“There’s nothing like knowing you’ve changed a family’s life for the better.”
Ramandeep has worked at Warwickshire County Council (WCC) for just over 10 years and is a fantastic example of someone who has shaped her own career, progressed with her strengths, and explored interests in other areas.
Initially joining WCC as a social worker in Rubgy, having previously worked in social care at other local authorities in the West Midlands, Ramandeep spent a number of years working directly with families in Warwickshire to support them with any problems they were facing. Ramandeep said: “I used to live in India and I always saw so much poverty, so I knew wanted a career where I could help people. I wanted to make a change and a difference to people’s lives, when I finished school I went to university to study social work - I felt it was the right path for me so I just went for it!
“When I qualified, I worked in education and residential settings working with vulnerable young people, before moving to local authorities to work with children leaving care and working for the front-line safeguarding team. I’ve always had a passion for fast-paced, high intensity roles and I enjoy working at speed!”
There’s no denying that working in children’s social care is a challenging career path. Ramandeep said: “Sometimes it can be really difficult when you feel like you’re not able to support the changes that are needed within a family. It never stops being heart-breaking, even more so now I am a parent myself. The decisions we make literally change lives, so the most important thing is always putting children at the heart of everything we do.
Ramandeep added: “As a social worker, you are often not welcomed into the lives of children and families but when you are able to build a connection and support change; it is the most rewarding role. You can support a family to identify their strengths and make changes for the better. It’s a fantastic feeling knowing that you mean something to them, and they are grateful for the support. There’s nothing like knowing you’ve changed a child or family’s life for the better.”
After working as a social worker for several years, Ramandeep progressed to become a Team Leader, supporting and developing the service provided to children and families. WCC gives all its employees the opportunity to develop the career they want and learn different skills. There's nothing stopping someone from going a long way at the council and personally contributing to the county's success. Ramandeep is just one example of this, having gone from a social worker onto a team leader in Rugby Assessment & Intervention Team, moving to the Multi-Agency Safeguarding hub (MASH) dealing with safeguarding concerns and the Child Exploitation Team before progressing to support the service overall. Ramandeep added: “I have been able to be a part of so many different teams which has meant I now have a whole breadth of experience and have learnt so much along the way.”
Ramandeep now works as a Team Leader in the Practice Improvement Team which she describes as ‘like no other role’ she has had. Ramandeep manages a team of Development Officers and using her experience in social work, her aim is to help shape services to better benefit children and families. The team support the utilisation of financial investment in the best possible way by supporting teams to build new services or improve existing ones, all of which will in turn better supports children and families across the county.
“My job is really varied and involves anything and everything that will support change and service development and improvement. Although I’m no longer directly working with families, I feel I can make bigger changes because I am helping to develop and shape the services that support vulnerable children and families. The wider aim is to make Warwickshire a great place for children and families to live and thrive.”
Ramandeep added: “I feel really privileged in my role. I am in a position where I can develop whilst putting myself in the shoes of families in Warwickshire and using that knowledge to make a real change. If my team identifies a problem, we find long-lasting solutions and we make a real tangible difference to the service which is hugely rewarding.”
When asked about what has enabled Ramandeep to progress in her career she said: “I’ve always had really supportive managers at WCC who have encouraged me to take the step and give me praise along the way.
“I don’t think I would’ve progressed to where I am without that encouragement. I’ve always felt that my managers have had my back and that has definitely contributed to why I have stayed so long, I have always felt safe and supported.”
Ramandeep added: “WCC has also been a great place to work for me because I’ve had so many opportunities, I’ve been able to take part in training that I have never had access to before. As a social worker it’s very easy to move to other local authorities but WCC has always provided me with the support to progress and my managers have always been fantastic at recognising my strengths and helping me develop. I have stayed because I have always felt really valued and listened to.”
Ramandeep is just one example of the many people that make up the Children and Families Service at Warwickshire County Council. Everyone in the service strives to achieve the best outcomes for children and families across the county. Ramandeep said: “WCC Is a great place to work in children’s social care. You can’t undermine that it’s challenging but you will be supported, and you will have the opportunity to gain a fantastic breadth of experience. I’ve seen so many people in the service grow in confidence and become well-rounded practitioners, developing into their full potential.”
If you are interested in joining the children and families workforce at Warwickshire County Council, go to www.warwickshire.gov.uk/workforus.
For more information on other employment opportunities at Warwickshire County Council go to www.warwickshire.gov.uk/jobs.