The Transitions Team have provided an update on the varied work they are undertaking during the coronavirus pandemic.
Anita Davies, Transitions Team Manager
I have asked for updates from the Adult Service Transition Team, so you can get to know everyone. We support 14 to 25 year olds transition into adulthood, especially around issues of vulnerability and the need for support around disability in order to aid opportunities and maximise fulfilment and potential, working together with local services. We manage assessments and reviews around direct payments, care and supported living in order to promote independence. Our team is stable and has grown and is varied in experience.
Our work has been varied and enjoyable. We value our young people and their carers especially appreciating their resilience at such a difficult time as they all do such an amazing job.
Nakita Baptiste, Senior Social Worker
Nakita is on leave at present but has been building relationships with local schools and helping them to identify children who will benefit from our support. Nikita has presented presentations on Transitions to CLASP and Addington School and focuses on our support for 14 to 18 year olds and our attendance at EHCP And Transition Reviews. Nakita has much experience in Adult Services, as well as Autism and is working on her Post Graduate certificate in Autism at present.
Gill Windsor, Advanced Social Worker
Regular contact with all young people and families continues to ensure that they are managing at home with their young people during Covid 19. Creative use of the Direct Payments has been agreed in light of services within the community not being able to provide the normal care and support for our young people. This has been well received and much appreciated. Reports from family are that the young people are more settled and occupied. The creativity has included requests in line with their Care Act identified need such as exercise bikes and arts and crafts that has stimulated both physical and mental health and well-being.
Continued attendance at The Autism Strategy Meeting to work towards a Pathway for our young people. Along with attendance at the Carers Strategic Group (Promise Inclusion for carers) to ensure that our families are updated with the current support that is available. This is all online at this time with the opportunity of speaking with support workers via video call or a phone call. Foodbank requests continue to come in and are dealt with as a matter of urgency.
Visits for my young people with permission gained, will include Lateral Testing on the morning of each visit, Risk Assessment shared with family completed and full Personal Protection Equipment worn and disposed of appropriately and social distancing of 2 metres from young people and families. On the day of the visit, calls are made to ensure that everyone is well.
Transitions are partaking in Strengths Based Training to ensure that our assessments are completed person centred in a wholesome, holistic manner. We continue to work closely with Special Educations Needs to plan for transitions for our young people to provide hope for the future at this most difficult time and the hope that our young people will return to their educational establishments as quickly and safely as possible. As well as working closely with Supported Employment that provide one to one support and enthusiasm for our young people to aspire to get into paid work, voluntary, further training, apprenticeships and contact with local employers that focuses on our young people’s wishes, dreams and aspirations for their future, in a realistic manner.
Work continues with Learning Disability Accommodation Strategy Group, ensuring that our young people are provided with the freedom to move into supported living accommodation at some stage, as appropriate, as part of their transitions pathway.
Wokingham Borough Council Transport continues to support with any complex problems faced by our young people for a variety of reasons. Information shared with families with Personal Assistants that are available for work and creating bespoke support such as short walks in the community, socially distanced, dependent on the young person’s abilities and goals.
Leanne Fretwell, Transitions Social Worker
I have been working with teams throughout Adult Services to deliver support to new students with a view to providing an understanding of our team and the people we support. The team has been developing their techniques and knowledge to ensure they provide best practice and the best support during transition. The current climate has been a difficult time for service users, the team and students and the strength show by them and their ability to keep going in a time which is uncertain has been astounding. The team has been creative in their support to ensure that needs are met for those they work with to include the carers who are providing extensive support in a difficult environment with limited resources. In addition there has been some exciting developments around the Autism Strategy and the team have been encouraged to involve service users with autism to provide input into the design of the Autism Strategy which is currently being formulised and has been structured around the views of people who are affected or are aware of the needs and challenges autistic people experience in the Wokingham Borough. I have identified some people who would be happy to form part of the development of the strategy and this allows for further inclusion and collaboration between agencies and service users.
Amanda Brierley, Senior Social Worker
My support for the families on the caseload during the Covid-19 period has often revolved around looking at their Direct Payment and how this can be used creatively to ease the pressure of the lockdown restrictions. Anxiety has been high, and having a friendly voice at the end of the phone, checking on that person’s well-being, has been gratefully received. I have also been liaising with colleges and schools regarding attendance during the pandemic.
I am completing my Best Interest Assessor course during this time which is giving me a deeper understanding of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards and how they apply to the customers in the Transitions Team.
Priscilla Owusu, Social Worker
My hope is to pass my assessed and supported year in employment (ASYE) and gain skills that will equip me within my role as a social worker. I aim to build professional relationships with my clients and colleagues. Over time developing in my role by engaging with clients to support them with their needs. My desire is to advocate for clients who may not know the right procedure to make their needs known. It is my hope to be an Approved Mental Health Professionals (AMHP) in the next 3 years.
In my work I am looking forward to working with both external and internal members of staff to provide support for clients. From the meetings I have had with professionals, I believe we all have the best interest of clients at heart and so working in partnership with other professionals to build a positive working relationship will enable me to get the best for my clients.
Recently I really enjoyed my prevent e learning as it shed light on some issues that may be overlooked in society. It has also allowed me to view things differently in order to keep myself and others safe. This can only be done if I build a good rapport with my clients to be able to identify any changes in their behaviours and offer support if needed.
Christine Kaburi, Social Worker
Youth Opportunities/ Virtual Opportunities
A new service for people with learning disability and Autism to socialise and meet new friends. This is run by The Ark in Bracknell. They have Zoom sessions for those who want to make friends /late night social socialising. It is a safe programme for the vulnerable young people.
For more information visit the ark website.
One of my young person has recently joined and is finding it really beneficial.
During the Lock down, I supported a young person settle back in the community in a Supported Living Accommodation. This is a young person who has been in a residential school for many years out of county. He has settled very well in the community, he is now very independent in many more ways than expected. He is now accessing the community independently having been supervised throughout his residential school.
Rebecca Down, Social Worker
My name is Rebecca and I started in the Transition team in January 2021. As a newly qualified social worker I am excited to be part of a team of people with a real commitment to our customers and their families. I have recently started my assessed and supported year in employment (ASYE) and I am working at getting my ‘student’ head back on – which after the flurry of final essays and work placement is a bit of a challenge. So far, my time with the team has been taken up with induction processes, trying to meet as many of my colleagues across the sector and local authority and of course no induction would be complete without lots and lots of e-learning! I have to say, that I am really happy to be starting working with young people now, getting to know them and the teams of people around them and their families. To that end, I look forward to working with everyone as time goes on!
Kirsty Taylor-Smith, Student Social Worker
I am currently working on an interactive and customisable power point presentation to introduce the transitions team to young people and to inform them of the process and support that can be offered to them as their reach adulthood. It is hoped that the presentation will be engaging and appeal to a wide range of abilities focusing on their strengths to enable them and their carers to feel confident about approaching adulthood and comfortable with the changes that will be happening around them in terms of education, training and future employment/volunteering, living arrangements, support and engagement with the community.