It is gruelling hearing about serious cases of abuse as you never get desensitised says Harika Chadha from the General Social Care Council

Date: 20 March 2012 16:57

My day

6.30am: I am woken by my two cats scratching at the bedroom door, wanting to come in for morning cuddles. This puts my husband in an awful mood, but happens to be the perfect start to my day!

6.45am: After a shower and quick call to my mum in India, I look through press cuttings on my BlackBerry. If anything unexpected or critical has arisen in the press, I let relevant colleagues, including the CEO, have sight of it ASAP. The same goes with Twitter; I quickly scan our timeline for any overnight shenanigans and escalate/cascade as necessary.

7.30am: Having fed the cats and the husband breakfast, I head to work usually loading my personal Twitter timeline before I go underground. This way I can catch up with general news and sector specific developments during my commute – got to love technology!

9.00am: Arrive at work and look through my emails and deal with any pressing matters. These could be anything from urgent media enquiries, to handling internal issues around launching publications, or managing press at our social worker conduct hearings.

10.00am: If there is a high-profile hearing going on, then I’ll head to the hearing venue to manage the press. This will include briefing journalists in attendance – they are mostly from news agencies, regional and trade publications, but depending on the type of case being heard we might also get reporters from the nationals and the paparazzi.

11.30am: I often sit through hearings where witnesses give statements, and some quite explicit details of the case can be heard by the committee. After three years of working in this regulatory environment, one would think that I'd be desensitised to these things, but each time there is a case involving serious abuse, it leaves me shaken up. Overall though, I feel proud to work for an organisation whose purpose is to protect the public, especially children and vulnerable people.

1.00pm: I pop back to the office for lunch, picking up an Itsu sushi box, a bargain both in terms of money (£3.29) and calories (256 kcals)! I’ll usually catch up with team members; we are a close-knit team and often eat together.

2.00pm: No two days are the same for me. I may need to head back to the hearing after lunch, or can often manage journalists present at the hearings via phone from my desk, while simultaneously doing other work. A lot of them are regulars and won't try to squeeze me for information they know I can't give them.

3.00pm: Research ideas for press releases, or discuss possible features on issues affecting social work regulation with relevant editors. I recently pulled together some case studies and stats to pitch a feature to the Guardian for the launch of our guidance on “professional boundaries” for social workers.

4.00pm: Brainstorm ideas with team for blogs on the GSCC website, prepare briefings/lines to take for our spokespeople, or write comms plans for upcoming projects – whatever the day requires of me.

4.45pm: Scan our social media channels: Twitter, Facebook and blogs for activity.

5.30pm: That’s usually the end of work day unless I am required to attend a work related event in the evening.

6.30pm: Currently studying for my CIPR Diploma so spend some time working on my newest assignment.

8.00pm: Both husband and I are quite involved in our local community and run online message boards for Acton and Ealing residents – spend some time moderating these and Tweeting about local goings-on before dinner and bed.


Share this article

    Quite a varied and interesting PR job she's got! Good read.

    Name: Stephen

    Date: 23 Mar 2012 05:26 PM

    Post a Comment
    Name Comments
    Tick to receive comment notifications for this article  

    Enter the words above: