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Keeping in touch – 27 August

I couldn't start today's message without mentioning our Fostering Service inspection again. I hope you read the additional message that shared how our Fostering Service is now ‘good’ in all areas- thank you to everyone in every part of the Trust who contributed to this fantastic outcome!

Embracing flexible working - resuming office working

It was agreed in our Senior Leadership Team this week that we need to progress this in order to gain the benefits of both home and office working.  

It was great to see more people in the Wellman Building this week and have face to face conversations with them. It was lovely to meet people from Care Management and our Disability service- Franklin, Ade, Portia, Charlotte, Sylvia, Sue and Penny. I also had an interesting conversation with members of Rowley COG who had come in for group supervision.

We need to build on this so people can come together in their teams so the full advantages of peer support, manager over sight and guidance can be achieved.

The deadline for your accommodation feedback is 31 August. From here we will be putting together a workable rota for teams to access the offices.

Hybrid conference facilities - update

I'm pleased to let you know that work is progressing in respect of the installation of hybrid conference facilities in all of our meeting rooms at the Wellman Building, METSEC and the two meeting rooms in the MASH office at Sandwell Council House.

We've agreed a priority order for our rooms with the first installation scheduled to take place before 21 September in the Boardroom at the Wellman Building. This will include an interactive screen as well as the MS Teams hub functionality.

This technology will help us achieve our aim of a blended approach of office and home working.

Workforce update

I am pleased to tell you that we have appointed another permanent Team Manager to join us. You will also be aware that a number of new roles are all currently being advertised by our recruitment partners, Penna:

The deadline for the first 2 posts is 10 September and 17 September for the others. For further information about the roles and how to apply, please contact Tracey Roberts or Nicola Green - HR Resourcing Specialists.

NQSWs: launch of an ASYE Hub

We have 24 newly qualified Social Workers in their ‘Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE) who are part of our Sandwell Family- 12 are already with us with 12 due to start. I had the pleasure of meeting some of them today and also met two in the Wellman building who joined us this week.

We know we need to make sure that they all receive the support and guidance they need to progress smoothly though their ASYE programme, so they can develop into our Senior Social Workers, Advanced Practitioners or Team Managers of the future. As part of our strategy to achieve this, an ASYE HUB is being set up, led by one of our Service Managers, Jane Miller.  Alaine Shaw, our ASYE Academy Manager will work closely with Jane to ensure the requirements of the ASYE programme are adhered to. A particular focus for Jane will be helping our ASYEs with their induction, which will include training opportunities, as well as advising them on where all their support networks are. In consultation with Alaine, Jane will also ensure that NQSWs have shadowing and learning opportunities, including time spent in our front door. Reflective spaces will also enable them to discuss their experiences which should also help us continue to improve our approach.

Finally, whatever you're doing this bank holiday weekend, I hope that you manage to relax and spend some quality time doing the things that you enjoy.


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