Tejumola, Social Worker

An interview with Tejumola, a Social Worker in the Safeguarding Adults Hub.

Hi Tejumola! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Tejumola and I live in London.

I was working in the financial industry before I retrained as a Social Worker.

I completed my master’s in social work at Kingston University.

I joined Adults’ Safeguarding Hub for my ASYE and l have been here since, commuting from London to West Sussex.

What inspired you to become a Social Worker?

I started as a volunteer for charity organisations to make a difference to people’s care and support needs as well as to give back to the community. Being able to make an impact by improving their wellbeing, I decided to retrain to enable me to advocate from within the system for many people that use the service.

Why did you choose to come and work for West Sussex?

When I was looking for an Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE) role, I applied to different boroughs that aligned with my beliefs.

My daughter advised me to examine what people were saying about the borough before applying. If the positives outweigh the negatives, go for it.

This guided me with my application and I am glad that I listened to her. However, after I had completed so many interviews, my former manager (now my service manager) called to inform me that I had been successful. There was something about the way she spoke to me on the phone that day, that made me decide that I was going to work with her. Immediately I ended my conversation with her that day. I then got other offers in London, which I declined.

On my first day at work at West Sussex, my manager and my practice educator were very welcoming and made me feel at home - my manager made me a welcome cake.

What would you say is good about working as a Social Worker at West Sussex?

My role at the Adults Safeguarding Hub involves gathering information from a wide range of sources and working in liaison with different multi-agencies.

I have developed various skills in my current role through being responsible for triaging safeguarding referrals. The positive culture in my team is exceptional. My service manager, manager and colleagues are the 'Dream Team'. We work as a family, looking out for each other and supporting each other on the role, as it can be emotionally draining at times.

There is always formal and informal supervision on the job role. This always helps as I know that I am not alone and that I am supported at all times on the job.

Is there a piece of work or anything you’ve done in your role that you’re particularly proud of?

I aim to ensure that people’s voices are taken into consideration, restrictions are not excessive, that people can access advocates when needed and that authorisation periods are proportionate during our support to them.

I have triaged so many cases but the one that stood out for me in particular was identifying one referral that eventually fell under the Modern-Day Slavery Act 2015.

What are the challenges of being a Social Worker at West Sussex?

It can be very emotionally draining at times as my team triages safeguarding referrals as they are coming into WSCC.

How has West Sussex supported your learning and development and career progression?

I have enjoyed great supervision in my current role and my manager is very supportive of my career progression.

I made my intentions known to my manager about courses that I am interested in. My manager encouraged and nominated me.

I am progressing with my career.

If there is one myth you could bust about being a Social Worker, what would it be?

We cannot save everyone because, despite all the interventions that we put in place at times, service users do not choose to comply or do hide things from us at times.

What would you say to someone who is considering joining the Safeguarding Adults Hub at West Sussex?

Please go for it. West Sussex has a good culture and managers who look out for their staff. Joining West Sussex gives you more adaption and transferable skills that keep you developing as an effective Social Worker.