As a provider of specialist NHS mental health, neurodiversity and learning disability services, we recognise the important role that social workers play in supporting the local communities we serve. 

Please note that not all vacancies will include the words 'social worker' in the job title, but there are many roles at Sussex Partnership that a social worker can do. 

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What do social workers do? 

We currently have 200 social workers within Sussex Partnership, working across all services, from children and young people to adults and older people services, and we are committed to keep this number growing.

Social workers work as part of a multi-disciplinary team of Consultant Psychiatrists, Mental Health Nurses, Occupational Therapists, Psychologists, Support Workers, Employment Specialists, and Administrators, supporting people with complex mental health needs. 

If you are a registered social worker, we can offer you a range of opportunities in terms of career progression and continuing professional development. 

Mental health practitioners

Many of our social workers - as well as occupational therapists and nurses - are employed as mental health practitioners with responsibility for the assessment, care and discharge planning of patients with complex mental health needs. Working as part of a multi-disciplinary team, mental health practitioners also work collaboratively with external partners to transfer patients to primary care or voluntary services for ongoing support.

As a mental health practitioner, you will use your social work knowledge and values to work with adults, children and their families to improve patients' mental health and wellbeing, reduce social stressors and reach personal goals around education, employment and social life. Central to the role is promoting and protecting human rights and dignity, equality, inclusion and belonging. 

You can have a meaningful, positive impact on people’s lives, inter- professional practice and the health and social care system

Why choose to work in social work at Sussex Partnership

In recent decades social work has become associated with statutory tasks carried out by local authorities or working in voluntary sector organisations and have not been so prominent within the NHS or mental health trusts. At Sussex Partnership, we are at the forefront of changing this as we recognise the valuable contribution that social workers make to our services. 

Our social workers perform varied roles to support adults who are experiencing mental ill health or distress or are neurodivergent.  If you work in the dementia services you will carry out memory assessments. If you work within Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), you may work with children in a primary care assessment clinic.

Professional development

We know that social workers have so much to offer, and in return we can promise you excellent opportunities in terms of your career and continuing professional development. 

Our social workers have access to quarterly social forums, professional supervision and an annual conference. We also hold a quarterly journal club, where members present and discuss relevant recent articles about mental health social work, including identifying any implications for our teams going forward. This helps the profession stay up to date and at the forefront of best practice.

You'll have the opportunity to develop specialisms in a range of different areas – from mental capacity to safeguarding and across the whole range of services and life stages, from perinatal through to older people.

There are excellent prospects for career progression as a social worker within our Trust. Of our 200 registered social workers, many are in positions at Band 7 or above, such as team and service managers.

Find out about the social worker career pathways at Sussex Partnership

Staff wellbeing

We know that supporting people with mental health problems and learning disabilities can be demanding so we offer our staff a range of wellbeing incentives, including mindfulness sessions, free access to apps such as Headspace and discounted gym membership. Find out more about the employee benefits we offer

And we encourage our staff to achieve a positive work/life balance by offering flexible working. We know this has huge health-related benefits for our staff, which in turn has a positive impact on the care we provide. Read more about flexible working.

Person-centred care

The core of social work is truly person-centred practice. At all levels, we are all thinking about the needs of the individual and their family. All our social workers take time to work with the people we support to try and find solutions to the challenges they face, recognising that our role can only be to help guide them.

We recognise the importance of the social work Knowledge and Skills Statements and Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF) and it guides our practice at all levels. The social work profession, training and spirit are an excellent fit for Sussex Partnership.

We understand the importance of the social determinants of health, the role they play in health inequalities and how that can impact on people’s mental wellbeing. We know that social workers are well placed to recognise and help to address the relevant factors.

We have a Social Work Committee which meets every quarter and brings together lead social workers from across Sussex Partnership and principal social Wworkers from local authorities. This kind of cross-sector collaboration is unique and we are very proud of it. As well as supporting and developing social work practice in the Trust, the Board is a place to share local, regional and national best practice.