Hello and welcome to blog number one.
As complete novices who are not accustomed to writing ‘blogs’ this is all new to us but we want to reach out and connect with our clients and site visitors as well as harness some great discussion within the social care sector and beyond. We also thought this would be a lovely way for you to get to know us here at Eleos Care Consultants and hopefully as we grow we can get to know some of you as well.
Myself (Ashton) and Gemma will be writing these blogs and updating this part of the site on a regular basis. I thought we could start by writing a little bit about us and our interests and backgrounds. Both Gemma and I have adopted London as our lovely home but qualified in Social work in Leeds and Wiltshire.
Ashton – I have a degree in Psychology and Criminology and have always had an interest in the mind and particularly how social factors can impact on us throughout our lives. After qualifying I worked in supported living for 3 years with adults with learning disabilities and mental health problems to support them to live fulfilled lives in an independent setting. I found this highly rewarding and equally challenging.
After feeling limited by my role after a few years and how much ‘change’ I could bring about I decided to go back to university to do my Masters in Social work, while also working part time in a psychiatric hospital supporting patients who had been detained or were there voluntarily. Upon qualifying I decided I wanted to work with Adults and have worked in a variety of teams since qualifying including community mental health, first response/access teams and long term adults teams in both Leeds and London.
Gemma – My experience of social work began from childhood watching on as my parents tried (tirelessly) to get support for my brother who is living with Asperger’s Syndrome and learning disabilities. I later worked in the care sector for a number of years working with adults with profound and multiple learning disabilities. These experiences fuelled my passion for social justice and fairness, which continue to be motivating factors behind my practice as a social worker to date. I studied social work at the University of Bath and upon qualifying have focused my practice on working with older adults, adults with autistic spectrum disorders and adults with support needs due to their mental health.
Social work in a statutory setting has its challenges. Juggling the expectations of the service, time and budget restraints with the needs of the client, having enough time to truly get to know the person and to feel like you are really making a difference to somebodies life no matter how big or small can be difficult at times.
Our role can also be difficult to understand; encompassing advocate, counsellor, assessor, agent of the state and budget holder. We are privileged to be allowed to access and discuss with somebody the most intimate aspects of their lives and to have somebody trust you with their private information is something that we do not take for granted.
We set up Eleos Care Consultants to allow us the freedom to redefine social work for adults in the private sector.
Our work generally covers 2 main areas; supporting clients who are financially in a position to fund services themselves and do not wish to go through the local authority but still want professional assistance from a qualified social worker; and clients who come via solicitors, local authorities and other professionals for expert reports and assessments to help aid in reviews and appeals for example.
We want to place the client at the heart of everything we do and ensure we provide a personalised, high class and responsive service, focussing on goals and outcomes as well as advocating for the rights of clients. We work hard to ensure the Social Workers here at Eleos Care Consultants also work to the same ethos.
Overall we aim to make Eleos a dynamic, forward thinking company at the forefront of the private social care sector. We realise there are many changes and challenges in store for social care as a whole in the near future within the UK and by providing a specialist service we hope to support a growing number of people through this.