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Guernsey's social workers celebrated

Guernsey's social workers celebrated

Thursday 22 March 2018

Guernsey's social workers celebrated

Thursday 22 March 2018

On world social work day, HSC celebrated by promoting the good work they do in Guernsey with a special focus on those in the social team for adults.

It has been highlighted how the close connections between social workers, nurses, care and support staff, other allied health professionals and medical staff are fundamental to individuals success of patients and clients.

Social workers are an essential part of the integrated care services and are an established professional discipline which works with other professions to play a key role in helping children, adults and families to take control of, and to improve, their lives in conditions where their security, safety or ability to participate in civic life are restricted.

Charlotte Carr, social worker for community social team for adults said: "Social workers can sometimes get a pretty negative press and are often depicted in the same way in TV dramas and programmes like Eastenders, but there is such a good aspect to the work we do that I am really proud to be a social worker and promote the work we do especially on days like today. We are often the interim for elderly individuals moving from their own homes to a care home and very often have a positive impact on their lives. With an ageing population this type of work is increasing it is all about talking to people about their fears and helping improve their quality of life; rites verses risk."

Grand Courtil

Pictured: Sheltered housing, Le Grand Courtil

"It is great being a social worker in Guernsey as we are approachable and on the ground, I have been here for ten years and in stark comparison to my previous role in London we are able to get in the car and go out and see people."

Pascal Ferbrache, support worker for community social team for adults, will shortly be starting his training to become a social worker. He said: "I am starting my Open University degree in September after being a support worker for three years. I think it is a good route to take because you do not get thrown into social work straight out of university without knowing what it is about. I was drawn to the proffession because of the work values and I like supporting people with complex needs, empathising with them and assisting them through difficult times with problem solving."

A social work qualification is only the start of professional learning and development. Social work professionals are expected to undertake ongoing professional development throughout their career, to make sure that they keep their knowledge and skills up to date and that they provide the highest standard of practice.

Kay Shackleton, community care manager, said: "Social workers assess needs in a bid to protect venerable people offering a holistic assessment of individual needs they have a birds eye view of the whole needs of the person. They can then assess their needs in order to minimise risk and empower people to be as independent as possible. We have come a long way with places like Le Grand Courtil being built recently, the facilities offered there are brilliant for keeping individuals independent longer." 

Talking at The Russels Day Centre which is based within Le Grand Courtil, Olive Barnes who will be turning 90 in July told Express that she had her name down at the home as she is starting to find things more difficult in her own home with regards to mobility and accessibility. She said: "I am still very independent and I want to stay that way for as long as possible, social workers play an important role to see what people need to help to keep them be as self sufficient as possible. I see a lot of people here each week who rely on them and getting into housing like this is really important to keeping well. The hallways are accessible and spacious so I would be able to do more exercise with my trolley if I lived here."


Pictured: Olive Barnes 

Michelle Thacker, Community Social Care Manager, commented on how social work professionals are needed across all age ranges and in all areas of health and social care in the Bailiwick. She said: "HSC’s Social Workers work across a wide range of areas. This includes our busy Community Care Social Workers; those working in our Children and Family services, our Social Workers based in the Princess Elizabeth Hospital working with people who have been admitted into Hospital; our specialist Dementia and Learning Disability Services who work with people with dementia or a learning disability (also covering those people transitioning from childhood into adulthood) We also have a social workers based in Specialist palliative Care and are recruiting for a new Social Worker for Older People."

Main picture: Left to right: Charlotte Carr, Pascal Ferbrache and Kay Shackleton 

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