Interview with Transition Coordinator – Louisa Joyce

7 September 2021

With a wealth of experience in adult social care and a long-standing interest in social justice, Louisa Joyce channels her passion for making a difference to the lives of others in her role as a transition co-ordinator in our SEND team.

Find out more about Louisa and her latest work in helping to develop national guidance around supporting young people with complex needs and disabilities, in our interview below.

Q. Can you tell me a bit about your experience at Cheshire East?

Louisa: In terms of my experience at Cheshire East I’ve worked here for 11 years now. I started as a social worker in the child in need and child protection team, then I moved into adult social care. Then I got a secondment to help with the implementation of the Care Act. Then I got another secondment to do the role of transition co-ordinator, which I am doing now.

I think my breadth of experience helps me in my role as I know who the people are in children’s and adults, and now I am based in the special educational needs and disabilities ( SEND ) team.

Q. So, what inspired you to get involved in services that support children and young people with SEND ?

Louisa: I’ve always been passionate about doing work that makes a real difference for people, and before I worked for Cheshire East, I worked in London for an international development charity, so I’ve always been interested in social justice and not discriminating and making a difference-type things. That was a really interesting job, so I used to travel to places like Ethiopia and Bangladesh, that sort of thing.

When I moved back to Alderley Edge I had to have a rethink as I couldn’t continue in international development and travelling with starting a family.

I thought about teaching and then I ended up getting a job as a youth worker working for Cheshire Fire and rescue service on the RESPECT project.  I loved it had great fun working with young people and doing fun outdoor activities and dressing up in fire kit, it was great to see confidence grow of the young people through team building activities.

I then decided to do my social work masters qualification and did social work for five years in children’s and adults, before coming into this role.

Q. Great, so what is this consultation and how have you been involved with it?

Louisa: So, the consultation is with the National Institute for Care and Excellence ( NICE guidelines). This one is for young people with complex needs and disabilities, and how we can work more integrated with social care, vocation and health, it’s all about how we can help people navigate the different systems.

I saw the advert asking for committee members with social care experience to advise on these guidelines, and I applied and was successful, which I was really happy about.

It’s voluntary and is quite a big commitment as there are a lot of whole-day meetings. I attended one of these virtual meetings when my daughter was one week old! Researchers will do literacy searches for the answers to the questions, and submit the evidence to us as committee members, around the data from social care. Where the evidence was poor, we would make recommendations based on our experience in practice, and this would then go into the recommendations for the guidelines.

Q. So, what do people need to do next and when is the deadline?

Louisa: So, if people want to get involved, they need to read the guidelines.

They cover recommendations for local authorities, health commissioners and individual services, to help them work together and provide more coordinated support to children and young people.

There are different sections so depends on your area of interest, and you can click and comment, and this will all be national guidance, not statutory, but as a council we would be questioned why we haven’t taken up the recommendations. It’s really interesting and I feel lucky really that I’ve been able to influence national recommendations/guidance.

If you want to comment on the guideline then use the comments form and email it to CYPseverecomplexneeds@nice.org.uk

Comments have to be submitted by 14 September and then the guidelines will be published in January 2022.