A day in the life of our admin support team!
At the beginning of the month, we went behind the scenes to catch up with some of the unsung heroes of social care at Innovate Services. As we continue to mark World Social Work Day, the work of our admin support team certainly does not go unnoticed!
Abbey, James, Clare, Erica, Anne, Tracy, Claire, Janine and Molly are, in their own words “mad”. And not quite in the way you might think. Everyone in the team aspires to Make A Difference.
Just as you’d expect our social workers to be passionate about having a positive impact on the lives of children, young people and their families, so are our support team.
We catch up with the team who in Innovate CYPS Managing Director Emma Blakemore’s words are a “vital cog in the wheel”.
An admin role with a real difference
Abbey, who is the Project Support Manager, begins by saying that “everyone at Innovate Services is of equal value and has an important role to play in keeping children and young people safe.”
It’s one of the main reasons Abbey took the role in the first place. She adds “I tell the team that there’s always an answer and I’ll do my part in helping them find it”. That’s an essential attitude to have here in Innovate Services’ support team. Anne Wallace who joined as Operations Manager in February from the NHS, agrees that each day is high-paced.The overall responsibility of keeping children and young people safe is not lost on the team.
Janine Harrison goes on to say “There’s an importance attached to each action you take. If you don’t complete a task it can have a very real impact.”
Sitting in on the meeting with the team, Emma Blakemore added “we’re all cogs in the same machine. Our social work team couldn’t make the impact they do without the support of our administrative staff.”
Being proactive rather than reactive
By 10am every Monday, the support team must carefully review each social worker’s tracker from the previous week and document the activity for reporting on case progression. Abbey says, “For our CIN programme, we have to record what type of visits each social worker made, whether CIN meetings took place, and when referrals have been made in line with the expected KPIs for the project.”
The support team acts as a steer for the social work team. Although each social worker is guided by an Innovate CYPS social worker on the expected timeframes for progressing cases, the admin team acts as an additional safeguard of sorts, to make sure that the social worker stays on track. Abbey says:
“We’re very proactive in our approach. For example, we’ll remind our social workers of what assessments and section 47s are due that week. Being proactive rather than reactive enables a quicker response and ensures KPIs are met.”
Data Analyst James adds “all data analysis comes through me. Ultimately, the data is there to make sure that everything’s being actioned and tracked as it should be.” Adding to the importance of the data, Abbey says:
“It’s about making sure that all the processes Innovate CYPS puts in place are met; not just to reach targets but to ensure that children’s cases are progressed, and the right interventions happen at the right time.”
Claire who is taking the support team lead on a duty service project, echoes just how important it is to get everything just right:
“With our duty teams, who rotate every five weeks, there’s a strong reliance on the support team. We play a vital function in helping our social workers keep on task so that those cases – inside of 5 weeks – are either transferred to other services, progressed to CP, closed or stepped down.”
Innovate Services is clearly a special place to work. As Tracy says: “It’s not just office work, you’re sort of searching for things all of the time rather than your usual admin role.”
Nodding along, Erica couldn’t agree more saying “You assume that the team performs straightforward administration tasks. But knowing what they do and the importance of their role, they do a fantastic job. It’s not a true admin role at all. It’s a lot more than that.”
It takes a special blend
To keep the team going though, there’s one important ingredient and that’s “a good cuppa tea” Clare jokes as she smiles at the two new members of the team (Emily and Kristina) whose first day is today.
There’s clearly a lot of camaraderie in the team though because the first mention of tea and the rest of the team quickly remind James that he hasn’t made one in a while. Ever the quick witted one, James jokes “but there’s too many of us now surely?!”.
There’s a real sense of oneness in the team; a spirit that’s quite hard to capture. “We’re our very own blend” jokes Abbey. Between them, there’s an ex-online banking professional, campaign coordinator, ex-childcare professionals and a printing expert. All have worked in challenging time-intensive roles before, but none in quite such a rewarding place as Innovate Services.
To our admin support team, thank you for your dedication and hard work!
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