Social Work

Social work at St Andrew's is interesting, varied, stimulating and very rewarding.

Jane Shears, Head of Social Work

Social work promotes social inclusion and the empowerment of patients. It offers a psycho-social perspective to patient care, from admission through to discharge.

Social work is an integral part of the work of the Charity's multi-disciplinary teams, with each team member liaising with others to ensure a consistent and cohesive approach to patient care and treatment. Social workers take the lead on discharge planning, safeguarding (a major focus of our work), family work, and risk and safety issues relating to patient visits to and from family and friends. A large part of what we do involves engaging with community professionals and services and ensuring that they are kept informed of developments and the progress of their patients. As a member of our Social Work team, you will spend time acting as an advocate for patients and identifying their predominant needs and strengths so that appropriate support is available on discharge from St Andrew's.

Roles in social work

Our social workers are appointed to work in specific service areas, with specific client groups. This enables you to develop skills and expertise in areas of special interest. However, we can also provide new learning opportunities, enabling you to gain important experiential learning by working with people with different needs across the Charity.

Within the Social Work department we have a staff group of more than 60 people. They work within the divisions at St Andrew's Northampton, and we also have teams at the Charity's other sites in BIrmingham, Essex and Nottinghamshire. Supervision is a high priority for ongoing support; individual staff receive one-to-one formal supervision, and informal support as required. Social workers are well respected by the other professions within the Charity and take the lead in patient safeguarding across the organisation.

Your first year

If you are a newly qualified social worker, you will be encouraged to register for the national Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE) programme to help develop your skills, knowledge and capability. We will provide you with a practice mentor assessor and training opportunities to develop as a confident practitioner.

If you are coming to St Andrew's as a more experienced social worker, we will encourage you to share your skills and expertise, supporting staff through regular supervision. In return we will support you to develop your practice and leadership skills through our extensive range of training opportunities.