(by: Ms. Anne Nerva)
District Manager, Specialist Childrenâs Services,
Thanet, St. Peterâs House, Dane Valley Road, Broadstairs, Kent, U.K.
EULOGY DELIVERED AT THE FUNERAL SERVICE OF Mrs. Auldene Jones-Cochran on Wednesday, September 28, 2011, at St. Alphegeâs Anglican Church, Whitstable, Kent, U.K.
I am going to tell you a little bit about Auldeneâs professional life. I have had the privilege to have known her for the last ten years as both a colleague and more recently as a friend.
Auldene started work as an unqualified social worker with Kent County Council in 1993 having spent several years prior to that doing sessional youth and care support work.
In 1996 Auldene went to Mid Kent College for 2 years to train to be a qualified social worker which she did successfully, returning to work in the Canterbury district where she continued to work for many years.
Auldene went on to complete further training including the Kent Practice Teachers Award and Child Care Award and by 2003 she became a Senior Practitioner later becoming a Practice Supervisor and Principal Social Worker.
Although she spent most of her career in Canterbury, Auldene eventually thought it was time for a change and in April 2010 she moved to Thanet.
Over the years as a senior worker and Practice Teacher Auldene supervised many, many social workers and social work students. She was a great role model and critical friend: challenging, supporting and developing workers to deliver sound social work practice.
Auldene had a passion for ensuring all children had a right to a family life and developed a talent and interest in adoption and permanency planning work. She had lead responsibility for Adoption work in Canterbury and Thanet and was an Adoption Panel member. Through this she was able to raise standards, ensure that children were at the heart of our plans and that these were progressed as quickly as possible. Auldene placed many children with adoptive families…and helped many other Social Workers, through supervision, to do the same.
Auldene had a wide network of colleagues and peers across Kent including foster carers. She was a great champion of social work, always interested in other people and displaying a genuine warmth and openness that made others feel at ease and value the time they spent with her. In her work with families Auldene was child centred showing her amazing ability to communicate with children at their pace and level but always able and willing to show respect and compassion to parents.
Auldene was a dedicated and loyal worker and manager especially when having to make tough decisions about allocation of work, casework and general management of the team and district. She made difficult decisions whilst putting children first and wanting to provide the very best we could offer.
Auldene was a real sport and fun to be with. Wherever she worked her energy, sense of humour and zest for life were infectious enabling many workers to keep going through very tough times. Colleagues will remember having some really good laughs together often involving good food, dressing up in silly wigs or hats or generally mucking around….
Auldene was strong and brave and this was evident when she broke her leg in 2010 just at the time she started work in Thanet. Whilst others might have remained at home Auldene made sure she came to work every day involving many people including her husband David in giving her lifts. She hobbled about on crutches always managing to be in the right place at the right time including attending a management away day held at The Royal Yacht Club in Ramsgate. This building can only be reached via a sloped cobbled pavement and several steps leading to the entrance. There was no lift; the meeting room was on the first floor and the toilets on the ground floor. Most people would have given up or at least made a big fuss but Auldene approached this as an interesting challenge and with great humour and determination and crutches in hand she climbed up and down the steps more than once that day. Auldene showed the same strength and courage through her recent illness.
Auldene has helped countless children and families through her direct work with them and she has supervised, supported and guided many other social workers and students to achieve the same. They wonât know Auldeneâs true contribution to ensuring their future life chances but those of us who worked with Auldene do know. She will be missed terribly by many, both personally and professionally. Her passing away is a sad loss not just to Kent but to the social work profession as she had so much more to give.
Mrs. Lorna Jones-McBarnett & Family, Mr. David Cochran & sons, Matthew and James and the entire Jonesâ Family wish to express sincere thanks to all who prayed, called, visited, sent cards, e.mails and in any other way sympathised with them on the passing of their beloved Auldene.