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With over 7,000 staff making up #TeamNELFT, we have a lot of stories to
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NELFT celebrates Social Work Week 2024 with Lisa Parker

Social Work Week 2024, photo of Lisa, NELFT logos, blue background.

Social Work Week 2024 aims to bring people together to learn, connect, and influence change.

To celebrate this week, North East London NHS Foundation Trust is spotlighting social workers within the organisation.

The Trust has social workers that support service users and their families across North East London, Essex, and Kent.

The Trust spoke to Lisa Parker about why she chose a career in social work and what a typical day looks like for her. Lisa is a Senior Clinical Practitioner in the Crisis Team as part of SET CAMHS.

How did you begin your career?

When I left school, I became a hairdresser and beautician. I later had children and one of my children had a specific learning difficulty, so I was often at their school ensuring their needs were being met within the educational system. The school saw potential in me and felt I might be a good fit to join as a teaching assistant. I then began working in the education provision, supporting young people that would benefit from extra guidance.

This piqued my interest in emotional wellbeing, and I went to university as mature student to study therapeutic communication and therapeutic organisation. After completing my degree, and working in a special needs school, I worked as a CAMHS Practitioner for the local authority. I was then transferred over into NELFT as a CAMHS Clinician working in the community CAMHS Team. Shortly after, the Trust supported me to study for a postgraduate qualification in CYP-IAPT, which helped me to differentiate therapeutic interventions for children with autism and intellectual disability.

My passion for social work continued to grow and the Trust supported me to complete a postgraduate diploma in social work. Since completing this, I am now a Senior Clinical Practitioner within the Crisis Team in Essex.

What does a typical day look like as a social worker in the Crisis Team?

We do shift work, so 12 hours from 8am-8pm or 8pm-8am. Social workers would attend A&E to assess young people that have presented there. They would complete an assessment, a safety plan, risk assess and a care plan. We aim for the least restrictive care plan to get young people back into the community. Some social workers can be assigned to work in the community so as part of our therapeutic home treatment, they would visit young people in their homes and deliver some therapeutic intervention, also involving parents, carers, education and/or hospitals so the young person has the continual knowledge and support around them.

Essentially no day is the same and that is why social work is such a good career option.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

When you know that you’ve made even the slightest difference to a patient and you get positive feedback from young people, it’s an amazing feeling.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Working with looked after children can be really challenging due to their unsettled life and the complex systems around them, but when you can engage with a young person and make a difference because they feel heard, that’s really rewarding.

Why did you choose to work at NELFT?

Being able to be part of creating the therapeutic home treatment team, as part of the Crisis Team initially drew me to the role at NELFT CAMHS Crisis Team. We bring a bespoke therapeutic service to the young person’s home as part of a care plan to prevent admission into Tier 4 hospitals. It has been very exciting, positive outcomes have been gained and I have continued job satisfaction.

You can find more information about SET CAMHS on the NELFT website.

If you’d like to explore routes into NELFT, please visit


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