Julie Botham – Pudsey Neighbourhood Care Management Team
Social worker Julie Botham is part of Pudsey Neighbourhood Care Management Team (which is itself part of the Integrated Health and Social Care Team). The team has a legal duty to carry out assessments with people who may need social care.
Julie supports people to make changes, if they want to. She will usually take a
referral – which may have come from a relative, a neighbour, or the person themselves. If they are happy for her to do so, she will visit the person concerned. Through conversation, which may take 2-3 hours, she will find out about the person’s situation, how they feel about it and what, if anything, they would like to change. They will then look together at ways to ‘solve problems’.
Julie can support people in a number of ways. This may involve ‘signposting’ someone to an organisation or service, such as appropriate activities at Bramley Elderly Action. This may need a bit more help until they gain the confidence to go to an activity by themselves. Or somebody may need more specialised support, such as for a long-term health condition, or home care. Julie will help to organise whatever is needed.
“We’re very creative about
how to meet people’s needs.”
Julie and the team work with people aged 18+ (or from 17 for someone leaving care). She feels the role is particularly important for older people, especially if they live alone and may not have family or other support networks, when they can become a bit ‘lost’. She feels older people are under-valued. She does her best to ensure that older people know there are ‘things for them’.
“I like supporting people in finding
new ways of doing things.”
Julie also plays a vital role in investigating concerns about ‘safeguarding’: when people may be going through abuse, of whatever kind, and she can also act as ‘appropriate adult’ to people in the judicial system. She and her team also support social work students, seeking to give them positive examples and help them reflect on learning and practice.
Julie has been qualified for 11 years. Before that she spent 7 years as a Community Care Co-ordinator for a private agency. She went through an access course, then studied at Leeds Beckett University, to become a social worker.
Most of all Julie enjoys helping people find answers and solutions: “spending time with people, finding out what they need to support them through a specific period of their life”. So it’s not surprising that the thing Julie finds most difficult about her job is the time spent away from people, on paperwork and on the computer!
Julie grew up in Scarborough, coming to Leeds in her 20s.
She is very involved in the local community in Bramley. She runs Sassy Divas (a creative local women’s group which meets at Bramley Lawn), has learnt to sew through the Sewcial Group, and has started Bramley Grows (getting people involved in growing and using fresh food.)