Meet Di - Apprentice Social Worker
Fun fact about yourself?
I have blue hair and I love tattoos
What is your role within social care?
Apprentice Social worker and I work within the Adult Mental Health Reablement Team.
What are the main responsibilities of your role?
I offer support to people with mental health issues within the community. I work to support them to increase their confidence, access services and achieve their goals. I use the Care Act 2014 within my role and complete assessment support plans and commission services that promote recovery and independence.
What inspired you to start a career in the care sector?
I started to care for family as a child and this developed into becoming the role I wanted to take forward as an adult. I have a particular interest in mental health.
Describe 3 of the best things about working in adult social care.
- You meet people from all walks of life.
- As a worker you can and do make a positive difference to people when they need the support but can also give them the tools to help themselves in the future.
- I am inspired by people I meet who have faced adversity and been able to continue and develop their lives.
Members of the LGBTQIA+ community face many challenges throughout their lives. How do you feel a career in social care could help to overcome these?
The challenges and discrimination we face as individuals who identify as LGBTQIA+ give us the skills and experience to understand and know what oppression is. We can bring our knowledge and experience to the work and inspire others through empathy and true understanding of the challenges that people can face.
A career in Social Care can support LGBTQIA+ people to develop skills and experience in a rewarding role where we can support others to thrive. Tis can give us drive and determination to want this for ourselves.
What would you say to a someone identifying as LGBTQIA+ considering a career in the care sector, but who may feel hesitant to apply? What encouragement would you offer?
Consider the skill you use in everyday life to navigate the discrimination and oppression within society and then take these skills to workplace where you will be valued and accepted for the diversity you represent. Be the role model for others who have faced adversity and you can develop and grow within a workforce that accepts and promotes the diversity represented within our communities.
The LGBTQIA+ community is under-represented in our sector. Why do you think this could be? Do you think there are any misconceptions of careers in social care that we need to overcome?
There is a misconception that LGBTQIA+ people have their rights now and are not discriminated against in the workplace. This is sadly not the case and people still experience oppression and discrimination both in the workplace and society some of which is not overt and obvious. This impacts people because it makes people feel they do not conform to the societal norms and feel 'othered' which can diminish a person's self-confidence and sense of belonging. I think this then impacts the person ability to feel they have the skills for work and especially work with people who may judge them for who they are.
What has been your career path to the position you are in now?
Years In Role
Care worker Older adults
1988 - 1992
Community support worker LD and MH
Housing support worker MH
Housing support manager MH
1994 - 2002
Inclusion support worker MH
Reablement manager MH
Apprentice social worker
2019 to date
How will you be celebrating pride this year?
I will celebrate with my Civil partner and two children. We have attended Pride events with family and friends through our adult lives and feel it is as important as ever to be visible and accepted within our communities.