Rita Lalley, Head of Strengthening Families

1. When did you join PSS and what was your original role?

I joined PSS as a social work student in 2000 in Shared Lives.

2. Give us a brief overview of your education and training before and since you’ve been at PSS.

As a mature student I returned to education aged 39. I completed and access to education course including units in criminology, psychology and health studies, and then went on to complete a diploma is Social Work. I have a level 2 and 3 in counselling theories and techniques; I have completed a PETALS course.

3. What is your role now?

Head of Service Strengthening Families

4. How has your role changed/developed since you’ve been at PSS?

Social work student, Shared Lives manager for mental health and transitions, specialist practioner developing PSS criminal justice portfolio, specialist practioner Sefton young carers, specialist practioner shared lives for Complex needs project, social worker at PSS social Work Practice, Specialist practioner transitions, then Head of Service.

5. What has made you stay?

Feeling part of the PSS family, I have had good line management, I feel humbled having the opportunity to be innovative in developing services, we provide quality service that make difference to service users and their loved ones. I didn’t have to go outside the organisation to have positive learning opportunities; I enjoy working with ‘like minded people’ with great senses of humour and the good social life with colleagues/peers.

6. Do you feel you’ve been supported in your personal development? How?

I have had the opportunity to remain within the organisation to gain experience working with many service user groups and with staff with a wealth of knowledge and expertise in various different settings.

7. What are your plans/ambitions for the future.

Before I retire I want to leave a legacy within PSS, with support from the C&F team and the organisation I want to further develop our existing quality services for vulnerable children young people and their families. I want to develop the children and families portfolio across all the regions within PSS. To enable PSS and staff members to be able to seen as the expert in supporting the vulnerable children and their families in innovative ways.

8. Do you have anything else to add about your career journey so far at pss?

Some of the opportunities I have had are amazing I initially went from being an adult social worker as a social work student I didn’t feel prepared to work with vulnerable children and their families. However during my time at PSS I have been able to develop a wealth of knowledge and expertise to enable me to change my career path to work children and their families. This has happened via good supervision/performance management. But also having the opportunity to shadow some really experienced dynamic PSS staff who were willing to share their skills knowledge and expertise with me to help me grow in to my role.