Introducing Hayley Lodge Independent Social Worker

Hayley has been working with Thornton & Lee as an Independent Social Worker since the summer 2022, her kind and personable approach is a real asset to Thornton & Lee and much appreciated by our clients. Hayley lives with her family and sausage dog Toby, in the Gloucestershire area.

Hayley qualified as a Social Worker in 2016, and her experience spans across both Children and Adult settings. Hayley’s expertise lies within the field of disability (of all ages) with particular skills in alternative communication styles including MAKATON, sign language, AAC devices, PODD books, and ensuring that individuals are always at the centre of all their care and support. Hayley is passionate about capturing an individual’s views, especially those who are nonverbal.

Hayley obtained a Best Interest Assessors award in 2020. A Best Interest Assessor is a specialist qualification for those working with individuals who do not have mental capacity that require a best interest decision to be made on their behalf, if they might be being deprived of their liberty. 

Hayley’s previous experience also includes working for Local Authority disabled children’s teams, as a Specialist Paediatric Oncology Social Worker, and Hayley has co-managed a residence of nine students with complex needs including mental health, learning disability and high medical needs.

We caught up with Hayley about her role as an Independent Social Worker:

Hayley why did you decide to train to be a Social Worker? 

“I’ve always been interested in learning and developing my skills so after experience of supporting adults with learning disabilities I wanted to explore other areas of social care in a professional capacity. I have a real commitment to being person centred and am of the belief that people are experts in their own lives so carry these values into my social work practice”.

Hayley what is your favourite aspect of the work you undertake with clients at Thornton & Lee? 

“I feel privileged to get to know clients in a short space of time and to feel so welcomed by clients and families, especially when undertaking some appointments on a video platform where the ability to form relationships isn’t as easy!”

Hayley what advice would you give to clients or their families who are worried about taking part in a Mental Capacity Assessment?

“Be yourself! Please feel free to talk about your interests or your day as this helps me to build a picture of your situation. Always make sure you are comfortable and have a nice cup of tea to hand”.