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Fermanagh Social Workers nominated as Amazing Social Workers as part of the British Association of Social Workers

Fermanagh Social Workers
Fermanagh Social Workers Hannah Brown and Stacey Abbott who have been nominated as Amazing Social Workers as part of the British Association of Social Workers – World Social Work Month

Congratulations to Fermanagh Social Workers Hannah Brown and Stacey Abbott who have been nominated by their colleague Josie Doran as Amazing Social Workers as part of the British Association of Social Workers, the UK’s professional association for social work – World Social Work Month – March 2022!

Lindsey Bates from BASW explained: “Over the last few weeks we’ve been asking our members to nominate Amazing Social Workers, who we will profile and showcase on our social media channels and website throughout World Social Work Month which runs throughout March and I am delighted that Hannah and Stacey have been shortlisted as Amazing Social Workers – congratulations to you both!

Fermanagh Social Workers Stacey Josie And Hannah

Speaking about why she nominated Hannah and Stacey, Josie Doran, Social Work Manager said: “Family and Child Care probably has seen more changes during COVID-19 than in the 20 years that I’ve been employed by Western Trust. One of the most transformational changes has been in the structure of how childcare services is delivered in Co. Fermanagh. The pilot of the generic team commenced in March 2021 when staff from the Gateway, Family Intervention and Looked After Children’s teams amalgamated. Like all Family and Childcare teams we were struggling with heavy caseloads, high staff turnover, difficulties with recruitment and retention and the complexity of the work in general.

“As a manager I was both excited and anxious about what these changes would look like in day-to-day practice. Relationships between the three teams were incredibly good to begin with as we are all located on the same floor but as we all know processes differ from team to team and interpersonal dynamics are highly nuanced. I privately worried that maybe I actually didn’t have what it takes to manage such a demanding role in the new team.

“The support that I have got from everyone, particularly Hannah Brown, Senior Social Practitioner managing the new pilot has been and continues to be phenomenal. I have found her to be willing, available and approachable. Even though she is up to her eyes, Hannah takes the time to talk matters through. For me I have found her compassionate approach to be invaluable. I have learned to share my fears, which has resolved a lot of my anxiety and really impacted positively on my emotional wellbeing.

Stacey Abbott Social Worker Fermanagh Family And Child Care Team

In the midst of so much uncertainty I think most managers, if they’re honest, have felt vulnerable and insecure. Nevertheless we have to move with the times and Hannah has invested her time, energy and commitment to build confidence within the team and has role modelled behaviours of kindness that staff are able to transfer in their interactions with the children and families we work with. None of us are superhuman and that’s okay but with leadership, support and direction from Hannah, Family and Childcare in the Western Trust is a great place to work.”

Josie continued: “Stacey Abbott is the friendliest, bubbliest, chattiest and helpful social worker that I have had the privilege to work alongside since taking up the role as manager. Nothing is ever too much trouble for Stacey and no matter how busy she is with her own caseload and the challenges working in a busy family and childcare team she always has time to offer assistance to her colleagues, has really got to know the families she is working with and the children are regularly making her cards, drawing pictures and giving her little gifts. When others including myself are getting solicitor’s letters and complaints Stacey is getting pot plants and little prayers from the families that she has helped.

“I have given Stacey the prestigious title of my glamorous IT assistant as she is a wizard on the computer, something that deserves an award on its own. Stacey has also taken on task and finish groups with senior management to help improve our service and is the champion of our Early Intervention project which has been really purposeful in connecting our services and providing targeted responses before problems escalate and become more difficult to resolve.

“An example of a really good piece of work that Stacey undertook recently involved creating a words and pictures narrative and safety plan for three young children who had been exposed to shocking domestic violence. Stacey took so much time to tailor this piece of work specifically to suit the children’s age and stage of development. Like everything Stacey does the colours and drawings were bright, vibrant and really child centred. I hope if Stacey is shortlisted for this award she will have an opportunity to showcase this piece of work because it is really outstanding and others in the team have been able to use this as an exemplar to help with their work.

Hannah Brown Senior Social Work Practitioner“Every team needs someone like Stacey who is really able to bring that spirit of social work to life, boost team morale, smile and make a cup of coffee when the day is tough. Stacey isn’t qualified that long but is really suited to family and childcare. I hope she continues to bring a little bit of sunshine to the families she comes in contact with as well as to her colleagues in the team and other professionals that she works with.”

Lindsay Bates concluded: “We’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to Hannah and Stacey for their selfless dedication to our profession and the people we support – for being Amazing Social Workers. Congratulations again – and thank you.”