Steph How

Stephanie How

Head of Strategy and Operations (East), Hampshire County Council

I knew when I was an adolescent that I wanted to be a Social Worker because I learned of the Sargent Cancer Care for Children charity and made it my mission to one day work for them. I qualified in 1997 having spent four years at Bath University, but knew that Sargent only employed ‘Senior ' Social Workers, so I spent a couple of years in C&F statutory teams in South Gloucestershire. I promised myself that I would apply for the first Sargent post that was advertised when I ‘hit ' my two years PQ, wherever in the Country it was! On my two-year PQ anniversary, a post was advertised in Birmingham Children's Hospital and my dream came true. I spent nearly five years doing my dream job till I decided it was time to move on and I found myself naturally gravitating ‘home '.

I 've worked in Hampshire since 2003, joining the Council initially as a Senior Practitioner. I was fortunate enough to spend 18 months seconded to the Isle of Wight in the initial stages of our partnership with them in 2013. I have learned so much through supporting other Local Authorities, learning that I draw on regularly and never take for granted. I have been in my current role as Head of Strategy and Operations for the East of Hampshire since February 2018 and have been the Strategic and Operational Lead for our exciting Transforming Social Care programme since March 2019.

I can honestly say I love my job and working in our Outstanding service with my Outstanding colleagues. One of the proudest days of my career is, and I think will always be, sitting with the Senior Leadership Team in May 2019 and hearing the provisional feedback from our Ofsted inspection that we were Outstanding across the board – what an emotional moment! I love managing staff, supporting them to grow and observing their passion to improve the outcomes for children and families. I feel proud every day of the innovative, forward-thinking organisation that I work in and of the incredible people I get to work with.

It is not every day that you get to be part of leading the way in changing the way we practice social work and transform service delivery. Hampshire has invested in me as a professional, showing commitment to my growth and development. I came to Hampshire as an Assistant Team Manager and have been grown by Hampshire into a Senior Leader for which I will always be grateful.