Why do you think a Social Worker should choose Extern as their employer over someone else?

As a student social worker, my first placement was in the public sector, while my final placement was with Extern, and I immediately noticed vast differences between the two.

With Extern, there is so much flexibility and many more opportunities to do meaningful work and develop relationships with service users, which you wouldn’t be able to do working for a statutory agency. I am able to spend much more time with my service users and complete therapeutic work with them.

What was it made you want to work for Extern specifically?

My team - after my placement ended I didn’t want to leave. So I stayed on as a duty worker, then eventually got the full time social work post, and have been here ever since.

Each member of staff goes above and beyond for their service users. Each of them have their own speciality in the field, and are great sources of knowledge.

You never face a problem on your own in Extern, there is always someone there to support you. Carla McCaffrey is a Social Worker within Extern’s Homeless Support Team, which provides assistance, support, and advocacy, to adults and families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness

What sets Extern apart from other social care organisations?

That we are service user-led. People are not forced or required to work with us, they choose to. The type of work we do on a daily basis is so important, promoting independence, advocacy, motivational work, and everything in between.

How would you describe the 'people culture' in Extern?

From project workers to social workers to management, each individual has something to offer and everyone is equally as kind, encouraging and motivating.

Describe the potential for learning in Extern.

There is always room for developing your skills and knowledge within Extern. They are already the lead provider of training for social work students in the voluntary sector and our training programme is packed with opportunities. There’s always opportunities to learn and manager support you in enrolling on the courses.

I find that I also learn from my colleagues by hearing about their experience over the years and how they handle situations. There is regular training in many fields, from adult safeguarding to safer injecting training. There’s something for everyone.

Download Carla's story