A man walking his dog.
A man walking his dog.

Social Work Week: How adult social care workers are making a difference for people in Hull

Hull City Council is shining a spotlight on its fantastic adult social care workforce as it joins in the celebrations for Social Work Week.

The theme of this year’s celebration is ‘respecting diversity through joint social action’.   

Adult social care has faced many challenges over the last few years, but in this time, lots have been achieved. Social Work Week provides a chance to reflect on this. Adult social care supports people with a variety of different needs including older people, those with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, and mental health conditions.

One example of great social action is from the West Locality Social Work Team and the help and support they provided to Roy and Rover (names have been changed to protect confidentiality).

Here’s their story:

The West Locality Social Work Team recently became aware of a young man called Roy and his puppy, Rover. Roy, who has a learning disability, unfortunately had breached his tenancy agreement with his housing provider by having Rover living with him. Emily Dry, a newly qualified social worker with the West Locality Team, was allocated the case and progressed it with support and guidance from Tina Bettison, the Operational Manager of the team.

Tina, a dog lover herself and knowledgeable about the breed of dog that the young man had, knew that they needed to visit Roy and Rover to gather the facts. Tina and Emily then planned to meet directly with his housing provider and care provider to understand the issues. After meeting with Roy’s mum, they realised that Roy had never had a dog before and so hasn’t learnt the knowledge and skills to know how to take care of all of Rover’s needs. Whilst it was loved and well-fed, had had all its vaccinations, Roy didn’t know about taking it for a walk or letting it out to go to the toilet etc.

Tina and Emily took a longitudinal approach to assessing capacity, meaning that Roy needed time to learn the appropriate skills for taking care of Rover. Therefore, they found dog socialisation/training classes for Roy and Rover to attend which were highly effective.

Tina said: “Roy is developing his knowledge and skills in relation to caring for Rover. Rover’s training is paying off and he’s now settled with Roy and being well cared for. Roy’s housing provider is happy that Rover is now well trained, and that Roy is supporting Rover with regular walks and letting him out for the toilet, which means that Roy’s property is now being kept as it should.

“This has meant that the housing provider no longer feels that Roy is in breach of his contract are happy to support him keeping his tenancy and for Rover to stay. Rover is great company for Roy and through the dog training classes Roy, has made lots of new friends. This has increased his confidence hugely and has reduced his isolation.”

Roy said: “I like the routine I now have and enjoy taking Rover out for walks. I have even taken him for a walk to Bridlington.”

One of the core values of social workers at Hull City Council is to achieve social justice for the people of Hull, ensuring the dignity, worth and independence for the person.

Meet Ann Fox, Social Care Advisor who works in adult social care’s Community See and Solve Team, as she explains why she loves her job, what her key values are and why it is important to celebrate Social Work Week.

To become a social worker, you’ll need to gain a degree qualification which is recognised by Social Work England. There are a few different routes you can go down to become a social worker which include:

  • Studying an undergraduate or postgraduate course at a university
  • Completing a fast-track postgraduate course, like Step Up to Social Work
  • Completing a Degree Apprenticeship through Hull City Council

Meet Francesca Burkinshaw, a trainee social worker on the apprenticeship scheme, as she explains her journey into social care and the apprenticeship involves.

Would you like to make a difference just like Tina, Emily, Ann and Francesca? Visit here to find your role in adult social care.