Read Franzi’s account of her role as an Assessment and Reconnection worker at our West Assessment Centre.
‘When I graduated from University the world was my Oyster! So it seemed anyway with a desirable degree in pocket – but none of the jobs out there really interested me and I was not looking forward to having to sit in an office all day monitoring care plans or writing reports. ‘What happened to good old fashioned social work?’ I asked myself, disappointed.
Not for long though! I found a job at No Second Night Out – a new and really exciting and innovative project which is aimed at targeting new rough sleepers and prevent them from having to sleep another night out on the streets.
It has always amazed me that all our clients are from different walks of life. No case is ever the same and the nature of the work is so dynamic that as soon as you think you know the drill, something comes in the way. That is a good thing though, it keeps the team on their feet and it really never gets boring.
The job requires me to be very assertive sometimes and give clients a realistic picture of what can be done to help them. The brutal truth that not everyone is prepared to hear this! I have dealt with challenging situations with the support of my team, yet 99 per cent of the time the role requires our negotiating and risk management skills.
We work with such a wide range of people with all kinds of support needs, including physical and mental health issues, drug and alcohol problems, different social and cultural backgrounds, etc. Though I am not employed as a social worker, I do all the things a social worker working for the council would do – I carry out thorough needs and risk assessments, manage a case load, support clients at the council to make homeless applications, liaise with other service providers, link my clients in with services which will help them address their support needs (e.g. floating support, mental health or drug services) etc. Some days I coordinate shifts and cases (something I had never done before and my management skills have improved significantly) and some days my colleagues allocated cases to me. NSNO is a high profile project and we therefore need to work at an immaculate standard at all times – this is of course challenging but also means that I have acquired a wide range of skills and knowledge which I could bring to virtually any job in the sector.
Having worked at NSNO for over a year now, I have been able to transfer and use my social work skills and also gain wider experience working with some of the most vulnerable people in society. I can recommend working for No Second Night Out if you (like me) are looking for that social work job with a twist or want to get into social work in the future but want to gain some unique experience first.
If you are interested in working for No Second Night Out please click here to view our vacancies