On #SocialWorkWeek2024, we're recapping the experiences of London's Social Workers, shared with us as part of our 'Social Work Stories' series.


Sukholuhle Tshuma – a Social Worker in one of Bexley’s Looked After Children Teams - spoke with us about her route into the profession and the importance of making every decision with a view to long-term quality of life for children and young people.

“I always want to see goals being reached…you can downplay something like applying for a passport for a child, but that’s a big thing for them. It speaks to the identity of that child, it’s an opportunity for them to actually travel, go places or go on holiday. For me, that is fulfilment, we’ve reached a goal.”

Read Sukholuhle's Story


Arran Louttit – an Advanced Practitioner working on the Adolescent Team in Hillingdon – spoke with us about the power of relationship-based practice and his team’s creative approach to tackling exploitation

"The profession is great. It has its ups, it has its downs, but you’ll meet some amazing, amazing people. Make sure you find out who you want to support, and never forget the ‘why’. The advice that sat with me ever since I was a student at college was from a young man who used a wheelchair. He said to me, ‘The day you see a wheelchair and not me is the day you need to quit.’"

Read Arran's Story


We spoke to Jess, a Specialist Practitioner with Kensington & Chelsea, to find out how a career change to social work helped her find an ideal role, and how pursuing specialised training allows social workers to combine traditional practice with other areas of expertise.

"I’ve found it a hugely rewarding career, and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. I know that I’m working in the sector and the role that feels absolutely right for me. I’d want people to know that the job and the qualification route can be demanding, but it can also be hugely rewarding."

Read Jess' Story

*Jess' name has been changed


Onder Beter - Senior Assistant Director for Children & Family Social Care at the Royal Borough of Greenwich - chatted to us about his journey through social work, from qualifying in his home country of Turkey through to his current senior role.

“Social work is a tough job and it can be emotionally draining. So it's crucial to recognise the importance of relationships with your colleagues. They are your partners, whom you can draw on for support. That's something that I think is very important: when you are trying to make an impact on the lives of the most vulnerable, it should not be to the detriment of your own well-being.”

Read Onder's Story


Stephen O’Reilly is a Specialist Practitioner with Wandsworth’s Family Safeguarding Service – we learned how his unique role combines complex casework with driving positive change in practice and culture.

“I came to London immediately after uni. I wanted to live in a big city and have fun, to be honest! But what’s kept me here is that there are lots of social work opportunities. London is a big place, so I’ve been able to work in three different boroughs. Although I’ve always been part of the same type of team, the way social work is done can be very different, so I’ve been shaped by the different places that I’ve worked in London.”

Read Stephen's Story


Tina McElligott is the Director of Early Help and Children’s Social Care Services in Barnet. We chatted about her role in helping Barnet to create a sense of community for their workforce and the people they support.

“I think you have to do what you care about – if you don’t care about what you do, you won’t enjoy it. If you care about people, and you care about children having the best outcomes, you should go for it, it’s a very rewarding career!”

Read Tina's Story


Since speaking to us, Teresa has taken up a new role in Luton as Director of Children's Services Operations. We chatted while Teresa was in her role at Merton Council, where she was Head of Corporate Parenting.

“I learned that somewhere along the line, the people who were more hopeful than the others were people who experienced love in a way that didn't affect their capacity to give love or receive love. I think that is a fundamental game changer for any human being. If you're able to live your life where you feel worthy enough to receive love and give love, then your sense of self-worth and dignity remains intact.”

Read Teresa's Story