SHARE YOUR SOCIAL WORK STORIES
This is a guest blog by Lara Campbell, a newly qualified social worker doing her Assessed and Supported Year in Employment at the London Borough of Wandsworth.
The initial days of working from home were great: a bit of fun, late nights, long lay-ins before running downstairs in my PJs and logging in just on time. This did not last long.
I realised that if I am going to make the best out of a bad situation – I needed to develop a routine.
I started waking up at 8am to do my morning workout at 8.10am. This is a 30-minute workout using YouTube or Instagram for inspiration. I am showered, dressed (not in PJs) and downstairs by 9am – sometimes 9.15am the latest!
I have a daily agenda which I find useful and overly ambitious. I thought I would have finished most of my assessments…but working from home is harder than I thought!
Team check-ins keep me going
My daily team check-ins really do keep me going. We ask questions, share ideas, experiences and update each other. It is nice to see other people other than my family members.
My first video call with one of my families was good fun. I managed to engage with the family for an hour – even though the children were not interested for more than five minutes.
I give myself regular breaks and a proper lunch. I always have one too many snack breaks – definitely counteracting my morning workout. Maybe I’ll have to consider working further away from my kitchen? I go for an evening walk to wind down after work and split up my day. The days just seem to roll on now and some days I don’t actually know what day it is. This is my new normal.
Going on visits
By week three I had never been so happy to be on duty. Duty means ‘business as usual’ on the front line – going into the office and completing visits as normal. Having just my team in the office was great – I had my usual two screens (which I missed so much), a bank of desks to myself (maintaining social distancing) where I could spread out all of my things and no queues for the microwave. Oh, it was luxury!
Visits, on the other hand, were quite a daunting experience. The PPE provided made me feel somewhat protected, but I also felt really silly. I was anxious about putting myself or the family at risk – which made me feel on edge during the visits. However, families were happy to see we were being cautious and protective. It is difficult to speak with the mask and to interact with children. Using the PPE was not ideal but best to keep safe.
Tell us your social work story at firstname.lastname@example.org telling us your name, job, contact details and social care number (just so we know you’re a social worker, we will keep it private).