Rachel Hudson - Social Worker (Children's) at Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council
I love my job. It’s probably the hardest and the most rewarding role I’ve ever had.
When I was 18 and going to careers fairs I don’t remember even seeing the role of social worker advertised – I definitely had no idea what one actually did.
I’m Rachel and I’m a Children’s Social Worker. My team receive referrals with concerns about the welfare of a child or young person from pre-birth all the way up to 18. We might get referrals from teachers, police, neighbours, health visitors or doctors. Our job is to work together with the child, family and other professionals to really find out what is happening for that child and create a plan of support to keep them safe and help them thrive.
Our work is so varied, on any given day a social worker may work with families experiencing domestic abuse or substance misuse or children at risk of neglect, exploitation, physical, sexual or emotional harm - no two days are the same and you never know what you will be walking in to.
Being able to build relationships is such a big part of our role. We can knock on the door of a family on the worst day of their life, or come face to face with a parent who does not yet understand or accept that any risks are present – in both scenarios, communication skills are key to get over the threshold and into a position where you can support and make a real difference to that child.
I feel a real sense of pride to be working for my local authority. Even though it comes with the many challenges of working in the public sector right now, you know you are contributing to a vital service and we are all really proud of what we do. In my council we have access to great training, we work closely with other agencies and have really supportive management and dedicated colleagues around us.
It is a dynamic and humbling role, and one I would love more people to hear about and step into. We may not be as loved as teachers, nurses or midwives (you may never receive an appreciation mug!) - but I really do feel incredibly privileged and proud to do what I do day in day out, and not everyone can say that.
Rachel is featured in our Local Government Career Guide, click here to find out more about working in local government and the wide variety of career options available.
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