Katie says she is impressed by the drive of the Trust. “Doncaster was the first Trust of its kind and it’s been brilliant to be part of its journey,” she says. “I love the way in which the voice of the child is at the centre of everything. It is identified through every part of its work.”
After getting a degree from leaving school, Katie worked in special schools, supporting children with behavioural difficulties. She knew she wanted to work with children but couldn’t decide if she wanted to follow the teaching or the social work route.
After applying for post-graduate degrees in both and being accepted on both, she decided on the social work path. She completed her Masters at Sheffield Hallam University, during which she had two placements in Doncaster – one in adult services and one in children’s.
“I really enjoyed my placement in the Children in Care team and, after my degree, when I attended a recruitment drive in Doncaster I applied and got a job – at which point I decided to specialise in Children in Care (CiC) and so I was matched with the Thorne area team.”
Katie was appointed to the Advanced Practitioner (AP) role just before Christmas 2019 and says she is really enjoying it. She supervises newly qualified staff, students on placement and social worker assistants.
She says the Thorne office is a great place to work because it is so friendly. “There are four teams here in an open office and everybody gets on,” she says.
“A lot of people stay here long-term, including the managers, which all helps with consistency,” she adds.
“You feel you can go to anyone for advice because everyone is so experienced and there is lots of support available.”
In addition to observing the Trust’s journey to Good and now hopefully on its way to Outstanding, her own personal journey has included lots of training and development opportunities.
“If you put yourselves forward for appropriate training that you have sourced yourself, the Trust will more than likely support you to do it,” she says.
Plus, she says, there is a consistent emphasis upon supervision and PDRs, during which there is always an encouragement for staff to look for development and progression.