An interview with Ellie Reed - Change Grow Live's National Social Work Lead
What’s your job role at Change Grow Live and what do you like about it?
I’m the National Social Work Lead – Principal Social Worker at Change Grow Live. This is a really exciting new development at Change Grow Live and in the voluntary sector. We’re focusing on the value of the social work role in the voluntary sector, and enhancing professional identity of the workforce to further build professional confidence and competence. When I became National Social Work Lead in 2016, I was able to start implementing the development ideas that I’d had for some time as a Senior Social Worker, Practice Educator and Manager. Having worked at Change Grow Live for 15 years, I was familiar with the organisation and its structures, services and aspirations. I can now make my ideas a reality. I feel privileged to be leading the exciting social work developments in Change Grow Live and in the voluntary sector, and to have this opportunity to be effecting real change through the valuable input of our dedicated and passionate social workers.
What is the role of social work at Change Grow Live?
Passion, innovation, creativity, proactivity. These are all important ingredients for social work in the voluntary sector. Social workers play a key role in the delivery of services at Change Grow Live. They provide specialist interventions and support to service users, their families and careers, and work in partnership with a range of external partners to meet the complex and multiple needs of our service users. Dynamic social work happens in voluntary sector services, where we have regular face to face contact and one-to-one interventions with service users, where we have the space to work creatively and to shape ever changing services. Social workers are leaders, empowering staff teams to practice reflectively, learn from experiences and increase confidence in working with complexity.
What have you been working on over the last 18 months and what progress have you made so far?
I’ve been working on a number of different projects to enhance the professional identity of social workers at Change Grow Live to improve confidence and to define the role clearly so that skills are used to the full. I’ve been developing CPD and providing professional support for our amazing and committed social work workforce to assist them to deliver even better services to our service users. We really value the social work discipline at Change Grow Live so it’s important to support development and professional wellbeing. I’ve also been working alongside colleagues in the HR and Learning and Development departments to develop new governance structures to support our social workers, as well as teams to deliver professional and ethical services and use learning for continuous improvement. Alongside this, there are two new national developments that are now well underway:
- The Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE)
We’ve developed a national ASYE programme at Change Grow Live, which is a professional development programme for our newly qualified social workers. 11 social workers across England, from 9 different projects in both adults and children/young person’s services, are mid-way through the first programme.