My Role as a Supervising Social Worker at Olive Branch Fostering
28 November 2023
28 November 2023
One piece of advice I would give to foster carers is to ensure that you seek support from your supervising social worker whenever you need it.
28 November 2023
One of the things that make Olive Branch so special is the support provided by our fantastic team of social workers, which adds to the family feel we pride ourselves on. One of the key members of our team is Shannon, who has been a Supervising Social Worker at Olive Branch since October 2022. We caught up with Shannon to find out more about her role.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Each day is very different, and my diary can change at any time. I try to keep my Mondays free as this allows me to catch up on what has happened on the weekend and respond to my emails.
Throughout the week I check in with my foster families. I currently support 15 foster carers who I call weekly, but my carers know that I am available via text or phone at any time.
After I’ve checked in on my foster families, I will contact each child’s social worker to update them. When a child is in a long-term care with their foster carer, their social worker will usually only visit every 12 weeks, therefore my updates allow them to stay informed. I will also request care planning meetings if necessary.
I also visit my families to complete monthly supervision, where we discuss how the month has been for the young person and the carers. Supervision visits usually take two hours; I don’t rush them as it’s important for my carers to discuss everything and reflect on their month. I also offer my support and advice, if needed.
I appreciate that at Olive Branch I’m able to manage my own diary as it allows me to stay organised. My role involves a lot of admin such as writing up my supervision visits and meetings, completing annual review reports and Form F updates and more.
What qualities do you think a Supervising Social Worker should have?
The key to being a good supervising social worker is understanding the families and young people you work with and having strong relationships with them. I ensure that I do this by having good communication skills and being honest, reliable and empathetic.
Having a breadth of knowledge about fostering ensures I’m always able to offer the correct advice and support. I make sure I’m always there for the families to offload and discuss any challenges, or equally any positives.
What have you learnt from the families that you work with?
The families I work with have taught me how important resilience is. I’ve learnt that despite the difficulties that may arise in fostering, you must remember why you’re doing it and to continue maintaining a high level of support, care and love for the children and young people. The foster families at Olive Branch are absolutely amazing and provide the best care to our children and young people!
What’s one piece of advice you like to give to foster carers?
One piece of advice I would give to foster carers is to ensure that you seek support from your supervising social worker whenever you need it. Fostering is extremely rewarding; however it can also be challenging so always remember that we’re here support you along your journey.
I love my role here at Olive Branch Fostering and my Olive Branch family!
If you’re interested in working for Olive Branch Fostering, as a social worker, or in any other role, keep an eye on our Careers page – we’d love to welcome you to our team.
If you're interested in fostering, please get in touch.
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