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Social work Q&A: Emily Tiplady-Ead


Child Social Work


Emily Tiplady-Ead won the Children's Social worker of the year award in 2016. As an alumni of UEA she kindly spoke to us about her experiences of studying Social Work at UEA and of her subsequent career since graduating.


Who is your current employer?

Suffolk County Council


What is your current job title?

Experienced Social Worker


What was your School of study at UEA?

Social Work


What year did you start studying at UEA?



What made you decide to study your particular course?

After spending 18 months working as a Family Support Practitioner within a team of social workers, I knew that qualifying as a social worker was what I needed to do next.


What were your career aspirations when you joined UEA - did you know what you wanted to do?

I knew that I wished to work as a children's social worker within Suffolk.


How did you get to where you are now? Was there anything that particularly helped?

After being employed for 18 months as a Family Support Practitioner, I was lucky enough to be sponsored by Suffolk County Council to complete the MA Social Work course at UEA.


What are your top tips for current students, or anyone considering studying at UEA?

Take all the opportunities available to you. Attend all the lectures! Put in the extra work, do the reading around the subject, it's worth it.


What do you think was distinctive about your UEA experience?

The lecturers - they are all incredibly well respected in their field. I feel extremely lucky to have been taught by the likes of Beth Neill and Marion Brandon.


How did UEA prepare you for your career?

During my degree at UEA, I was very well supported by lecturers, my tutor and my peers. There were many opportunities to meet service users and hear their experiences.


What is the best thing about your job?

Working with fantastic children and young people, seeing them overcome many of the difficulties they have faced earlier in their childhoods, and succeed to the best of their abilities in spite of these challenges.


What is the biggest challenge with your job?

There are never enough hours in the day and often I have to work evenings and weekends just to keep afloat. This can have an impact on my personal life, and some days it is hard to see the wood for the trees!


What does it take to do your job?

Resilience, emotional strength, determination, good communication skills, an ability to build trusting relationships, perseverance, a sense of humour, patience.


What do you think sets you apart from your colleagues?

I always try to remain positive, even after a particularly challenging day.


What personal achievement are you most proud of?

I am so honoured to have won the national award Children's Social Worker of the Year 2016.


Since leaving the UEA, have you taken any further qualifications, if so what are they?

I am currently completing MA Advanced Social Work at UEA. This is a distance learning course, and completed alongside working full time.


Where are you heading next?

I am currently an Experienced Social Worker, and am happy with this role. In the future, I would like to progress to a Consultant Social Worker position.


Thank you Emily for taking the time to talk to us.


You can read more about Emma and her experiences in her Social work diary.