TV shows highlighting realities of social work



In recent years, the social work sector has received negative publicity due to cases like Baby P.  As a result, the general public’s perception of social workers isn’t necessarily true of how they can make a difference to vulnerable children and families.

This is why we are really pleased to see two national TV programmes have been focusing on what social workers do and have provided a balanced insight into the social work profession.

15,000 Kids and Counting – Channel 4, Thursday 9pm

In 2013, 15,000 children were waiting to be adopted. This three part documentary, concluding tonight, uses cameras to follow the highly challenging and important work of child protection officers and the adoption process from start to finish. Along the way, we meet social workers, foster carers, birth parents and the adoptive parents as tough decisions are being made about the future of vulnerable children in Britain.

Protecting our Parents – BBC 2 – Thursday, 9pm

Currently in Britain, there are more pensioners living than children. As the population continues to grow older, there is an increasing pressure placed on a system that is already struggling to cope.

This documentary has unprecedented access to Birmingham’s NHS and Social Services’ older adults care teams. It follows cases over the period of a year and shows the perspective of the professionals, the families, and the elderly.

The first episode in the series starts tonight at 9pm.

It’s great that people are having the opportunity to see these programs and understand what really goes on. It’s been a brave but beneficial decision from both the local authorities and the social workers (and the families filmed) to allow the cameras to follow them for several years for these programmes to take place.

These programmes will make a huge different in allowing the public to understand the sector. We will look forward to watching the next documentary.

Join in with live discussions on Twitter by following #15000kidsandcounting #ProtectingOurParents. Let us know what you think via @SanctuarySW

World Social Work Day 2014

World Social Work Day 2014The IFSW’s annual World Social Work Day will be held on Tuesday 18th March 2014. This year’s event, which will see social workers from across the globe celebrating, will expand on last year’s by proposing Social Work Solutions on Social & Economic Crisis.

The aim of the day is to celebrate the outstanding passion and commitment of social workers around the world highlighting their work and contribution to society.

Sanctuary has made great strides in helping to raise awareness of the positive social work practice that takes place on a daily basis, particularly as headline sponsor of the Social Worker of the Year Awards.

The awards event honours social workers across the country for their outstanding practice – many of whom have become fantastic ambassadors for the profession, creating positive publicity on the success of social workers and, essentially, improving public understanding. For more information on the Social Worker of the Year Awards visit

If you would like to voice your opinions on World Social Work Day, tweet your comments to @SanctuarySW. Remember to use the hashtag #worldsocialworkday!

Sanctuary Personnel is the leading social work agency, providing locum and permanent social work jobs throughout the UK.

Children and Families Bill becomes law – what does this mean for children’s services?

The Children and Families Act has become law after receiving royal assent on 13 March 2014. The Bill sets out reforms for adoption, looked after children, family justice and special educational needs.

Main changes in the Act include:

• Children in care have the choice of staying with their foster families until they turn 21
• Young carers and parent carers have clearer rights to support from councils
• Reforms to children’s residential care to make sure homes are safe and secure
• Expert evidence in family cases concerning children will be permitted only when necessary to resolve case justly
• 26-week time limit for completing care and supervision proceedings

For more details visit Community Care.

Confidence and Competence returns to inspire social work students and NQSWs

The Social Worker of the Year Awards 2013.

Above: Zoë Betts presenting the Adult NQSW of the year award at Social Worker of the Year Awards 2013.

Zoë Betts, a qualified social worker within adult services, is bringing the social work sector together for the third year at the Confidence and Competence event. This year’s event is taking place on Wednesday 2 April at Park Theatre, Finsbury Park, London.

The purpose of the independently run event is for those currently working in the sector to inspire and enthuse the new generation of social workers. It is designed to support students and NQSWs by giving them the chance to meet people who are/ have shared the same experiences, as well as discuss learning, concerns and anxieties.

By giving social workers the opportunity to liaise with other social workers at different levels, the event aims to improve knowledge of the sector along with helping to build professional links and increase confidence.

Register for your place now! For more information or to attend this event, visit the Confidence and Competence website. Registration closes at 12pm on Wednesday 2 April 2014.

Apprenticeship open day hailed success

Sanctuary Personnel's open day to celebrate National Apprenticeship WeekOur exclusive open day designed to help young people learn more about the National Apprenticeship Scheme has been hailed a success by staff and visitors.

Local people were invited to join us at our waterfront-based offices on Tuesday 4th March as part of the celebrations for this year’s National Apprenticeship Week (3-7th March). The event was designed to give young people the chance to gain valuable career advice as well as learn about the wide range of apprenticeship opportunities available throughout the company.

During the event visitors took part in a practical workshop designed to boost interview and CV writing skills before speaking to a representative from Easton & Otley College about the training requirements involved in the apprenticeship scheme. There was also an opportunity for visitors to ask questions to a number of our apprentices who were able to discuss their experiences.

19-year old Hannah Blears from Ipswich was one of the visitors who attended the event. She said: “I really like the idea of the apprenticeships as it’s a chance to earn some money whilst still learning. I like the fact that Sanctuary have so many opportunities and I’m really interested in doing a Business & Administration apprenticeship. It was really good to speak to people about their experiences with apprenticeships during the event and I’ll definitely be applying.”

Her comments were supported by Andrew Pirie, Head of Marketing who said: ‘It was a great opportunity for us to hear from potential apprentices about their thoughts on the process and the company itself. We know from our experience that many young people do not get given the practical help they need when preparing for interviews so this was an ideal opportunity for us to share our expertise with local people for their benefit. It’s really positive to think that we can make a difference to a young person’s career path and I hope that all of our visitors learnt a lot about how they can successfully improve their CV and interview techniques.”

He added: “We would also like to thank Easton & Otley College for coming along to the event and talking to visitors about the training aspect of the apprenticeship scheme. The event was a great success and we would definitely consider hosting a similar event later in the year.

Sanctuary is shortlisted for FOUR national awards

We've been shortlisted REC logoThe finalists for the Recruiter Awards for Excellence 2014 have been announced and Sanctuary Personnel has been shortlisted for FOUR awards more than any other recruitment agency in the UK!

We are extremely proud to be in the running for:

  • Recruitment Agency of the Year (more than 100 employees)
  • Best Client Service
  • Best Candidate Care
  • Best Recruitment Agency to Work For (more than 100 employees).


James Rook, Managing Director of Sanctuary Personnel, which won Best Client Service and Best Public Sector Recruitment Agency awards in 2012, spoke of what this means to the company:

“Recognition from such a prestigious awards event is a testament to the exceptional work ethic of our staff and the service they deliver to our clients and candidates. Particularly in the last year, Sanctuary has experienced phenomenal growth; we have continued to improve, expand and innovate within the health and social care sector.

“I’m thrilled that the company has been recognised in four of the most coveted categories. We are really looking forward to the ceremony in May and keeping our fingers crossed!”

Sanctuary Personnel, which is the most accredited and largest privately owned social work recruitment company in the UK, works with more than 160 local authorities, stretching from the Orkney Islands to the Isles of Scilly. The company is also a preferred supplier of qualified social workers to the NSPCC, Cafcass and SSAFA on a national level.

The full shortlist of entrants for the Recruiter’s Awards for Excellence can be seen on the website The winners of the 29 categories will be announced at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London on Wednesday, 7 May 2014.

Exclusive event celebrates National Apprenticeship Week

Do an apprenticeship at Sanctuary Personnel

We are inviting young people (aged 16-24) to visit our offices at Neptune Marina (on the Ipswich waterfront) between 10am-12pm on Tuesday 4th March to learn about our range of apprenticeship opportunities and to gain valuable career advice. The event, which will coincide with National Apprenticeship Week (3rd-7th March), will highlight the wide range of career opportunities here at Sanctuary.

As one of Ipswich’s leading employers, we are offering local people an exclusive opportunity to learn valuable interview skills and hear about the latest career opportunities, as part of an exciting open day which has been designed specifically with the needs of young people in mind.

As part of the day, our staff members will be offering practical workshops to visitors, giving advice and guidance around interview and CV writing techniques. There will also be the chance to chat with former apprentices about their career progression within our company and a representative from Easton & Otley College will answer questions about the training requirements.

James Rook, Managing Director, said: “Our day-to-day business is all about helping people gain jobs, so we have expert knowledge in what makes a good CV and how best to present yourself during an interview. We know how nerve-wracking interviews can be, particularly for young people who may not have experienced one before, so this open day will provide them with the skills and experience they need to help them on their way to a new career.”

To read more about our apprenticeship scheme, download our brochure.

For more information or to register your interest in attending the open day, simply email with your name, age and contact details.

Winner of Sanctuary’s winter challenge donates her £1000 charity prize to help treat pancreatic cancer

All visitors to Sanctuary’s website over the festive season were given a chance to take part Sanctuary Christmas Gamein Sanctuary’s online Christmas game – where participants were challenged to pop as many balloons as quickly as possible to reach the top of Santa’s scoreboard.

We are delighted to announce Caylin Colussi, a candidate of Sanctuary, as the winner! Caylin achieved an impressive score of 6883, winning a luxury Christmas hamper and a £1000 donation to a charity of her choice.

Caylin, who asked for the charity prize to be donated to Cancer Research UK, is keen to support the vital research needed to help treat pancreatic cancer. She said, “One of the reasons I have chosen this charity is because my grandfather lost his battle against pancreatic cancer in June 1998, no more than eight months after his cancer was diagnosed. To this day, pancreatic cancer is still one of the most difficult cancers to treat and I hope that with further research one day this will change.”

Each year more than 8,000 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and sadly, it claims almost as many lives. This is why research into pancreatic cancer is one of Cancer Research UK’s priorities.

Sanctuary is very happy to donate £1000 to Cancer Research UK in support of Caylin’s wish for more people who suffer with the illness to live longer.

Visit Cancer Research UK for information on the charity’s research efforts and preventing pancreatic cancer.

Sanctuary Social Work News: Jan-Mar 2014

The latest edition of our social work magazine is out now!

Sanctuary Social Work News - Jan-Feb 2014

Inside this issue:

  • Exclusive interview
    Chief Social Worker for Children and Families, Isabelle Trowler, speaks to us about the realities of frontline work and influencing national policy.
  • Council spotlight
    Find out what it’s like to work for Norfolk’s Children’s Services as major investment and improved focus helps to turnaround performance.
  • Limited company vs umbrella company
    If you are looking to become a locum social worker, read our guide on the difference between working through an umbrella company or your own limited company.
  • Reforming Adult Services
    Cait Vulliamy, Director of Adult Services for Skylakes Social Work, discusses the challenges surrounding the Dilnot reforms.
  • Boost your CPD
    Sanctuary Training’s Debbie Bell explains the importance of using a quality training provider.
  • Sanctuary Training Courses
    Take a look at the latest upcoming courses, certified by the CPD Certification Service.


Click here to read our magazine on screen or here to download a PDF.

We would love to hear your feedback on this edition of our magazine or any suggestions for future issues. Email or tweet us @SanctuarySW.

Sanctuary News: Special Edition – Social Worker of the Year Awards

Following a brilliant evening of celebrating exceptional social work practice, we are pleased to release a special newsletter edition on the Social Worker of the Year Awards 2013 and this year’s winners.

Sanctuary Newsletter: SWA Special edition

This issue includes:

• The full list of award winners
• What made the Overall Social Worker of the Year stand out
• A word from the winners
• What those in government had to say
• And a glimpse of the buzz created on twitter!

The Social Worker of the Year Awards 2013 was held on Friday, 29th November at the Lancaster London Hotel. The annual event is organised by Social Work Awards Ltd., a registered charity. As headline sponsor and organiser, Sanctuary Personnel was proud to support and host the awards presentation for the fourth year running.

For more information on the awards, visit the website