How we work

What models/initiatives are we using in Suffolk?

Social Work Services within ACS is a dynamic service, which makes people’s ideas happen. As a service, we ask staff to contribute to key transformation programmes and co-produce initiatives with the local population.

ACS is a service working to an exciting new operating model and is at the forefront of Care Act and Health & Social Care integration. Please see below for further information about how we work and each of the models/ initiatives we work to:

ACS has recently adopted a new model of working - Supporting Lives, Connecting Communities which supports people to live independently in their communities and plan ahead so that they can stay independent for longer. It is based on a three tier model of Help to Help Yourself, Help when you need it, and Ongoing Support for those who need it. The new model of working focuses on a proactive, preventative approach rather than turning people away who do not fit the criteria.

The approach is based on:

  • Asking what might help someone to live independently and working with them to deliver it quickly
  • Growing links with communities, building on existing assets and enabling local responses
  • Working with partners, for example the health and voluntary sector
  • Focussing on prevention and information so people have the right information to help themselves
  • Ensuring consistency for people all the way through; when people call in for help and advice they should speak to the same person in their local team all the way through
  • Looking and learning from data to make sure that systems are fast, simple and lean and that waiting lists and waiting times are reduced

SLCC offers the opportunity for Social Workers to connect people to all organisations- voluntary and community services. We find that many communities are very good at supporting the people who live within them. SLCC is all about building on that resourcefulness and helping people to remain independent. 

We have introduced SLCC to help us to implement much of the Care Act requirements (legislation brought in by the Government). By April 2015, Local Authorities across the country have needed to deliver against a number of key requirements, such as:

  • Better information and advice to customers, their families and carers
  • Help tailored to the individual rather than a matching of customers to services
  • Extending the rights of Carers
  • Capping of care costs
  • Preventing people from needing help from statutory services in the first place
  • Having a better oversight of the care market
  • Ensuring the Personal Budgets and Support Plans are delivered as the way of providing care to people
  • Pushing forward with integration as a way for services to work better together
  • Carrying out more planned reviews, instead of leaving things to reach crisis point
  • Better integrated working with the Voluntary sector
  • Better data sharing between key partner agencies.

Suffolk County Council has invested £2 million to invest in new posts so that these objectives can be achieved, and this includes a number of new Social Work posts. This has resulted in increased job opportunities for people and a re-invigorated role for Social Workers and the introduction of a new team to our set up: our Review Cluster.

Linking in with the Care Act legislation, Health and Social Care integration is another key change project for ACS. In fact, it is one of Suffolk County Council’s key Transformation Programmes.

ACS is leading/ co-ordinating the development of the Integrated Neighbourhood Teams and the Neighbourhood Networks (the 2 main building blocks for integration). There are 2 Early Adopter sites (Connect Sudbury and Connect East Ipswich) which are adopting an integrated way of working, with a view to county-wide roll-out. The planning work underway involves a collaborative working between a number of multi-agency partners, such as Children and Young People’s service, Mental Health services, the Police, Suffolk Community Health, the Voluntary sector and the district/ borough councils. The Early Adopter sites are paying particular attention to how the teams will work in a preventative way, prioritising reablement of people so that they can maximise their independence. There is an emphasis on learning from elsewhere but also listening to the local population, and also involving managers and their staff in the design

Suffolk County Council Adult and Community Services are proud members of the Suffolk Health and Wellbeing Board.

Take a look at the link below if you'd like to learn more about Suffolk Health and Wellbeing and the Better Care Fund.

Suffolk's Better Care Fund Plan 2015-16

What our Social Workers have to say...

Social Worker Leanne Clarke
Leanne Clarke

“The people I work with are generally facing a crisis in their life, a life changing event, a devastating diagnosis, loss of independence. If I can make things less stressful for them, support them through the processes, advocate for them where needed to help them to get the help they need, then I feel I am making a difference.”

Social Worker Julia Rodwell
Julia Rodwell

“As a manager I give staff the opportunity to have their own career path, help them to develop, encourage them to take part in training and to also ensure that they have all the tools they need to do their job properly. It’s about a personalised approach to managing and supporting staff here.”

Social Worker Seb Smith
Seb Smith

“Social Work is important because it gives people who are disenfranchised or marginalised more opportunity. Some people face greater challenge's than others when trying to live a rewarding and independent life, but social work can support them to achieve their goals.''

Social Worker Phil Stamper
Phil Stamper

“Being a Social Worker is part of me. I enjoy working with people and am proud to be a Social Worker. It is a privilege to be involved in people’s lives and be welcomed to work alongside them.”

Social Worker Steph Weese
Steph Weese

“For me, every one of these customers and their families matters in their own right; there’s no small problem or big problem they are all important.”

Social Worker Victoria Rudkin
Victoria Rudkin

“There are lots of opportunities in Suffolk County Council and you are able to have a very diverse career and there are great promotion opportunities; there are a lot of pathways to take your career at Suffolk.”