Cllr Erin Hill - Cabinet Member for Family Support and Child Protection
I'm passionate about children and young people, and I want them all to be safe, happy, healthy and for them to have the very best life chances. This is nothing less than they all deserve and I know it's a passion shared across the whole of Kirklees Council.
We take the role of social workers as professionals very seriously and want the very best support and development possible for them.
They are at the heart of looking after our most vulnerable children and young people in our communities and I recognise this is a hard, yet very rewarding job.
Like most councils, we have our challenges. It's a difficult time for councils everywhere, and we are having to look carefully at everything we do to make the changes we need to thrive.
I'm consistently impressed by the hard work and commitment of our social workers, and we are all about development and positively moving forward in our professional practice.
This is why we need your experience, skills and passion to help us achieve our ambitions for children, young people and families in Kirklees.
You'll have the opportunity to bring your enthusiasm and perspective to make your mark on a service that's developing and redesigning the support we give.
You will be able to influence and shape our future direction. My colleagues and I are committed to reducing inequality in Kirklees and helping the most vulnerable - social workers are crucial to helping us do that. We will listen to your views and your experiences, and use them to help us shape the future. I can guarantee my 100% commitment to supporting you.
Linda Patterson - Interim Service Improvement Manager
I'm Linda, I'm currently working as Head of Assessment and Intervention. I was previously a service manager. I joined Kirklees in 2004 as a team manager, before then I worked in Bradford as a child protection officer and manager for the NSPCC, and also a senior practitioner in Calderdale.
In Assessment and Intervention, families receive assessments and interventions by one Social Worker providing consistency that families value and letting social workers get to know children, young people and their families.
My focus is on making sure we have the small teams and reasonable caseload that mean social workers get support and space for reflection to be able to do quality social work that keeps children safe and gives time to build relationships. As a management team we're clear we want to make sure social workers are supported in their job and to develop their skills and career in Kirklees.
I've been a service manager since 2007 and I'm really proud of some of the fantastic work that goes on here - making sure our children and young people have the best life opportunities possible.
Being honest, there will always be challenges, that's social work; it's been a bumpy road recently but I can honestly say we've turned a corner and there's a real momentum behind positive changes; we've introduced daily team briefings where teams join together either face to face or dial in to make sure everyone is up to date and really importantly to me that they are supported, we're also rolling out restorative practice. A number of social workers are piloting mobile and agile working, I'm really pleased with the feedback that they able to work more flexibly, especially in direct work with children and young people. Take a look at what Charlotte, an Social Worker in Assessment and Intervention thinks here (link to Charlotte's video).
My commitment is that we will build on progress that's already been made and we'll continue to support our new and existing motivated, passionate and child centred social workers.
Andy Parkinson - Senior Practitioner
Every morning I swing my legs out of bed, I know that today will be different from yesterday. No two days are the same as a social worker in Kirklees. Living and working in a diverse community means that I interact with many different people during my working day.
I love the challenge of planning my work load and prioritising what I need to achieve with my current cases. Difficulties will not deter a social worker here in Kirklees, ('when the going gets tough, the tough get going'.)
Good reflective supervision is something that I look forward to. It gives me the knowledge of learning from the work I do and the support from my manager means that I feel safe and happy that I am achieving good outcomes for the family - which is after all what it's all about.
Our team is made up of specialist workers, cutting across family support and child protection services.
- Here's a snapshot of the work they do.