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Social Worth campaign to bring social workers to Waltham Forest

Social Worth is the new recruitment campaign from Waltham Forest Council to recruit more social workers to the borough and provide long-term support to the children and adults in its community.

To encourage more people to choose social work as a career, the campaign showcases the career opportunities available and emphasises the social value of the work social workers carry out serving the borough’s diverse communities.

Roberta OnyeKwelu joined Waltham Forest in fostering and adoption as a Social Work Team Manager last March, bringing fifteen years of social work experience to the next stage of her career. She said:

It’s a very diverse and interesting borough, but the leadership within social care, and the drive and ambition of the service as a whole, have really impressed me. This has encouraged me to shift out of my comfort zone and apply for and gain promotion into a Leadership position in my first year.

The Council recently invested in a new clinical hub, while the borough aspires to become the first ‘international borough of storytelling’ to support children’s language and social development.

Caroline Woods has worked at Waltham Forest Council for over 22 years as social worker and now specialises in chairing independent reviews for children and young people in care. She said:

Making sure that the children we look after have the right care has been extremely rewarding, and at Waltham Forest we have the structures and supportive working environment that is essential to giving young people the support they need.

In 2021, the Council won ‘Public Sector Children’s Team of the Year’ and the ‘Children in Care’ award at the Children and Young People Now awards.

Cllr Alistair Strathern, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, emphasised the benefits of working in an award-winning Council, he said:

Being a social worker is one of the most important jobs in our society, directly helping people who need it most to improve their lives.

Like many areas in the UK, Waltham Forest faces challenges providing social care to people in its local community, due to a national shortage in social workers. Age UK estimates there are currently around 45,000 vacancies in the social care sector, while the NHS has warned it faces a shortage of 100,000 workers in health and social care.

Photo: London Borough of Waltham Forest