A Day in the Life of.... Charlotte Thompson, Assessments Case Handler

A Day in the Life of…. Charlotte Thompson, Assessments Case Handler – Carter Brown

Our Case Handling team are always busy, ensuring all aspects of a case are monitored and both client and expert witness have all the latest information on case developments. Hear more from Charlotte, one of our Case Handlers, about her role at Carter Brown

– What is your role at Carter Brown?

When a case is confirmed, it is transferred from our referrals team to the case handling team. It is my role as the case handler to manage the case and ensure everything runs smoothly and to time.

I will manage the whole process from the beginning to the end when the report is filed. As part of this we ensure all documentation such as the letter of instruction, court bundle and medicals records are shared with our experts on time, appointments are made, meetings are scheduled, issues are dealt with and the report date is met.

 – How long have you been with Carter Brown and what is your previous career experience?

I have been with Carter Brown since September 2019, having started in an administration position as a maternity cover. I then joined as a case handler when a position in the team came up. Prior to working for Carter Brown, I was a water specialist at Severn Trent and enjoyed office work. So, I literally fell into this role – a happy accident!

Carter Brown invest lots of time in training and development and when I started my role, I completed two weeks of solid training. I was then supported closely when I first started my own case handling.

Now, I deal with anywhere between 50-80 cases at one time – and can handle these independently. It is imperative to be confident and ensure I know what is going on with each and every case.

 – What part does your role play in the overall safeguarding of children and young people?

We support the safeguarding of children and young people in an abstract way, because we are supporting our experts to do the best job they can. We take away the administration part of their role, so the sole focus of their expertise is where it needs to be – on the family and/or child/young person.

 – What do you enjoy most about your role?

Mainly the communication as I love talking to people. I like getting to know the experts on an individual basis and knowing what an expert needs before they ask. It gives me a buzz to know and not have to ask! In my role it is a 50/50 split of communication between our experts and clients, and it can often be a long chain of communication. Examples of the clients I build relationships with include solicitors, Local Authorities and social workers.

 – What is the most difficult or challenging about your role?

From a company and client perspective it is a challenge to get the balance right on timescales and managing expectations especially on those cases where there have been issues with client’s attendance or a delay in documentation, for example. Our priority is to ensure quality.

 – Can you give me an example of your average day at Carter Brown?

You will see me doing a lot of talking, either by email or phone call. We also have a system to manage all of our case files on and I will receive daily reminders for each case to either chase or enquire. I will always aim to keep on top of those reminders so I can also keep an eye on my inbox and be as organised as possible, to make sure my cases are ticking along.

 – What do you see as your core values at Carter Brown and why are these important?

At Carter Brown we work to the 7Cs (Creative; Curious; Collaborative; Courageous; Candid; Caring; Committed). I resonate with all of these. Being caring and collaborative are especially important to me as those values form the main parts of my role. You have to care about this job as you are trying to help people. It could be so easy to get lost in the admin aspect of the job, but those core values remind me of why I am in my role.

 – How do you provide a quality service – individually and as part of a team?

This again comes back to those 7 Cs! We have to care about what we do and as we are a small team, if one person is not motivated it would be very challenging for the rest of the team. We all work together to ensure things are done and look out for the mental health of our team.

 – What have been your challenges during the pandemic?

Communication to start with, we didn’t even have business phones at home at first and so managers were having to answer phone calls for us. However, our IT team worked hard to ensure we were all set up remotely very quickly. We have also switched more to electronic methods now and our clients have also done this, which has helped.

In a number of ways our service has improved because of these new processes and we have remained strong and adaptable throughout.

 – What do you think the future holds for your role, the team and the wider family courts/safeguarding sector?

I think the kind of work we do will adapt more technologically with some assessments being delivered virtually where this is appropriate. Courts will likely need to adapt to be able to provide more remote support for children and young people and be prepared for how technology will impact on people’s lives. We will probably see an increased need for assessments as lockdown restrictions are eased and children who have been at risk become known to the authorities and also possibly more experts who can deal with online abuse issues.

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