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Efforts of social workers recognised

Published March 14, 2022 8.56am


The valuable contribution social work teams make to the lives of communities in County Durham is to be recognised as part of this year's World Social Work Day.

Sarah Barnes

Integrated social work degree apprentice Sarah Barnes

World Social Work Day takes place on Tuesday 15 March and we are highlighting the work carried out by social care teams. This will link up with the theme of this year's day which is Co-building a New Eco-Social World: Leaving No One Behind. This is also the theme of The People's Global Summit which is being held online from 29 June to 2 July.

We employ social workers who support adults, children, and young people across a range of specialist areas. Social care roles are currently available with us and there are a variety of progression routes for those who join our social work teams.

Sparked interest 

Sarah Barnes, an integrated social work degree apprentice, started her journey with the council as an apprentice in the housing solutions team seven years ago. Sarah is now one of several council employees who have been accepted onto a social work apprenticeship degree programme.

She said: "I first obtained a full-time permanent post as an occupational therapy administrator. This is where I met two inspiring occupational therapists who sparked my interest in health and social care. 

"I moved to the adult safeguarding and deprivation of liberty team as a business support officer. I worked alongside many social workers and gained knowledge of the role so when a post was advertised within one of our social work teams, I applied and was successful.

"I have been a reviewing officer within the team for over three and a half years and loved every moment of it. I work with lots of people who all have very different individual needs.

"It can be challenging at times, however, I am supported by a fantastic team, which has allowed me to develop both professionally and personally.

"When I was given the opportunity to complete a social work degree, while remaining in my current role, I jumped at the chance. I am looking forward to the next chapter of my working career, with the challenges and the learning which the degree will entail."  

Rewarding career 

Deborah Cruddace is in her first year as a qualified social worker after completing the Step up to Social Work programme. 

She said: "Durham County Council has been very supportive to my development and learning. I was provided with a range of resources to get me started with direct work, books to keep my mind active, which helped link theory to practice, and a wealth of knowledge and support was provided from within the social work academy and the team I work in.

"I have been on a long journey to get here, but this is the beginning of a long and rewarding career where I can make a real difference for children and families in County Durham."

Making a difference 

Cllr Paul Sexton, our Cabinet member for adults and health services, said: "Social workers make a huge difference to the lives of service users, families, and carers each and every day. World Social Work Day provides a great opportunity to stop, reflect and recognise the work of staff who undertake what is a challenging and demanding role."

Cllr Ted Henderson, our Cabinet member for children and young people's services, said: "Social work is a challenging but rewarding profession which makes a huge difference to the lives of vulnerable people in County Durham. It is only right that those who provide such important care for our adults and young people are recognised for what they do."

For further information about current vacancies within social care go to our jobs and careers page