Issue 33

Interview with Sue a Social Worker

Why did you become social worker?
I had a part time job in a day centre with people with learning disabilities and loved it. I became a social work assistant and then seconded to do social work part time, which took two years. I started at Caswell in 2007 on a 6 month placement. I was a hairdresser when I was younger.

What's the most challenging aspect of your job?
The security here - the keys etcetera and systems in the hospital I found quite a challenge. The most difficult thing is dealing with the impact on people's families. It can be very difficult for families having relatives with mental health problems. Families often blame themselves. Social workers are the bridge between patient and family. So we see first hand what it's like for families to have relatives in a medium secure unit. Families are often very relieved that people are given treatment and it can often re-unite some patients with families.

What's the most rewarding part of your job?
Seeing people move from the clinic, that's the most rewarding aspect of the job. People getting back into the community and leading a normal life.

What can be improved about the clinic?
Information provided to patients can be improved. I'm hoping to do a project with patients about what information is required at different periods through people's stays. (Like advocacy, legal support, visitors, CTM's, clinical team's responsibilities, etcetera.)

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I'm committed to my job here. So I'd like to stay at Caswell Clinic. I've no thoughts to move anywhere else. It'll be interesting to see what changes here in 5 years.
How would someone who watched you at work describe you?
They'd think I'm friendly, talk too much, conscientious and reliable.
What's your greatest achievement?
My children but Something I found quite difficult was becoming an AMHP (Approved Mental Health Professional). AMHP's are mainly social workers but can be nurses or occupational therapists. You have to be an experienced social worker to do it. It's a very intensive course and assignments must be completed at masters level. During training you must gain a good knowledge of the mental health act. Most but not all social workers in Caswell are AMHP's, so in addition to our responsibilities here we do mental health assessments in the community.
What do you collect?
I collect wool. I've got loads of it. I'm a keen knitter. I've got more wool than I'll ever make into things. I do collect vinyl and CD's. My recreational time is usually spent knitting and listening to music.

5 for Fun

France or Spain? Spain
Biscuits or Bacon? Biscuits
Reggae or Rock? Reggae
Romance or Action? Romance
Karl Marx or Howard Marks? Karl Marx