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Meet the team: Hana Patrick, Family Support and Safeguarding team leader

Justine Streeton

Campaign and Events Officer
Meet the team

Meet the team

26 April 2024

Our social workers are #ProudToBePortsmouth, supporting children, young people and families in the city, to help them thrive.

Hana, a team leader in the family support and safeguarding service shares her social work story, from starting her career in a residential children’s home to leading a team, in the hopes of inspiring others to join the service.

What drew you to working in children's social care at Portsmouth City Council?

I began working in a residential children's home in Portsmouth when I was 21. I progressed to a new role working with care-experienced young adults, which were some of the best years of my career so far.

Frontline practice always appealed to me. I was lucky enough to have Portsmouth City Council fund my social work degree. I moved into a locality team on my last placement and then never left!

Can you tell us a little about your role?

I qualified as a social worker in 2018 and have been a team leader in a locality team for a year. I manage the most resilient, wonderful group of social workers who make coming to work a pleasure.

My team support families from initial assessments through to court proceedings and everything in between, including child in need, child protection and child protection investigations.

In simple terms, my job is to oversee and support the practice and interventions of the social workers in my team. However, I could write a dissertation on what my role covers in day-to-day life as no day is ever the same.

What impact do you and your team have on children and families in Portsmouth?

I love Portsmouth and have lived here for 14 years. The community spirit that Portsmouth has cannot be replicated, it really is such a special place where families look after each other.

My job sees me supporting people through some of the most challenging times of their lives. It is such a privilege and one I do not take for granted. We work hard to advocate for and support the communities we work in. I like to think we make a positive difference.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Put simply... I love people. My role allows me to not only get to know the families and children my social workers support but also get to know my social workers and work closely with them.

I love the adrenaline rush when a carefully planned day goes out of the window because of an emergency and how the team pulls together to find solutions.

It takes a special sort of person to be a social worker. We have such a diverse, exciting team of practitioners. We have some of the wildest highs and lows but what I enjoy the most is that shared experience and support within the team.

What are the main challenges and rewards of your job?

The main challenge is an increase in complexity of some of the issues families are facing. The pandemic knocked everyone for six, followed quickly by a cost-of-living crisis. Portsmouth has high levels of poverty in some areas, and this has really been exacerbated by these things.

The rewards are endless. Nothing is better than being alongside a family and knowing you really were there "with them" on that journey.

The random acts of kindness in my team show me that the little things really do matter. Whether that’s a coffee on your desk when you come in or someone being there for you after a challenging visit, it all makes a difference to your day.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about joining the children's social care team at Portsmouth City Council?

Learn about the city - Portsmouth really is special. It is tiny but so densely populated. It has communities within communities within communities. I fell in love with Portsmouth before joining children's services and that passion for what I view as "home" really motivates me to make it a better place. Cheesy but true!

Join Hana and become part of the family support and safeguarding team

If Hana's story has inspired you to learn more about working in Portsmouth, explore her team’s vacancy below.