I have completed my first week at work and it feels like much longer...In a good way, I suppose. I have developed an initial comfort level with most members of my team and eveyone continues to be helpful and friendly. According to my co-workers and other folks in the West Midlands area, I am very "brave." Not so sure I agree, but I will take the compliment. The team gets a good laugh from my American phrasing, like "stick shift" and "sometimes I do milk, sometimes I don't (in my tea)." Everyone in the office offers to make you a drink (we're talking tea, not vodka here people!) about ten times a day and everyone wants to know what I think of the weather compared to home... "Well, believe it or not, it's warmer."
It's hard to make any valid comparisons of the social work systems so far, I am currently in training after training and site visit after site visit. A few things I have noticed (which could change with time) though are the caseloads seem to be smaller- of,course, so is the population, there is much more whole team collaboration in a crisis, and there appears to be a strong connection in all areas of practice with the actual laws. The whole of the UK is guided by the same laws and procedures, much different from the state differences in the US. But, given I never worked directly in child protection, I think it is somewhat difficult to make direct comparisons. However, my time at YES and Dawn, even, gave me enough material, I'm sure.