Release date: 9 March 2021
Social workers in West Sussex have spoken about overcoming the challenges of COVID-19 to continue to help vulnerable people across the county during the past year.
Staff from the children’s and adult’s social work teams at West Sussex County Council have made the comments in a video, which has been released to mark the first Social Work Week, which runs from 8 to 12 March, led by Social Work England.
This week, is closely followed by World Social Work Day on 16 March, which recognises the hard work and dedication of social workers on an international stage.
The past year has proven challenging for many social workers, who help children and adults with a wide range of support needs.
Katy Ansell, a Senior Social Worker in the Adults' Services team, said: “COVID has massively impacted the way we work, both with customers and as a team.
“I’m used to going out into people’s homes and care homes to assess people face to face. For the last year we’ve been mainly doing this via telephone calls and video calls, which can be really tricky at times, especially for some of our older adults who we support.
“But we’re always looking for creative ways to get the information we need to support people.”
Philip Groves, a Group Manager in the Children’s Assessment and Intervention team, said: “We’ve found new ways to support each other and keep morale high, and keep the focus on the job.
“As hard as it is for us, it’s never going to be as hard or as difficult as it is for that child who needs our help. That child who every day wants things to be better and just needs the opportunity to tell someone.”
Councillor Jacquie Russell, Cabinet Member for Children’s and Young People, praised the social workers who have continued to help vulnerable residents and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic.
She said: “Our social work teams have shown incredible resilience, resourcefulness and resolve to support those who have needed their help during an extremely challenging 12 months.
“Nobody had experienced anything like the past year before, but our social workers have risen to the challenge.
“I am extremely proud of everyone and I’m sure I speak on behalf of all members when I say thank you for all your hard work.”
You can watch the video featuring some of our social work team on the West Sussex County Council YouTube channel.
The council is currently recruiting experienced and newly qualified social workers to join the children’s and adults’ services teams.