Yvette shares her experience from the adoption team
Stronger Futures and Portsmouth City Council are sharing the experiences of our workforce during Black History Month.
Black History Month takes place annually in October, and is a month-long event dedicated to recognising the contribution of those in the UK with African or Caribbean heritage. It also aims to celebrate the achievements of Black and Brown people throughout history.
As part of celebrating our communities, Yvette Nhamo, who is a children's social worker in the adoption team at Portsmouth City Council has shared her experience of working for the service.
Can you talk about your role at Portsmouth City Council and what inspires you to support children, young people and families?
I am currently working in the adoption pod as a social worker in children's social care. In this role, I am working to ensure safe and positive outcomes are achieved for the children I work with. I am new to this role as part of my professional development.
As a member of the BAME community, my personal childhood experiences have been different. It is fulfilling when families access services that can support them to make positive changes in their lives. These experiences motivate me to support them on that journey.
How important is it to have a diverse workforce when supporting people?
I think it is important as it means that communities have professionals that can relate to them culturally. It also important that parents/carers and their families are supported to understand different cultural practices that are considered unacceptable.
By supporting families this way, it sets an example for young children to develop aspirations just by seeing people of colour working in these jobs.
Could you share a special moment in your career so far that makes you proud to be a social worker?
I have recently worked with a family whose experiences of social workers had not been positive. This challenged my own personal values as they mirrored my own experiences of growing up in Africa.
Before I worked with the family, their engagement with social workers was reported to be sporadic. I managed to engage with them by allowing them to express their concerns and encouraged them to recognise the concerns of other services.
Once we had established a positive working relationship, the family began to develop their professional support network, and the relationships between each other.
Discover more about Black History Month
Visit the Portsmouth City Council website to read more stories from our community as well as events to mark Black History Month.