Kerri has worked in our residential services for over 12 years. Her hard work and determination have seen her work her way up to become a registered manager. Here she tells us a little bit about how she got there and what you can expect from working at Together Trust.
I first started working at the Together Trust in 2006 as a level one residential social care worker (RSCW) at Meridian, one of our short breaks homes. I worked there until 2011 when I became a senior RSCW and worked in some of our emotional and behavioural difficulty (EBD) homes. In 2013, I became an assistant manager and returned to Meridian in 2016 to be the deputy.
Working across our different homes
I made a conscious decision to work across our different homes because I had only ever worked with people who had autism or learning disabilities. Going into an EBD home was quite daunting at first but I look back now and I’m very grateful I took that leap as it helped me to gain the knowledge I’ve needed further down the line in my career. Not only did I gain experience of working with children and young people with different needs but I also got a good understanding of the Trust as a whole, from policies and procedures to government legislation.
It has also meant I’ve worked alongside brilliant colleagues and supported some amazing young people. The experience has really stood me in good stead for where I am today as I’ve worked with inspirational managers who have all taught me different aspects which I have then been able to pull together.
Growing and developing in my career
I’ve had good support to progress at all stages throughout my career, from a level one RSCW right up to my promotion to manager. I’ve had so much support from Sarah the manager and the wider staff team at Meridian that I feel equipped and ready for my role. Going forward, I know that support will continue.
Our senior operations managers are excellent and will be there to help me every step of the way, and I have a wider network of departments in the Together Trust. Knowing they're there means I don’t feel like I'm going in on this on my own, it’s a team effort!
My role now
I’m the manager of Haines House, which opened in summer 2018. Haines is a shared care home with a permanent placement so it will give us the chance to work with the young people and help to prepare them for adulthood.
It’s also a great opportunity for me personally because rather than moving into an already established home, I’ll be there right from the beginning. I’ve known that I’ve wanted to be a manager since I came into social care and it’s been a bit of a dream to set up a home from scratch. I’ll also be getting to work closely with our wonderful disability services managers, who have many years of experience and will be there to help support me.
Working in a residential home
You build strong relationships with your colleagues because you have to rely on one another, more than you might have to work as a team in an office. The role can be emotional and demanding at times, but it means that you have great trust and rapport with your colleagues. You have a joint appreciation of the role of a care worker because you get to see the young people develop and you can share that as a team.
My advice for people thinking of becoming an RSCW 1
We have an amazing training package at the Together Trust that will help you to get your level 3 residential childcare qualification. So definitely apply for a role with us!
Once you have the job, enjoy it and keep developing your knowledge. We have a learning and development department that can advise you on the training courses that you can take. Take the opportunity to move around our different services if you can, as your career progresses it will help deepen your knowledge.
You can always sign up as bank staff to see what the Trust has on offer and get that different experience. And finally, when the opportunity for progression comes up and you feel ready, go for it as you will have great support.