I Love Trying to Change Lives for the Better; Government Inspectors Have Just Given a Seal of Approval to Warwickshire County Council's Efforts to Protect Children from abuse.Inspectors from the Office for Standards in Education Graded the Authority ''Good'' - the Second Highest Grade Available. Reporter Lucy Lynch Spoke to Social Worker Jemma Fordham about the Human Story Behind the Government Reports

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Byline: Lucy Lynch

WHEN cases of child abuse no longer cause distress it's time to change job, social worker Jemma Fordham says.

Jemma, 27, works for Warwickshire County Council's children's services as a member of a team keeping children safe from neglect and abuse.

She and her colleagues are told about possible neglect and abuse by a whole range of people from teachers, nursery workers, police officers and doctors to concerned members of the public.

She and fellow social workers have to decide which situations are serious enough to get involved. That means interviewing children about the abuse they've suffered or when they're too young to explain trying to establish what has happened to them and how serious it is. Sometimes the information available is limited making decisions even more difficult.

She said: "It can be distressing and the point where it stops being distressing is the point when someone has become completely desensitised and needs to stop. The team is very supportive and there is chance to off load to colleagues but inevitably we end up taking things home sometimes.

"What makes it all worth it is the knowledge that the job has a massive impact on children and changes their lives for the better.

"I love working with families and helping to bring about a positive change in their lives and the happy endings are definitely the best part of the job."

When she is working with families the challenge is to create a relationship based on trust. Sometimes that means challenging negative stereotypes of social workers families have after reading about cases where it has all gone wrong.

Jemma did A-levels at a sixth form college in Essex and a degree at Warwick University. She did a postgraduate degree in social work and went to Nuneaton Children's Team at Warwickshire County Council for a work placement. …