Social worker team meeting

A Day in the Life of a Social Care Practitioner – Natasha McEwen

Social Work Week provides us with the opportunity to share a glimpse into the role of Social Work and the value it adds to our community. We met with Natasha to find out more about her role and how Social Work supports individuals and families across the borough of Windsor and Maidenhead.

Natasha will soon qualify as a social worker and is currently working as a Senior Social Care Practitioner in the Local Access Point (LAP) Team, supporting adults living the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead.

“I joined Optalis in my final year of my Social Work degree, I did my final placement of 100 days in Optalis. I liked the team that I was in and the people that I was working with and wanted to stay. In the LAP team, I work alongside Community Matrons, mental health professionals and Occupational Therapists. The people that we work with usually have more complex needs and situations, and benefit from this multi-disciplinary approach.”

“We generally work with people on a short-term basis. We work to get things in place right away, so they person can live a good life, is safe and can remain in their home. Once the person’s situation is more stable, the long-term team will work with the person to plan more permanent solutions, as needed.”


Natasha’s day starts at 8:45am, with a check of her emails and the social care system, where she responds to anything urgent, and adds tasks to her plan for the rest of the day. She then checks the referrals in preparation for the daily multidisciplinary meeting.

At 10am Natasha joins the rest of her team for the meeting. 

“We focus on the new referrals coming in. We pull together information we have, using both the NHS and social care systems, and then plan our next steps to support the person.
We also talk through our current cases. It's an opportunity to share your findings and get advice and support and tap into the knowledge of other team members. I find it helpful because I get service recommendations and ideas for the best way to help the people that we're working with.”

After the huddle, Natasha returns to her desk to complete admin tasks including updating case notes, writing assessments and support plans. Natasha works closely with several teams, including Home First, a service supporting people to go home after a hospital stay. She makes a referral to Home First for Mr Ahmed an older man who is recovering from an injury and needs some support whilst he rebuilds his strength and confidence.


In the afternoon Natasha has scheduled a couple of visits. Her first visit is to meet with Mrs Rena, who has been finding it challenging to keep her house clean due to changes in her health and mobility. This has also impacted on her confidence and her emotional wellbeing. Natasha has been working with her to think about how she can manage her situation, building rapport and trust.

Natasha adds 

“Mrs Rena acknowledges that she needs help to clean her home but has been reluctant to accept the support. I have taken her lead, moving step by step, at a pace she is comfortable with. The next step is to agree when we can arrange for a deep clean of her home to take place. I have also
been working with her to think about ongoing support she may need, including access to mental health services.”

Natasha’s next visit is to see Mr and Mrs Tickner. Mrs Tickner had contacted Adult Services because Mr Tickner’s is having difficulty moving around his home and has been experiencing falls, and she expressed that she was beginning to struggle with her caring responsibilities. The visit is carried out alongside an Occupational Therapist, who can look at ways to help prevent further falls.

“We do the assessment together, as it reduces the amounts for visits for the family. It helps the person because they don’t have to repeat themselves to lots of different professionals, and we build a holistic picture of their situation.”

The OT recommends some rails for around the home, a perching stool for the bathroom and advises the family on who to contact to get a wheelchair to help Mr Tickner leave the house.

“I have a conversation with Mr and Mrs Tickner and they feel that they need someone coming to support Mr Tickner once a week. This support will give Mrs Tickner some time to do things for herself, even just going to get her hair done because she hasn't been able to do that for a while. It's small things, but things that matters to her, and she needs to look after her own wellbeing.”

Natasha then heads back to her desk to write up any notes and checks for any urgent tasks that may have come through while she has been out. She writes up the assessment and puts in a package of care for Mr and Mrs Tickner.

Reflecting on her role and why she has chosen Social Work, Natasha concludes:

“During the lockdown I started to reassess my career, I was working in retail management at the time. I wanted to do something that benefits people and makes a difference to their lives. I made the decision to step into social work and I haven't looked back. I like the job that I'm doing, every day is so different. I’m just starting out, but I'm learning every day, not only from my colleagues but I'm also learning from the people that we are going out into the community and helping.”

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