Liz Bruce and Jane Hulse, founders, The Independent Social Work Partnership
The founders of a pioneering social enterprise are putting ‘old-school’ principles into practice. By Mark Hunter
wo years ago Jane Hulse and Liz Bruce were working for the local county council, managing teams of hard-pressed social workers as they battled their way through the daily deluge of needs assessments,
eligibility criteria decisions and fair access to care legislation that had engulfed the social care of adults and older people. Today they are nestled in the snug of a 16th
century coaching house, reflecting quietly on long careers in social work that suddenly seem to have turned full circle.
Jane and Liz recently learned that the social
enterprise they set up in 2009 has been selected by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) as one of its ten social work practice pioneer projects. This will provide funding and support for a service offering information and advice on adult care to anyone who needs it, regardless of ‘eligibility’ or ‘needs’. Both of them feel it is a return to the core values of a profession they joined over 30 years ago. “We feel that we are now working as we did
when we originally trained to be social workers,” says Liz. “We are able to consider clients’ wishes as well as their needs.” “We are old-school social workers,” Jane adds.
“We have always believed that it’s our responsibility to help whoever turns up at the door, whatever their circumstances.” It was the splitting up of Cheshire County
Council two years ago that spurred the duo to take THECOLLEGEOFSOCIALWORKMAGAZINE 9