Managing, promoting and improving outstanding social work practice

Daniel Crampton discusses his key role as Principle Social Worker (PSW), working with our social work team in Optalis to drive improvement, support teams and develop practice.

What does the Principle Social Worker role involve?

It’s a variable role, no two Authorities use it in the same way. I was brought in to cover the ethics of COVID and easements etc., which is statutory, but I am now doing a lot of learning and development work with the workforce and HR in addition to this. I have also been advising on casework, conduct and chairing safeguarding meetings.
My role is extremely varied and whilst staying in touch with front-line workers, I also report to the Director of Adult Social Care, sit on the Divisional management team (DMT) and Senior management team (SMT) meetings and liaise with PSWs and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) members across the region.

What is your background?

I have been working in Social Care settings since I was a teenager, qualifying in 1989 and working in statutory provision and residential care settings for Local Authorities and the 3rd sector continuously since that time. More recently a lot of my work has been in Quality Assurance in Safeguarding practice.

How do you support your teams to continually improve?

By emphasising personal development as part of professional development and ensuring the opportunities are available for staff to be engaged in a learning environment that offers them opportunities to learn and advance their careers simultaneously
I liaise with the workforce and ascertain the training and learning and development needs and aspirations, then work with HR to source and resource them. I often run training and ensure that the team are aware of the sessions.

What are you hoping to achieve in the role in the next twelve months?

I’m working on a systematic training development and advancement strategy that allows for learning and progression as part of the “Offer” for our workforce.

What changes have you seen in social work over the past twelve months?

Our workforce have responded in an ethical and flexible manner to the challenge of a global crisis and shown themselves to be brave, compassionate and resilient, personally and professionally.

What one thing would you like people to know about social workers?

"They are highly trained and dedicated individuals who have forgone financial gain to work tirelessly to improve social conditions and challenge inequality."

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