Hi, my name is Heather Mulholland. I am 27 years of age and currently work as a full time Social Worker for a reputable Fostering Agency in the Midlands. I have been a qualified social worker for 4 years, working alongside incredibly vulnerable and traumatised children and young people within the care system who have suffered systematic abuse. My role as a Supervising Social Worker is to support Foster Carers with Looked After Children in placement to ensure that they continue to meet their ongoing holistic needs. For the past four years I have also worked as an Independent Assessor for a charity based IFA, assessing potential families who have expressed an interest in fostering. The assessment is a lengthy process and consists of 6 months worth of assessment home visits to ensure the calibre of the applicant is robust and secure enough to meet the complex needs of a foster child potentially placed with them. I am hugely passionate about my work with children and young people and believe that every child has the right to a safe, stable and secure childhood, with the opportunity to experience inclusive family life with the right to access education and learning. On a personal level I have grown up with an unique insight into just some of the disadvantages children and young people suffer as a result of personal trauma and abuse as my Mother was not only a care leaver but subsequently became a child protection Social Worker as an adult. Prior to qualifying as a Social Worker in 2012 I worked for 3 years (2009-2012) as a Community Care Worker supporting vulnerable adults and the elderly to maintain their independence within the community. This involved supporting them within their homes to complete day-to-day tasks and ensuring they maintained a level of autonomy. I also worked for 2 years as a disability support worker for a charity named Macintyre that supports children and young adults with disabilities. I worked within a secure unit for non verbal males with challenging behaviour and Austism. I learnt how to creatively communicate through non verbal dialogue and use of some Makaton (sign language).
1. I have previously volunteered for Loros Hospice to support patients who are terminally ill to die with dignity, respect and a personal level of autonomy. 2. During my degree I worked for the Derby Local Authority on a 90 day placement in the Child Protection team as a Support Worker. My role invoked visiting children and families considered to be 'low level' child protection cases to ensure that the families were meeting the needs of their children. This was completed through the facilitation of support groups, peer group emotional/practical support, assessment work to identify the family's needs, direct work with the birth children to ascertain their wishes and feelings, building up community links with educational and health services to provide support and safeguarding children at potential risk of harm. 3. I also completed an 80 day placement at a local charity known as Refugee Action, supporting unaccompanied asylum seekers with housing, health, food supplies, child care support, translation needs and guiding them through the asylum process. Ensuring that they were aware of their rights and where possible their right to appeal the UKBA decision. 4. I volunteered at a local SureStart community centre within Leicester, working alongside under privileged families who were in need of child care support and learning around parenthood. I facilitated day care/creche 'messy play' sessions. I also facilitated a 'Father's group' for single father's in need of additional support for their children. 5. I volunteered on Christmas Day at my local homeless shelter (Dawn Centre) to support with the making and serving of Christmas dinner to the local homeless.
BA Hons. Social Work & Social Policy (University of Nottingham 2009-2012)