A Day in the Life of Jade: A Residential Support Worker at Progress

Jade, a dedicated residential support worker at Progress Children’s Services, brings enthusiasm and compassion to her daily routine. Jade’s commitment to nurturing young people shines through in her everyday activities. Here is what a day looks like in the life of Jade, at Progress.

Jade’s day typically begins with the important task of waking and preparing our young people for the day. This includes ensuring they are dressed, fed, and ready to start their day on a positive note. “The mornings are crucial in setting a positive tone for the day,” Jade explains. “I focus on making sure the children are ready for school with everything they need.”

Once the young people are off to school, Jade shifts her attention to various administrative tasks and housekeeping responsibilities. “During this time, I take care of paperwork, ensure everything is in order, and handle any necessary checks,” Jade elaborates. “It’s important to keep the environment organised and prepared for when the children return.”

When they return from school, Jade and her team engage with the young people to plan the evening’s activities. “We sit down with them and discuss what they would like to do for the evening,” Jade says. “It’s essential to involve them in decision-making and ensure they have activities they enjoy.”

Jade emphasises the importance of tailoring activities to each young person’s interests and needs. “We have a diverse group of children with unique preferences,” Jade explains. “Some enjoy outdoor activities like football or bike rides, while others prefer indoor pursuits such as arts and crafts or computer activities.”

Throughout the day, Jade maintains a focus on building positive relationships with the young people. “Being a good role model and fostering trust are key aspects of our interactions,” Jade emphasises. “We want our young people to feel safe, supported, and valued.”

Even when the young people are at school, Jade remains engaged with her responsibilities. “We often have one or two children who stay back at the house during school hours,” Jade notes. “This allows us to provide individualised attention and support.”

Jade’s daily routine is characterised by flexibility and adaptability. “Every day is different, and we need to be responsive to the young people’s changing needs and preferences,” Jade reflects. “It’s a dynamic environment that keeps us on our toes.”

As the day winds down, Jade and her team assist the young people with their evening routines and ensure they are ready for a restful night. “We help the children wind down, get ready for bed, and ensure they feel safe and cared for,” Jade explains. “It’s all about creating a supportive and nurturing environment.”

Reflecting on her role at Progress, Jade expresses gratitude for the opportunity to make a positive impact on young prople’s lives. “I find great fulfilment in nurturing these children and helping them thrive,” Jade says. “Every day presents new challenges and rewards, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Jade’s dedication and passion for her work exemplify the values of Progress Children’s Services. Through her daily efforts, Jade contributes to creating a safe, supportive, and enriching environment where children can flourish and grow.

Be Like Jade, join us


We have rewarding career opportunities for Support Workers across Progress children’s and young adults services. Interested? Visit progresscare.co.uk/jobs to find out more about our current roles, or send your up-to-date CV to recruitment@progresscare.co.uk

Unlocking Learning Power: Progress celebrates Learning at Work Week

At Progress, we believe that learning is not just an event but a continuous journey, an ongoing exploration of knowledge and skills that empowers individuals and enriches our collective capabilities. As we kick off Learning at Work Week, we’re excited to delve into this year’s theme: Learning Power. 

This year’s theme, “Learning Power,” resonates deeply with our commitment to fostering a culture of continual learning and development. Learning is more than just acquiring information; it’s about embracing the power to change, grow, and achieve our goals, both personally and professionally. 

At Progress, we’re proud to champion learning at work, providing our employees with the tools, resources, and support they need to thrive. From on-the-job training to professional qualifications, we’re dedicated to helping our team members reach their full potential and pursue their aspirations. 

As part of Learning at Work Week, we’re thrilled to announce a series of bite-sized modules designed to enhance skills and promote well-being. These modules, along with our ongoing commitment to learning and development, underscore our belief in unlocking our workforce’s full potential and supporting our team members to continually deliver industry-leading service quality. 

Learning isn’t just an individual endeavour; it’s a collective experience that brings us together, fosters innovation, and builds stronger connections. Through collaborative learning initiatives and knowledge-sharing sessions, Progress has grown to become a community where everyone can grow and learn from each other. 

As we embark on this week-long celebration of learning, we recommit ourselves to embracing the power of education to inspire, motivate, and empower. Together, we’ll continue to unlock new possibilities, fuelling our growth and driving progress in all that we do. 

Echoes of Excellence: Celebrating Progress’ Exceptionalism

A heartfelt shoutout to the incredible team at Wellcroft House. During my recent visit, the warmth of the house matched the beautiful sunny weather outside. Despite the distractingly delicious aromas wafting from the kitchen, I was delighted to hear that the team members read my emails.

Beyond the culinary delights, I witnessed a team committed to excellence, with a passion for quality, an eye for detail, and a clear vision. Their genuine joy in their work and embodiment of Progress values were evident.

Wellcroft House is not alone in their dedication.

Recently, I had the privilege of attending a team meeting at Portland House, led by Dani and Cosmos. Despite acknowledging the unique challenges they face, Dani spoke passionately about their ethos. “We don’t shy away from difficult cases,” she explained. “We embrace the challenges and remain dedicated to each child’s journey.”

A similar sentiment echoed during my visit to Stourbridge House, where Amanda and her team go above and beyond to support the young people. Their focus goes beyond ticking boxes; they creatively tailor their approach to each individual’s interests, fostering progress and growth.

And when I shared the recent visit of Animal Encounters, Derbyshire to Nightingale House on social media, the pet zoo’s publicly shared feedback was resoundingly positive, further affirming the wonderful work being done by Jacqueline and her team.

As we commemorate International Workers’ Day today, it is obvious that your dedication, resilience, and unwavering commitment to our shared values are the driving force behind our success.

Together, you and your team members have faced challenges head-on, embraced change, and continue to strive for excellence. Your contributions, big and small, make a difference every single day.

Your dedication truly inspires us all. Bal and Claire regularly say that they are honoured to have you as part of the Progress family.

Today, let’s celebrate our achievements, honour our contributions, and look ahead to a future filled with endless possibilities.

Happy International Workers’ Day!

Warm regards,

Paul

Content and Communications Executive, Progress

Celebrating Outstanding Achievements: Heartwarming Updates and Recognitions

We are delighted to share the remarkable acknowledgements recently received by two of our residential homes, Regis House and Portland House, in recognition of the exceptional efforts of our team members.

During a recent visit, Martina, a family links worker with the Birmingham Children’s Trust, expressed her admiration for Regis House, describing it as a welcoming family environment that surpasses typical expectations of a children’s home. Annette, our Registered Manager, extended her gratitude to Martina and highlighted the home’s commitment to embodying a family-like atmosphere.

Martina commended the calm and welcoming atmosphere she experienced, underscoring the positive impact Regis House has on its residents. Notably, one of our young individuals at Regis House has achieved significant personal growth by independently managing tasks such as ordering and paying for meals and tickets. We applaud their achievements and ongoing progress.

Similarly, the team at Portland House has received high praise for their dedication and impact on the lives of the young individuals in their care. Feedback specifically highlighted Dani’s (Registered Manager) extraordinary commitment and compassion towards the young people, underscoring the profound positive influence she and her team have on their well-being.

“I did cry, and I’ve not stopped after my visit to Portland House. The passion of Dani, and the way she cares for her young people, was incredibly inspiring. In a world where so many people turn their backs on challenging young persons, people like Dani are saving them, loving them and showing whole hearted commitment to improving their lives. WOW. She really did make an impact on me and I hope my praises can be passed on to her.”

Such testimonials reaffirm our collective dedication to improving lives and making a lasting difference.

New Additions to Progress

This week, four amazing persons officially joined Progress. Libby has joined the fostering team as an administrator, Nsan joined our Adult Services as a Residential Support Worker while Tadie, a Residential Support Worker, has joined Progress Children’s Services.

We also have a new addition to our Corporate and Commercial Team. Susan is the Digital Learning Designer. In a statement, Angeline Freer, Progress’ Head of Corporate and Commercial Services, said Susan brings a wealth of experience of developing e-learning.

“I am really excited to see how Susan’s career progresses and have no doubt her contributions will help the organisation to continue improving lives,” Angeline said.

Welcome to Progress.

Empowering and Amplifying Children’s Voices at Progress

Supporting the young people under the care of Progress extends far beyond mere rhetoric; it’s a fundamental ethos deeply embedded within our values. Every day, we actively seek innovative ways to empower each individual and provide platforms for expression, ensuring their voices resonate throughout Progress. 

This week, we are thrilled to showcase two pioneering initiatives aimed at fostering communication and nurturing essential life skills among the young people we have the privilege to support: the introduction of a small post box and the re-launch of the Voices of Progress initiative. 

Angeline Freer, Head of Corporate and Commercial Services at Progress recently donated a vibrant red post box, to facilitate an exciting avenue for interactive expression. Angeline purchased the post box as she recognised its potential to spark young people’s imaginations and build skills for everyday life. Being small in stature, the small post box delivers inclusivity for wheelchair users and those who’s height does not enable them to reach a normal post box. 

Angeline envisions the post box facilitating a wide range of activities, offering young people the opportunity to deposit letters, cards, and feedback. Cultural festivals and birthdays etc. prompt the children to convey messages to their families, caregivers, or support network, fostering a sense of independence and agency, along with feedback on our services during Voices of Progress events. Located at our Resources Centre, the box is accessible to young people across Progress’ diverse services. 

Beyond its practical function, the post box serves as a vital tool for skill development. Simple tasks like mailing a letter can pose challenges for some children and adolescents. Engaging in this activity not only cultivates communication skills but also provides insight into the workings of the postal system, fostering a deeper connection to the community through meaningful participation. 

The post box’s arrival has sparked curiosity and enthusiasm, reinforcing Progress’ unwavering commitment to nurturing young people’s growth. This innovative addition provides a unique platform for children to share their perspectives, thereby bolstering their confidence in articulating their thoughts. 

Voices of Progress 

During a recent event hosted by Progress’ outstanding fostering service, children were invited to express their thoughts about their foster carers. This week, we are privileged to share the heartfelt messages of four children, accompanied by poignant reflections from the fostering service highlighting each child’s individuality. 

This initiative underscores Progress’ steadfast dedication to amplifying the voices of every child and young person under our care, ensuring that their experiences are heard, valued, and prioritised.

University of Wolverhampton Acknowledges Enduring Partnership with Progress

The University of Wolverhampton’s Social Work Department has proudly acknowledged its enduring partnership with Progress, marking four years of collaboration since 2020, and eight years specifically with the Progress Fostering Service. This partnership has become integral to the university’s social work education programme, providing students with invaluable real-world experience and mentorship.

At the heart of this collaboration is the mutual commitment to nurturing the next generation of social workers. Progress has consistently provided exemplary support, allowing students to develop their knowledge, skills, values, and overall capabilities. This partnership ensures that students receive comprehensive training to engage positively with both children and adults, a fundamental aspect of social work practice.

The social work process, from making referrals to carrying out assessments and interventions, mirrors the operations within social care providers like Progress. Through hands-on experience, students learn essential skills in working with children, young adults, vulnerable individuals and families, including risk management and support planning.

One of the key strengths of this partnership lies in its emphasis on practical learning. Progress facilitates opportunities for students to liaise with various agencies, honing their ability to collaborate and share information effectively. Additionally, students benefit from structured supervision and monitoring, ensuring they receive the support necessary for their growth and development.

Deborah Sharman, Practice Placement Development Worker at the University of Wolverhampton, expressed gratitude for Progress’ unwavering dedication to social work education.

“The contribution of Progress to the quality of social work education is invaluable. We extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone at Progress for their ongoing support and commitment to shaping the future of our profession,” Deborah said.

Phil Mcdonald, Head of Adult Services at Progress expressed Progress’ joy in supporting social work students, especially in the area of gaining experience.

“We are more than happy to support students in gaining invaluable frontline experience, mentoring them specifically around the importance of relationships and how they can navigate challenges that can present themselves in working in social care and specifically social work.  Our partnership with the University of Wolverhampton has been consistent and vital to supporting the next generation of social workers,” Phil said.

Progress’ dedication to nurturing talent and fostering excellence in social work education is commendable. As the University of Wolverhampton continues to prioritise practical, hands-on learning experiences for its students, collaborations like this one will remain essential in preparing the next generation of social workers to make a positive impact in their communities.

What makes Progress Fostering Service truly special

Hi, my name is Bethany and as a recruiting and assessing social worker at Progress Fostering Service, I had the pleasure of being interviewed recently, and reflecting on the conversation, I’m reminded of what makes our agency truly special.

When asked what sets Progress apart, I found myself emphasising the family-like atmosphere we’ve cultivated. Our small team allows us to know each foster carer personally, meeting regularly to discuss any concerns or updates. This closeness fosters a supportive environment where everyone feels valued and understood.

As for what attracted me to social work and what continues to motivate me, it’s simple: I want to make a difference. I believe in the power of advocacy and the importance of being a consistent presence in a child’s life. Every child deserves to have their voice heard, and I strive to be that advocate for them.

The familial atmosphere, coupled with the unwavering support from management and colleagues, makes it a truly special place to work. Knowing each foster carer personally allows us to provide tailored support, ensuring that every child receives the best possible care.

As I reflect on the interview, I’m grateful for the opportunity to share my passion for fostering and social work. It’s a privilege to be part of a service that prioritises the well-being of children and families above all else.

Find out more about our outstanding fostering service today. Visit: progresscare.co.uk/fostering

A day at Oak Cottage: Progress’ Children’s Residential Service

Visiting Oak Cottage feels like stepping into a peaceful sanctuary where every child is welcomed, every voice is valued, and every moment is cherished. It’s a place where compassion, dedication, and commitment are woven into every interaction. 

The staff here aren’t just titles like support workers or managers; they’re companions on a journey with the children, showing empathy, respect, and genuine care. 

One morning, I joined a team meeting at Oak Cottage. While the team discussed passionately, the guinea pigs playing nearby provided a calming effect. The team’s focus was on providing exceptional care for the children, ensuring each child has memorable experiences daily. 

Each team member shared insights, all driven by a desire to provide the best care possible. Oak Cottage is a sanctuary where every individual is understood, supported, and uplifted. 

At its core, Oak Cottage believes in understanding everyone’s dreams and rights to a purposeful life. Challenges are seen as opportunities for growth, and every moment is cherished. 

Through care and companionship, Oak Cottage creates an environment where love prevails, forming strong bonds between staff and children. 

Within Oak Cottage, qualities like love, compassion, and resilience shape lives. Every interaction holds the power to transform, thanks to kindness and support. 

As the meeting ended, a sense of purpose lingered—a commitment to continue uplifting and empowering every soul at Oak Cottage. 

Oak Cottage isn’t just a service; it’s a beacon of hope, showing the transformative power of empathy and community. The sign at the door says it all: “Welcome to our home.” 

If you would like to find out about current opportunities at Oak Cottage or any of our other services, please visit www.progresscare.co.uk or contact the Recruitment team directly on 01902 561 066 for a confidential chat about our roles.

From stay-at-home mum to vibrant team leader: Harjeet’s progress at Progress

“I do want to make a change. I want to be that person that that child can look up to, somebody that’s going to be there for them.” 

In celebration of International Women’s Day, we shine a spotlight on Harjeet, a remarkable team leader at Progress Children’s Services. For this article, Harjeet shares insights into her career journey, the challenges she faced, and the importance of supporting women in the workplace. 

Harjeet’s journey into the social care sector was fuelled by a passion for making a difference in the lives of vulnerable children and families. She reflects, “I always wanted to be that person that a child could look to, somebody that’s going to be there for them.” Despite the demanding nature of the job, Harjeet’s commitment to providing love, stability, and support to those in need has remained unwavering over the past six years. 

Although Harjeet has transitioned from a support worker to a team leader, encountering various challenges along the way, she found Progress at a jobs fair at a period when she was trying to get back to work after years of being a stay-at-home mother.  

Her instincts as a mum have also helped her to navigate complex situations with empathy and professionalism, earning her the respect and admiration of her colleagues. Beyond working with her colleagues, her passion for her role is to support and be the voice for the children under her care. Harjeet remarks, “I want to be able to advocate for them because they don’t always have that voice.”  

In her current role, Harjeet plays a pivotal role in ensuring the success of her team and the delivery of high-quality services to the children under their care. 

One of the highlights of Harjeet’s career was being recognised for her outstanding contributions over the past five years during the awards ceremony at Progress Staff Conference 2023. Although she was not in the hall when her name was called, the resounding applause served as a testament to her hard work, dedication and warm personality. Despite the demanding nature of her job, Harjeet finds fulfilment in knowing that she is making a positive impact on the lives of others. And she is always wearing a smile. 

As we reflect on Harjeet’s journey, she personifies the resilience, strength and unlimited capabilities of women in leadership, particularly at Progress where women are encouraged and supported to aim higher. Harjeet acknowledged Progress’ support of her passions and desires to achieve her goals. While she remains ambitious, Harjeet reiterated her commitment to continuous development, and giving her best in her current position.  

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, let us honour Women of Progress like Harjeet who inspire us to dream big and break barriers. 

From student placement to managerial role: Nicole’s Progress journey

At Progress, Nicole’s remarkable journey from a dedicated care worker to a visionary manager spearheading innovative solutions for supporting and helping vulnerable children, resonates, inspires and endears.  

Her meteoric rise is an attestation to Progress’ prioritisation of enabling its workforce to achieve their goals, while being unwaveringly committed to supporting them to bring their passion into fruition all with an overarching goal of transforming challenges into opportunities and paving the way for positive change in the lives of children and young adults. 

Nicole’s journey began with a humble start in community care work, where she provided essential support to individuals in need. Her compassion and dedication quickly became evident as she navigated the complexities of caregiving, offering not only physical assistance but also emotional support to those under her care. As she recounts: 

“I started off as a community care support worker… providing that company, that emotional support, personal care, administering medication, ensuring they’re safe.” 

Driven by a profound sense of purpose, Nicole transitioned to working with children, particularly those facing mental health and behavioural challenges. In this role, she found herself at the forefront of providing critical care and guidance to some of society’s most vulnerable members. Reflecting on this period, she shared: 

“I worked my way up to Deputy Manager… working with children with mental health and emotional behaviour disorders.” 

One pivotal moment in Nicole’s journey was her decision to become a connected person’s foster carer, providing a stable and loving home for siblings in the care of the local authority. This experience deepened her understanding of the complexities of the foster care system and reinforced her commitment to improving outcomes for children in need of care and protection. She reminisced: 

“I was a connected person’s foster carer… I looked after two siblings for around six years.” 

Nicole’s passion for social work led her to pursue further education, culminating in a degree in social work and a subsequent role within Progress’ fostering team.  

At Progress, she honed her skills in assessment and support, gaining invaluable experience that would later shape her approach to leadership.  

“I joined Progress for my placement, following my placement ending, they offered me a job within the fostering team as a supervising social worker.” 

Recognising that Nicole’s experiences align with Progress’ commitment to providing better alternatives for children in crisis, Nicole was appointed to lead Progress’ latest innovative service that provides unique support to children. 

A sneak peak inside the Nicole-led innovative service

“I’ve always wanted to open my own children’s home… Progress presented me with the new service, which was opening. They want the service to be social work-led. That’s how I got here.” 

The service which is now fully operational and is open to welcoming similarly personate qualified individuals to join Nicole and the rest of the team, is not just yet another offering but is a manifestation of Progress’ unwavering commitment to ensuring that every child has access to safety, stability, and support during times of uncertainty. The service provides a lifeline when it is needed most. 

As the Nicole-led service continues to make positive impacts and positively transform lives, her story reinforces the power of visionary determination, and the critical roles of Progress in supporting and guiding the workforce to reach full potentials.  

From her humble beginnings as a care worker to her current role as a visionary leader, Nicole’s impact, enabled by Progress, on the lives of vulnerable children is undeniable. And as she looks to the future, one thing remains certain: Nicole’s journey is far from over, and her passion aligns with Progress’ values that continue to inspire the entire workforce and the people the organisation serves. 

 We have rewarding career opportunities for qualified professionals within Nicole’s team and across Progress children’s and young adults’ services. Interested? Visit progresscare.co.uk/jobs or send your up-to-date CV to recruitment@progresscare.co.uk to find out more about our current roles.