When people talk about Lambeth they say ‘vibrant’, ‘diverse’, ‘edgy’… and all of that is true, but ‘vibrant, diverse and edgy’ doesn’t keep you coming to work every day. We know working somewhere with great places to eat and a good night life is the cherry on top, not the reason for getting you out of bed in the morning.
Let’s face it, social work is a tough career anywhere, and coming to work in inner London in an area with extreme levels of complex need and where the service has been judged to be inadequate takes a certain sort of person.
And that’s the sort of person Lambeth is looking for. People who are passionate about social work – about transforming lives, and making a tangible difference. People who are not motivated by ticking boxes and following processes unthinkingly, but who have real skill and confidence in their professional judgement.
In Lambeth we are focused on practice that builds relationships, enables and supports change for families, and promotes children’s wellbeing and development. We believe we can achieve this by working with families and children openly and collaboratively. Our commitment to relationship-based social work extends to how we work with partners and providers, where we build effective professional working relationships that enable families to change and thrive.
In May 2015 Lambeth’s Children’s Social Care was judged by Ofsted to be inadequate and since then we have been on a rapid and exciting improvement journey. We have embarked on a process of change right across our children and family services. These changes aim to put social work practice right at the heart of everything we do.
Alongside implementing our ‘children at the heart of practice framework’ we have already stripped out management layers, streamlined IT and workflows and introduced dedicated business support for every team so that social workers can get back to doing what they do best – direct social work with children and families. Small teams of six social workers have been introduced, advanced practitioners co-work and provide support on the most complex cases, there is a comprehensive training programme, twice yearly opportunities for promotion and a competitive pay and benefits package.
Lambeth now has in place a strong and enhanced senior leadership team led by Mark Stancer and overseen by Annie Hudson, the ex-Chief Executive of The College of Social Work who reflects ‘There is undoubtedly something about working in Lambeth that really gets under your skin. There are huge challenges to overcome but there is fine energy and great ambition. This makes it a fantastically exciting place to work and a great place to make and develop your career’.
“I liked the idea of working for an inner London borough with the challenges there and experience I would gain. I enjoy working for Lambeth because my work is challenging and I’m always learning, but overall because I have a very supportive, friendly team and managers”.
Social worker in Lambeth since December 2014