Philip's story

Philip's story

I graduated with a Master’s Degree in Social Work whilst living in Manchester in 2012. Prior to this I worked in a leaving care service and as part of various youth and community work organisations across the Greater Manchester area.

I relocated to Devon in 2013 and started working for Devon County Council as a children and family social worker. I became an Assigned Social Worker in Devon Partnership Trust in 2015. Initially I was employed as a Care Co-ordinator in the Honiton CMHT, before moving on to a Social Work Practice Lead position across North and Mid Devon in 2017. I spent the next year working alongside my peer Social Work leads in Exeter/East and South/West Devon and our new Head of Professions for Social Work, on the Social Care redesign.

This work involved redefining the role of the Assigned Social Worker in the community mental health teams in relation to the statutory duties of the Care Act 2014. I found this practice development work incredibly exciting and fulfilling.

Phillip Beattie

Once we had established the new Social Care service, I was successfully appointed to the role of North and Mid Devon Social Care Team Manager and managed a team of eight Assigned Social Workers across the region for the next couple of years.

After taking some time off in early 2020 to focus on family life (great timing eh?), I returned to DPT and was afforded the opportunity (partially because of the pressures of Covid) to further expand my interests around practice development and redesign.

I have been involved in work around improving the interface between the social care/social work, across community and inpatient settings. I have also had the opportunity to work alongside colleagues in CAMHS and Devon County Council to look at how we can improve our transitions offer for those approaching adulthood in CAMHS services and will continue to pilot an exciting ‘Preparing for Adulthood’ offer with CAMHS and DCC colleagues across the next 12 months, in a new interim role of Social Work Practice and Projects Lead.

The future: Across Devon Partnership Trust, I and other Social Workers are playing an active role in looking at how we transform our services in line with the principles of the new Community Mental Health Framework. through engagement in clinical design and delivery groups; bringing the expertise of strengths based/solution focussed methods of intervention and specifically sharing the knowledge developed through the outreach and partnership working that has taken place over the past few years with the third sector organisations in their localities.

I would encourage everyone to read our Mental Health Social Work Practice Handbook, which was launched to coincide with World Social Work Day in 2021. The aim of the handbook is to support not only our Social Workers, but team managers and leaders across our organisation to better understand the professional value of the social work offer and support our Social Workers to assert their professional practice with confidence.

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