Staff spotlight: Nicole


How was your experience at YWCA Yorkshire?

“I really enjoyed my placement at YWCA Yorkshire in the role of a Student Social Worker. The staff are all very welcoming and I soon felt like part of the team. I felt that I had a supportive network around me from peers and management from the start. Staff are patient and always happy to offer advice and support when needed. I feel that I gained valuable experience from working with my service users and enjoyed working within a supportive role.”

What made you want to come and work permanently for YWCA Yorkshire?

“When the position for the Young Parents Tenancy Support service came up I was eager to apply. As part of my placement I worked on both the Early Help and YPTS team, however throughout my placement I favoured the YPTS team as I liked the ability to work long-term with the service user and see the positive outcomes at the end of the 2 years. I also favoured this service as I enjoy co-working with Social Care, attending Strategy meetings, CIN/Core Group meetings and Case Conferences, as this gives me the opportunity to put my degree into practice, without having the responsibilities a Social Worker, but instead having the time to provide weekly support to the service users to assist them in making significant changes.”

Explain your role at YPTS

“My role consists of working with young families and their children, including through pregnancy. The role gives me the opportunity to work with a diverse service user group and provide a person-centred approach in identifying and meeting the support needs of each family. I take a lead role in facilitating Team Around the Family Review meetings, which includes a variety of different professionals, for example Young Parents Nurses, Probation and Education to name a few. In addition I provide weekly practical support to the 10 service users on my caseload. This can include supporting to appointments, building confidence and self-esteem, accessing debt support, overcoming domestic abuse and social isolation, signposting to substance misuse services, accessing children’s centres and childcare, accessing employment and education, gaining and maintaining secure accommodation and providing emotional support.”

How do you believe you are making a difference to young families lives?

“I believe that I can make a difference to young families lives every day within my current role. For example, I am currently supporting a young mum and son who were exposed to domestic abuse. Despite the young mum making several attempts to end the relationship, the perpetrator harassed and stalked her, making it impossible for her to move on with her life. This had an emotional impact on the young mum’s mental wellbeing. During the initial visit, the young mum disclosed domestic abuse, which gave me the opportunity to make significant changes to improve the families’ lives. By signposting to Independent Domestic Violence Advocates (IDVA) services, attending Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC), informing Children’s Social Care and Housing Officers, applying for restraining orders and supporting the case at Housing Assessment Panel I was able to make a significant change to this family’s life. 3 months down the line and the young mum and her son are now thriving. The young mum has re-built her relationships with her friends and family, is accessing the children’s centre and has recently completed the Dealing with Domestic Abuse NOCN, which she shares had made a significant difference on how she will look at future relationships. The young mum’s mental wellbeing has improved and she shares that she is no longer walking on eggshells and is enjoying her new found freedom with her son. This case is very significant to me as I can see the positive impact my practice has had on this young family.”

Is there anyone who has inspired you within the organisation?

“I feel that there are many strong and caring women within the organisation whom all inspire me in their own ways. In particular I feel that my Senior Project Worker, has inspired me to have confidence in myself whilst taking a ‘no drama’ approach when things become difficult and I begin to feel overwhelmed.”

How do you think YWCA Yorkshire is unique in the area?

“I feel that YWCA Yorkshire is unique as it provides holistic support to families who require additional support and empowerment to reach their full potential. I have seen in practice the difference that YWCA Yorkshire make to families lives. Each and every member of staff is caring and supportive and truly wants the best outcomes for the families we work with.”