A project aimed at driving change in the way social workers are recruited, trained and retained has been awarded additional funding.
The Department for Education has allocated the funding to deliver the next phase of the Suffolk and Norfolk Social Work Teaching Partnership.
The collaborative project brings together the University of Suffolk, Suffolk County Council, the University of East Anglia and Norfolk County Council.
In the first year, the project has:
- provided more placements in statutory teams than ever before, giving student social workers a greater insight into the realities of statutory social work;
- trained 40 additional Practice Educators to support the growth in statutory placements;
- increased the number of practitioners who are teaching sessions at the universities –providing a CPD opportunity for practitioners, while students gain valuable first-hand knowledge of how theory is applied in practice;
- increased practitioner involvement in the admissions process helping identify future recruits into the local social care workforce and providing valuable CPD opportunities for aspiring team managers;
- provided opportunities for academics to refresh their knowledge of practice within the local authority.
Mark Fookes, Senior Lecturer on the BA (Hons) Social Work programme and joint Teaching Partnership Higher Education Institution Lead, said “The project has required tremendous input and support from all partners and stakeholders in supporting students in placement and many practitioners in direct teaching. It is this collaborate culture that is ultimately driving the success of the Teaching Partnership.”
“Statutory work offers students the opportunity to explore and develop their skills, knowledge and experience and increase their potential for employability. The provision of statutory teaching and learning experiences means students are better prepared for the statutory role of a newly qualified worker. Increased opportunities like this are embedded as an integral part of the Teaching Partnership and represent a significant positive factor in the recruitment and retention of an effective workforce.”
“The additional funding that has been allocated will allow the project to deliver a sustainable operating model for partnership working, including further opportunities for student placements and to develop a ‘Community of Service Users’ where Service User and Carer involvement is at the core of everything we do.”
To find out about studying Social Work at the University of Suffolk visit www.uos.ac.uk/socialwork
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