Vivacity Independent Social Work

Independent Social Work, across the UK  | e:

Cathleen Long - Independent Social Worker

I qualified as a social worker in 1993 and have worked within local authorities until April 2015. I hold a Post Qualifying Award in Social Work. I have a Master of Arts in Autism and achieved the Professional Learning Award Outstanding Achievement (Autism) from the University of South Wales in December 2017. 

As a qualified social worker I have worked as a Care Manager, where I assessed the community care needs of older adults who had dementia or who were terminally ill, within a multi-cultural, inner city area. I provided person-centred, creative support where I always sought to promote the well-being of each person and their carers. I have also worked within a substance misuse team and a team for adults with learning disabilities.

Up until leaving local authority employment I worked as a Senior Practitioner and an Approved Mental Health Professional, within a Community Mental Health Team, primarily care coordinating detained patients with a forensic history with the aim of successfully facilitating their transition from hospital into a variety of community settings. 

I started my independent social work practice in April 2011, initially on a part-time basis, and since then have built up a solid reputation as a skilled practitioner producing excellent assessments of service users and their carers. I provide expert witness assessments and reports for both adults and children with complex needs for Education Tribunals and/or Judicial Reviews. I am able to undertake Parenting Assessments, particularly here the parent(s) and/or children have special needs. I regularly assess individuals detained in secure hospitals under the Mental Health Act 1983, providing independent social work reports to the Mental Health Review Tribunal for Wales. I have been involved in assessing  complex, high profile cases where I have confidently asserted my professional views and consequently excellent outcomes have been achieved. I am a Best Interests Assessor and have undertaken assessments on behalf of local authorities in England and Wales. My latest venture is being appointed by the Official Solicitor as a Deputy in the relation to the welfare of an older adult who has dementia. I have recently been a guest speaker at two legal seminars, presenting on 'Assessing Capacity - An Expert's Perspective' for 30 park Place and No.5 Chambers. Often in conjunction with associate trainers, I facilitate courses on autism, the Care Act 2014, safeguarding adults at risk of abuse or neglect, and assessing and managing risk with children, young people and adults. I am a visiting lecturer at the University of South Wales. I have taught at both University College London and the University of Southampton to doctorate educational psychologists on the principles and application of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. 


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