Tell us a little bit about yourself – your work background, your interests…
My name is Michael Van Tromp. I qualified as a social worker in 2012 and always intended to work Child Protection. Before this I spent a number of years working within Residential Children’s Homes, as a Parent Support Advisor, as well as doing odd jobs for the Leaving Care Team, therefore I had some knowledge as to what the life of a Child Protection Social Worker would be like.
I am currently working as an Aspiring Manager within Safeguarding and Assessment Team 2. This is a new role whereby I supervise a pod of up to four newly qualified social workers, as well as a third year social work student. My main responsibilities are to ensure that my pod receives a high level of support within these early stages of their careers by offering a more hands on approach to their supervision through mentoring and modelling social work practice. I also support them through their ASYE (Assessed and Supported Year in Employment), by helping them identify their strengths and learning needs, and ensuring that they gain the relevant skills and knowledge to be a competent social worker. Prior to this I worked as a social worker in the Safeguarding and Assessment Team as well as the MASH and the Referral and Assessment Team before it was restructured.
Outside of work my main interests are spending time with my wife and daughter, who has just turned one, and keeping fit. I used to do this through cycling, however being a father means that I can no longer justify being out on the bike for several hours on a Saturday. Instead I have taken up Crossfit, which takes far less time than a bike ride but is not for the faint hearted!
What makes you have a good day at work?
Plenty of coffee.
Is there anything you wished would come back into fashion?
I have never been one to follow fashion fads, although I have always been curious as to how certain trends develop, especially the ones you suspect are destined to be viewed with intense embarrassment in years to come. In this respect I would like to see a resurgence of the Mullet hair style from the 80’s, purely for my own amusement.
What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever eaten?
I once ate in a restaurant that specialises in the unusual. One dish that stood out was a desert that looked like a full English breakfast complete with candied bacon and scrambled egg which was in fact smoked bacon and egg flavour ice cream. The experience was certainly strange but also surprisingly nice too.
What’s the best thing about working at Wiltshire Council?
For me the best thing about working for Wiltshire Council is the people who I work with. I am very lucky to work within the team that I am currently as the social workers and managers are all very supportive to each other, which therefore makes a challenging job more enjoyable. I also feel that Wiltshire’s approach to employing newly qualified social workers is really positive as they now have protected case loads and far more support available now than they did in previous years which can only be a good thing.