Erin Torrie initially joined Cornerstone’s Dundee, Perth, Fife and West Lothian branch in March 2018 as a support worker within a Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities (PMLD) Service.

After four years working as a support worker, Erin made the decision to apply to the role of lead practitioner, wanting to further develop her skills and responsibilities.

Erin outlined the differences between the two roles. “A support worker directly interacts with service users daily, enabling them to live their best life. In addition, a lead practitioner also acts as a positive role model to colleagues, supporting the team to ensure they continue to provide high quality care to the best of their ability.”

“I work with support staff to develop and enhance care plans; support staff to acknowledge and appreciate their strengths and weaknesses (which is not a bad thing!), and provide them with the tools to put these skills into everyday working.”

At present, Erin is shadowing the current Lead Practitioner and receiving support from Service Leads. She believes that her experience of being a support worker for the last four years has given her the skills to make her an excellent lead practitioner. “Having worked across different services, I’ve taken ideas that have worked well and that I can adapt, to implement in my team!”

Erin would encourage anyone considering a career in social care, or looking to progress in their role, to apply. “If you have a passion for helping people and a caring nature then this is a job for you! Having never worked in social care, I didn’t know if I would like it, however, it is the best thing I’ve ever done and I would never look back, even on the very few bad days!”

And for any support workers considering applying for a lead practitioner role, Erin would give this advice; “Be confident in yourself! Read the Lead Practitioner role profile so you know what is expected. When I was considering applying, someone said to me, 'You’ll never know unless you try it' and I am really glad I did."

If you would be interested in finding out more about developing a career in social care please email [email protected] or visit

You can read more about what the people we support, our colleagues and teams across Scotland have been up to in our Spring Newsletter.