Please join us in welcoming Mark Basley as our new Supervising Social Worker in our North East Region. Mark is joining us with a wealth of experience in children’s social care services and he is excited to join The CFT team.
Before joining the North East Region, Mark, in his last role was a children’s social worker. Previous to that, he had also worked as a young person’s substance misuse worker, a recovery worker in adult mental health, training and support officer, recruitment consultant as well as additional employments working in secure units and as a community youth worker.
We took some time to sit with Mark (virtually, of course!) to get to know him better and find out how he feels after joining The CFT.
Tell us about yourself, Mark?
“I came onboard during the midst of Coronavirus pandemic (on 4th May 2020). Starting my new job virtually was quite strange for me, and I had my HR induction and introductions to my co-workers online”
“On the personal front, I live on the East Coast of Durham, close to the beach and Castle Eden Dene. I love to spend time relaxing, cycling and walking my bulldog by the beach. I have a son and a daughter who both love to play football and each play for a local team in the County Durham League”.
What inspired you to pursue the career you have today?
“I worked within children’s services prior to qualifying as a social worker. As a young person’s substance misuse worker, I often worked in partnership with social workers. As I have also worked with adults in various roles, I have direct experience of understanding how traumatic childhoods can impact on a person throughout their adult lives. This was my inspiration, to be part of something meaningful. Where there is opportunity to minimise and manage the effects of childhood trauma so that children can transition to adulthood and reach their own potential”
“After researching, I felt The CFT is a far more clear-cut role in the lives of the children we work with. I believed it was a positive transition from working initially in looked after permanent team to supervising social worker”.
What attracted you to the role at The CFT?
“I was looking for employment options and wanted to find employment I could invest in and have a career with. The charity status of the CFT was also something which attracted me. I have had experience working in a charity prior to qualifying as a social worker and really enjoyed my time there”.
“In my previous role in a looked after team, there were two young people which were really struggling in placement. I used to get multiple phone calls per day regarding many problems they were facing with their Carers. Whilst working with these young people, I placed them with new carers, who fostered for The CFT, and once they had settled, I learned how their lives had changed dramatically. Although the phone decreased, when I did have contact, it was always very positive, and the carers were very proactive”
“I met Vicki Wharton before joining The CFT, a supervising social worker in North East Region, and she inspired me to join the organisation. I met Vicki as she was supervising social worker to a set of carers where my children were placed. I was always very impressed at how well she had gotten to know the children I was the allocated social worker to”.
What are your thoughts so far about the organisation?
“I joined The CFT during the lockdown and have met everyone virtually. Despite this, I will say that every person I have spoken to is so helpful and welcoming. When I first had Teams meeting with everyone like Jessica from Marketing, Rosanna from Business Support, Terri from Admin and Dawn in Compliance, they were all approachable which was nice. Sadly, due to COVID, I could not meet our Foster Carers and children face to face at that time. Nevertheless, I am happy to see them and talk to them virtually”.
“From my experience so far, The CFT always consider what is right for the children and carers, and there is no pressure for the placements. It’s all about having the best experience for the children and the best chance of a successful placement. If there is a justification that the match between carers and children’s is not right, that is enough. This is also one of the reasons I preferred coming to a charity as in my experience as a children’s social worker, I have seen how detrimental a poorly matched placement can effect a child/children”.
What area of the company would you like to learn more about?
“I am currently working in the North East region and this is the first time I am working as a supervising social worker, which is a bit challenging, however I am enjoying learning more and being able to use my transferrable skills. Currently, I am also contributing to and part of the ‘Transition to be Independent’ working group where we are looking at the support that CFT provide to our young people as they are reaching the age of independence and once they have left our care. It was pretty good that I got nominated, so I am happily experiencing that for the moment and meeting other staff from other regions. I am pleased and want to be a part of a group that could implement change or makes positive changes in the organisation”.
What skill do you think everyone should learn?
“I think every person should have or learn how to use effective self-reflection. When we are working with Foster carers, we must strike the right balance of support and professionalism, therefore, professional boundaries are very important to learn and understand. I believe being able to critically reflect and be empathetic is something that everyone should learn and become familiar with. I also think effective time management is essential in this role”.
What do you hope to achieve during your first year with the organisation?
“Although I am quite familiar with the role of supervising social worker given my previous employment as a children’s social worker. However, I want to be even more confident in my role and be more familiar with all the CFT processes and procedures. I believe I have a lot of transferrable skills that will support the role. I was apprehensive as I joined during the lockdown, but it has been good experience and I feel more re-assured.
“I am looking forward to a career with The CFT”.
We would like to thank Mark for taking the time to speak to us and on behalf of all of The CFT, we would like to extend our warmest welcome and good wishes to him!