSS Membership, you’ll be actively involved in the development of our collective and you’ll be able to champion the causes that are important to you. 

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Don’t Let Your Past Define Your Future: Care Leaver’s Story & Advice


Paul is a young man who is confident and charming. He tells me, he lives life to the full and feels lucky to be where he is. Paul has his own business (hairstylist) and is surrounded by friends and family members who love and care for him dearly. Life seems good.

However, Paul says that life hasn’t always been good. There is a distinctive tattoo on his left wrist with the date 4th December 2000. Paul tells me that this was the day when he and his brother were removed from his mother’s care and placed into the care of his Aunty.

Early years.

 “Brother was hit with a hammer.”

Paul is very open and honest about his past childhood exposures. He tells me that since he can remember, his mother would often physically and emotionally abuse them, he would go to school in dirty clothes and was bullied because of it. Paul’s school attendance was sporadic, which included a number of moves and up to three years of non-attendance, all before he was 9 years old. Paul says that he would often be hit across the face by his mother and was always in fear of retribution. She had a sense of control over them both and would regularly threaten them so as they would not disclose any of the abusive incidents.

Paul tells me of a further incident whereby his brother was hit with a hammer. He tells me that such experiences were a regular occurrence at home and he is remarkably reflective in detail. I would hazard a guess that once witnessed, such events are not easy to forget. However, Paul does not resent his mother. He says that his mother had her own issues within life, such as learning difficulties and was later diagnosed with having a personality disorder.

It wasn’t until 4th December 2000 that things started to change for Paul. After a weekend away with his Aunty, Paul remembers returning home to get his things for school. However, after being home only a short while, he says that his mother had hit his brother over the head with a shower-head and pushed him down a flight of stairs. Following the incident, Paul remembers hearing his mother call his Aunty. She admitted that she could no longer cope or care for them and to ‘come and take them away’. Paul remembers running out of his mother’s home address with only a handful of pants and socks, and a pink hair dryer – Paul admits that this was perhaps an early sign of his eventual choice of career.

This prompted a referral to children social care. Paul never returned home.

Living with my Aunty – life in Care.

“The Pink Hairdryer was a positive omen.”

Paul speaks with his upmost respect and admiration for his Aunty, who stepped in during his time of need and that he will be forever thankful for her support. However, he admits that initially, it was difficult for him as he struggled to readjust to life. His behaviour deteriorated as all he wanted to do was to go back home. After all, he knew no different – this was his ‘norm’, he tells me. During this time, he would often break or smash items within his Aunty’s home, be disruptive and eventually turned to regular drug use. Paul admits that it was a very difficult and challenging time for him, which lasted for a period of three/four years.

However, slowly but surely things started to change for the better. Through the continued support, love and attention from his Aunty and his support networks (including his Social Worker), things started to settle and Paul’s confidence increased considerably. His attendance at school increased as he began to value education, learning the importance in gaining qualifications so as to achieve future employment aspirations. He stopped misusing drugs.

After a short spell on a plumbing course, where he achieved NVQ L2, Paul decided to move abroad for work. This lasted for a few years and is another example of his increased confidence and self-worth. He eventually returned home to complete a qualification in Hairdressing, a profession which he both loves and feels passionate about. Paul says the Pink Hairdryer was a positive omen.

Having met Paul, and now knowing his background, you could be forgiven for not knowing what he had witnessed as a child. This is further testament to his character and resilience and the support he has received over the years.

My amazing Social Worker – Alex.

“Alex went above and beyond”

After going into care, Paul was allocated a Social Worker called Alex. Like most Social Workers, Alex went above and beyond to support him. Paul speaks very highly of Alex, admitting that he could not fault her. Paul said that she helped support him and his brother at their time in need. He always felt listened too, was central to her decision making and believed she wanted the best for him. Whenever he needed advice, support or just someone to talk to, Alex was there. He felt like her only case – she was there when they did good things and not just when things didn’t go so well.

Paul is still in touch with Alex today.

Paul’s advice and guidance.

What advice would you give to anyone that is going through or has been through the Care System?  

“Don’t let you past define your future. Life is a journey and you are the master of your destiny. Yes, you will need help along the way, but the great thing about the future is that it’s not happened yet. Also, surround yourself with a positive support network. For me this was my Aunty. My brother and I were lucky to have such great support. My Aunty taught me right from wrong and I have a very special relationship with her now.”

What advice would you give Social Workers? 

“It’s all about the Child – please, never lose sight of this! My Social Worker was amazing and that’s because she was all about my brother and I. We felt central to what was going on around us. Also, make those that are in the care system, feel like they’re not in care and talk at a level so as it can be understood by them.”

What advice would you give to any Foster Carers?

“It’s not about the money. Foster Care is a difficult job and, yes, you should receive payment for it. But remember the best foster carers are those that go above and beyond to help others at their time in need. Also, you need to have patience. It won’t happen overnight and often there will be challenges and difficulties along the way. You need to be their rock!”

What would be you message to anyone reading this?

“Everyone is on a journey in this life. Some bad paths and some good paths, but it’s your choice which path you take. Things can get hard and things can be amazing but that’s life – it’s all about the ups and downs and how you deal with them. In other words, don’t let your past define your future. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for the support I received especially from my Aunty.”

We would like to thank Paul for his time in meeting with us here at One Stop Social. It was a hugely humbling experience and one that we shall never forget. There are many positive stories like this that start with some bad life experiences. Paul is a fantastic example of how you can achieve happiness through strong will and a loving and supportive network.

If you have a story you would like to share with us, please feel free to get in touch with us.

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Free downloadable direct resources, assessment and guidance handouts.

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Preparing for Winter

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Pumpkin Spiced Lattes are back, Michael Bublé has announced a new album in time for the holidays and Christmas decorations have appeared in John Lewis. It’s official, summer is over and we’re now in big coat season. Now, whether your spirit animal is Buddy the Elf or The Grinch, one thing we can all agree on is that the winter weather brings problems. Transport is thrown into a state of perpetual chaos, our boots never seem to be waterproof like we thought, and everywhere you look, someone has a cold. It’s the latter of these side-effects of winter that can be the most concerning, as the never-ending stream of colds or the flu between October and April put additional pressure on the health services in our country, during their busiest time.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Winter brings snow, ice, sleet and rain which increases the number of people going to A&E for road collisions, falls and other weather-induced accidents; which means that hospitals are filled to capacity on a regular basis, and waiting rooms overfill with emergencies and non-emergencies alike. There’s no denying the situation isn’t ideal. With this in mind, the government has recognised that there are concerns for hospitals and GPs not being able to meet the demand during the colder months and will be injecting £145million in emergency funding into the NHS, focusing on updating wards and adding extra beds. This additional funding is set to work in conjunction with a 3.4% five-year funding increase, however as the next few months is when the health services are under strain, the money is needed now. In addition to a larger quantity of emergencies being brought to a hospital door, there are also countless vulnerable people for whom a cold or the flu is a serious issue. Children and older adults are much more susceptible to the flu which means regularly they need help from a medical professional – whether at a GP’s surgery or a hospital. Hence, both the NHS and private options face a vast amount of demand for their services with the combination of infections and accidents, alongside their regular patient intake.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]In an attempt to make this winter period as smooth as possible, hospitals are being encouraged to work with other local services in an effort to minimise unnecessary hospital occupancy. This involves those who need medical care on a regular basis, but are not emergencies; and therefore, are potentially taking hospital services away from someone else with a more pressing illness. Considering this, the social care sector is being called to action, as many care homes or at home care providers have the skills to care for older adults or people with an illness who usually would turn to a hospital. Hospitals are working closely with local at home care providers to hope to transfer stable patients to a home care set-up, in order to free up services. This represents the social care services being given more recognition for the skill and quality of care provided, as some are being deemed sufficient for patients who are in hospital or need regular medical consultations.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]By reducing the pressure of regular patients who can receive the same level of care elsewhere, the health services are free to focus more of their attention on critical cases that only crop up during winter months. Elderly people who need regular monitoring or care can receive the same attention from care workers, and can even allow them to be cared for in their own homes. Which surely, is something many will respond well to rather than staying in a hospital during the depths of winter. After all, older people are more likely to develop a case of pneumonia or bronchitis so keeping them away from areas where ill people collect will help keep them healthier.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The NHS is already a structure in need of help, and so not being prepared for the winter madness could be the straw that breaks that camels back. Having the right systems in place, before all the flu panic and Christmas tree related injuries begin, could be the way the whole of the UK gets through winter. In order to achieve this though, we need to all collaborate. The social care sector is a key player in the game, however in order to properly prepare for winter, it’ll take everyone. Use antibacterial hand-wash to stop the spread of germs, stay home if you have the flu so that you don’t infect your whole office/school, consider the severity of your ailment before you book a GP appointment or go to A&E, help out any elderly relatives or neighbours so they’re not at risk in the cold… there are small steps we can all take that will ensure we support the NHS throughout their busiest time.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]So, let’s get preparing, because well, winter is coming.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]By Elena Jones, Marketing Executive at One Stop Social. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Social Care Careers: which route could you take?

As the pace of the world increases due to advances in globalisation and technology, it is inevitable the problems we face as individuals and as a society will continue to evolve and become more complex. Our world needs dedicated, passionate and career – orientated social workers to help us with these problems.

Becoming a social worker offers you the opportunity to enter many different career paths, from direct clinical practice to administration and advocacy roles in the government and non-profit organisations. Social workers are even found in many corporate settings where they craft corporate social responsibility programs and community engagement as well as help employees with workplace challenges.

The many different routes you can take in social work are explained below:

Care Worker 

As a care worker you’ll support people with all aspects of their day to day living, including social and physical activities, personal care, mobility and meal times.

Care workers can work in a care home, in people’s own homes or in the community. Care workers who work in the community are sometimes called domiciliary carers which often involve travelling to different people’s houses.

Rehabilitation worker

Rehabilitation workers support people to live independently, often following an illness or accident, and help them access support with housing, finance, social activities and life skills such as cooking or budgeting.

The role might include:

  • Carrying out assessments within the community to identify what care and support people need
  • Working with other professionals such as social workers and occupational therapists to make sure people get the right help
  • Providing advice about how to use specialist equipment
  • Teaching people daily life skills such as making a cup of tea, or reading braille

Advocacy worker

Advocacy workers support vulnerable people to make decisions and have their voice heard when decisions are being made about their lives. Securing people’s rights, such as accessing services and ensures that people are involved in their own care and support planning.

As an advocacy worker you might support people with decisions around housing, disability living allowance, care planning, medical decisions, financial planning and hospital admissions. For example you might provide advocacy for someone with a learning disability and support them to make decisions about getting carers in their own home or living in supported living.

Child Welfare

Child welfare social workers serve some of the most vulnerable children, youths, and families. Social workers specialise in building on the strengths of families and helping them to provide a safe and nurturing environment for children and youths. However, when families are unable to do this, social workers must intervene to protect the children from harm. Child welfare social workers ensure that children and youths who have experienced abuse or neglect are supported through a range of services.

Mental Health and Clinical Social Work

Clinical social workers are one of the nation’s largest groups of providers of mental health services. They provide mental health services in both urban and rural settings, where they may be the only licensed provider of mental health services available. Mental health social workers empower individuals with mental illness—and their families, carers, and communities—to lead fulfilling, independent lives. Through therapy, support, and advocacy, they enable people to manage the social factors in their lives—like relationships, housing, and employment—that allow them to get well and stay well. Building resilience in individuals, their networks, and their communities transforms people’s well-being and improves our society and economy.

Duties may include:

  • Helping clients determine their eligibility for additional support services.
  • Provide crisis management intervention.
  • Develop and implement treatment and discharge plans.
  • Write grants.
  • Assist clients in securing and maintaining safe housing and employment.
  • Help clients stay on treatment plans by arranging necessary services such as child care and transportation.

Those seeking to join this meaningful profession can start by reading our news pieces on how to get started with a career in social work – and if you haven’t already signed up for our newsletter, sign up here for latest social work and care related blogs, jobs , training events and more!

Technology and Autism

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_text_separator title=””][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Using technology – such as computers, games and other devices – is a popular leisure time activity for autistic children. In today’s blog, we’ll be providing practical guidance to parents of autistic children to help them get the most benefit from technology and avoid associated problems.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_text_separator title=”So, why use technology?”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]When using technology, children on the autism spectrum:

  • can learn new skills
  • are often more motivated
  • often show better concentration
  • often initiate more contact with those around them, e.g. talking to their peers or showing teachers and parents what they have done
  • make choices and direct their own learning and play
  • might find ways to regulate their well-being – watching the same YouTube clip over and over might seem pointless, but it might be helping your child to manage their anxiety or just relax.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_text_separator title=”Verbal Skills”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]If your child uses a visual timetable, picture communication system, or social stories, you can now have all the stories and symbols you use on one device. Apps can help you easily create new symbols, schedules and stories.

Autism Speaks, an autism science and advocacy organization that funds research and increases awareness, reported that about 25 percent of people with ASD are largely nonverbal. Others are identified as low-functioning communicators. For such students, there are apps called “visual scene displays” that are most assistive for children struggling with verbal skills, according to Jules Csillag, a speech-language pathologist who focuses on special ed tech. Csillag told Huffington Post that as teachers become more comfortable with technology, they can “customize a curriculum for students” with autism.

On such app, SceneSpeak, creates interactive displays and stories with text-to-speech voices added to narrate scenes. Another app, Speech with Milo, helps children develop storytelling skills by creating an interactive storybook.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_text_separator title=”Social Skills”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]People on the autism spectrum can have a hard time with social skills that may come easily to those who are not on the spectrum. Some caregivers or those on the spectrum may choose to try to develop those social skills with technology and methods that can help individuals recognize facial and behavioral cues that can help social functioning. Two examples of these methods include video modeling and script training, where individuals learn pro-social behaviors based on imitation. Individuals can learn these skills in games like the following:

FaceSay produces games that can help ASD children/adults to better recognize behavioral and emotional cues. Their focus is on students who can benefit from this software in school and friendship relationships.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_text_separator title=”Daily Living Skills”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]In order to function independently, daily living skills such hygiene, organization skills, and recreational skills are important. Caregivers can help those with ASD with these skills, but individuals with ASD can also develop these skills and independence. It is important to remember that ASD occurs in a wide spectrum and that some with ASD might never have problems functioning independently, while others may need more assistance. Life skills can be taught through instruction and presentations, and also through special software like

Life Skills Winner is an application that allows users to score points while learning daily living tasks in an interactive setting. The application is available through the web and also on mobile devices.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]With all that being said, some professionals recommend limiting screen time, especially for younger children. Some parents feel social pressure to limit their child’s use of technology. However, there is no good quality evidence that screen time negatively affects educational attainment or behaviour.

If you enjoyed this tech related blog, keep a look out for more by signing up to our newsletter here.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_cta h2=”” txt_align=”center” add_button=”bottom” btn_title=”Autism Resources” btn_color=”warning” btn_align=”center” btn_link=”|||”]If you’re working with people who have Autism, we have a range of resources available to help you on our site. And if you have any resources or services about supporting Autism that you think our community will appreciate, then get in touch with our team at ![/vc_cta][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Iris Resourcing – Recruitment with integrity.

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Iris Resourcing is an unrivalled specialist boutique resourcing partner to the looked after children’s social work sector, with a focus across fostering and adoption: with a focus on permanent recruitment, we work strategically to find the ideal fit, matching experience, skills and aspirations.

We work with:

  • Supervising Social Workers
  • Senior Practitioners
  • Deputy / Team Managers
  • Regional Managers / Directors
  • Quality Assurance Managers
  • Business Development Consultants /Managers
  • Placement Officers
  • Placement Managers
  • Recruitment Officers
  • Administrators

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]We offer a personal and open consultative service, with integrity

Key aspects of the Iris service are good old fashioned communication, integrity and honesty, combined with an unrivalled expansive network

We work with:

  • Independent Fostering Agencies
  • Not for profit fostering agencies / organisations
  • Charities
  • Adoption Agencies
  • Local Authorities

Iris Resourcing is a bespoke consultancy with a comprehensive and long standing understanding of the fostering and adoption arena. We take time to get to know the ‘fit’ you or an organisation require, striving to understand your motivators, future goals and aspirations.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”2919″ img_size=”thumbnail ” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_cta h2=”” style=”flat”]For further information around our service, to discuss the fostering / adoption job market and / or discuss any current vacancies, please contact Harriet Connolly on 0121 323 3720 / 07740 773499 /

Or visit our web site:[/vc_cta][/vc_column][/vc_row]