Social Care: Empowering Lives
In honour of Good Care Month, we wanted to shed some light on social care as a career. Today we’ve interviewed Nicola, a social worker working closely with Enable. We hope her story can inspire those looking into a career in social care, as well as highlight the empowering and rewarding aspects of this vocation.
What made you interested in social care as a career path?
I wanted to work in the social care field as a profession due to personal reasons. I am happy for this to be shared as I feel I’ve empowered myself by getting over bad times.
Many years ago I was in an abusive relationship and it got to the point of social workers being involved in my life due to me having two children. I felt I was stuck in a rut unable to see what was happening, and to be frank, what the problem was. As I thought it was the norm in a relationship due to having a life experience of abusive men from a young age. I remember having a social worker visit me and she was not very nice; no people skills at all and I just refused to work with her. She did not help me at all and I stayed in the abusive relationship.
However, I further had a different social worker allocated to me. She was different. She was welcoming, kind, and she got to know me and my children and also my violent partner. She helped us all as a family to sort the issues. But the best thing she did while she was supporting us was also empowering me. She helped me believe in myself and my worth. She showed me how the relationship I was in was toxic. This gave me the strength to leave and it is the best thing I have ever done. I know now how much of a strong person I am and will never accept this again. I will never forget the lady that helped me and she inspired me to want to be like her. Working with people to empower them as individuals.
Do you believe social workers are becoming more important?
I believe social workers are more important due to safeguarding issues that have been highlighted as a serious case review of Victoria Climbie in 2020 which prompted an extensive inquiry into the failings of the child protection programme. This highlighted concerns with lack of working together as professionals and issues with communication. However, in 2003 a case also came to light of the failings of professionals. The importance to get more training in these areas, following up enquires, and communicating effectively is more than ever needed in the social work field.
What is the most rewarding experience you’ve had in your role?
The most rewarding is being able to help people that have needed support during COVID19. I have called companies and offered help and support to them from the council. But just listening to the issues that have affected them made me understand the impact it is having on them not only as company, but as an individual. I felt like I had accomplished something by offering help, sign positing them to relevant people to get the support needed and I could hear in their tone of voices the how thankful they are at a time like this. That made me smile a lot and I felt I was able to help someone with the smallest of gestures.
How has Enable supported you in your role?
Enable staff have supported me amazingly. I feel welcome and part of the team. They are there to support me and offer any advice needed at any time. Natalie, my line manager, has been great and I could not be more thankful for having her as my line manager. I feel that I am able to complete my placement with all the relevant information and if I am worrying Natalie picks me back up again.
What would you say to young people considering a career in social care?
I would say working in the social field is the most rewarding job satisfaction you could have. Supporting other people and empowering them by listening and making their lives even if it’s a little bit better is all the satisfaction needed in any role. Yes there are challenges, but over time with patience you will be able to change somebody’s life for the better. My personal life, if a social worker didn’t intervene the way she did I’m not sure where I would be now. However, with the right support I had I’m now a team leader in a children’s home, in third year studying social work at uni and have two beautiful, all-round caring children. My life has improved for the better, I want others to feel the worth I now feel. Working in the social work sector is an amazing experience and a lifelong career.