Islanders are being asked to consider a day in the life of a social worker, as social workers in Jersey and across the world mark World Social Work Day 2014.
World Social Work Day is organised by the International Federation of Social Workers, which is a global organisation raising awareness of social justice, human rights and social development through the promotion of social work. Locally, social work might be something that the majority of Islanders are unfamiliar with, as the work which goes on with individuals and families is often confidential.
Social workers work alongside other professionals such as police officers, health visitors, psychologists and schools to develop packages of care and protection.
Our Health and Social Services Department employs around 80 social workers. Children’s Services are based at Le Bas Centre and they're divided into the following teams:
- community social work
- 16 plus leaving care
- complex needs
- fostering and adoption
- children’s initial response
- permanence planning
- Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)
- independent safeguarding and standards
The adult team are based at Overdale and offer support to adults (under 65) and older adults (over 65) in a variety of situations. We also have social workers based in secondary schools around the Island.
“Social work can be a kind of ‘hidden profession" said Sean Pontin, head of the Children’s Service in Jersey. “Often, social work can be wrongly associated with being the people who take children away, when families are in crisis, and the public are not familiar with the fact that social workers who work with children are often involved at a preventative level, and are focused always on the needs of the child, but, wherever possible, keeping families together. We are there to advocate for the child and always do what is best for the child.”
“Social workers in Jersey are required to have an understanding of the principles underlying the Children (Jersey) Law 2002 and must practice within local statutory and national frameworks, local policy, procedures and guidelines. Social workers need to be autonomous as well as work as part of a multi-agency team. They must be child focused, able to use their integrity, be open-minded, to understand others, be self-assured and a logical thinker.”