Social Work Academy

Social Work Academy

All Social Workers employed by the council will benefit from support from the Social Work Academy.

All Social Workers employed by Worcestershire County Council will benefit from support from the Social Work Academy. The team are passionate about supporting all frontline practitioners throughout their career through our Evolve Social Work Development Programme. All our work is linked to facilitating practitioners to achieve the best outcomes for children, families, and adults in Worcestershire. 

The Social Work Academy Evolve Programme includes:

Routes into Social Work

The Social Work Academy work can support you to become a qualified Social Worker via the following routes:

  • University (BA/BSC & MA/MSc) - we work closely with our partner Higher Educational Institutes to ensure we offer quality social work placements
  • Step-Up to Social Work - an intensive, 14-month, full-time programme for qualifying as a social worker. Please click the following link to find out more: Step-Up to Social Work (GOV.UK)
  • Frontline - a fast-track graduate programme for qualifying as a social worker. Please click the following link to find out more: Frontline
  • Social Work Degree Apprenticeship (SWDA) - Worcestershire offers its SWDA in partnership with Warwick University. Applications for our SWDA are now closed. Please click the following link for more information: Social Work Degree Apprenticeship

Social Work Students

Social Work Students are required to undertake placements. Student Placements at Worcestershire are coordinated by the Social Work Academy Team in liaison with the local Universities and Social Work Programme Providers.

During your placement you will be supported by a Workplace Supervisor and/or a Practice Educator. You will also have access to the following support:

  • informal 1:1 session at start of placement
  • student Induction 
  • student Handbook
  • monthly Student Forums
  • mock Interview Session
  • student Wellness Plan
  • access to varied CPD opportunities 
  • opportunities to provide feedback

Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE)

In Worcestershire, a Newly Qualified Social Worker is part of the Assessed and Supported Year in Employment programme (AYSE). This is a twelve month programme of support run by Skills for Care and is mapped against the Knowledge and Skills statement for Social Workers.

As a newly Qualified Social Worker you will work in a Social Work Team with the additional support of an Advanced Social Work Practitioner and the Social Work Academy Team.

The offer of support for Newly Qualified Social Workers (NQSW) in Worcestershire includes:

  • ASYE Assessor
  • Social Work Academy Advisor
  • informal session prior to commencement of ASYE
  • ASYE Induction
  • continuous support throughout the ASYE
  • facilitated ASYE review meetings at 0, 3, 6, 9 and 12 months
  • monthly ASYE Action Learning Sets with other NQSWs
  • Bite Sized Learning Sessions
  • access to varied CPD Opportunities
  • support and reflective sessions for ASYE Assessors

Post ASYE Support

The Social Work Academy offer support following the completion of the Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE). The offer of support in Years 2 and 3 of practice and is designed enable Social Workers to consolidate their learning, become more autonomous and develop their careers within Worcestershire. 

Support in Year 2 of Practice:

Quarterly development time for Social Workers to attend the following sessions facilitated by the Social Work Academy. All sessions are linked to Social Work England Professional Standards and can be used as evidence for registration renewal. 

  • Embedding your Knowledge
  • Evolving your Career
  • Cultivating Wellbeing
  • Overcoming Adversity

Support in Year 3 of Practice:

1x development session focussed on Career Development and Progression including:

  • Q&A with Senior Management
  • Overview of Leadership & Management Offer
  • Access to Social Work Qualifications
  • Career Planning Resources

This session will support Social Workers to reflect on their experiences, provide help to identify progression and/ or development opportunities, and provide Social Workers with resources to advance their career.

Practice Education

A Practice Educator (PE) provides supervision, teaching and assessment to student Social Workers to develop their Social Work practice depending on their learning needs. The Practice Education Faculty Lead in the Social Work Academy works collaboratively with the University of Worcester to assist with assessing students who are completing Practice Educators Professional Standards (PEPS) Stage 1 and 2. 

The offer of support for Practice Educators in Worcestershire includes:

  • Six weekly Communities of Practice
  • mentoring for Practice Educators in Training
  • resources and CPD opportunities 
  • Practice Education Handbook

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is vital to ensure our social care workforce provide quality support children, families, and adults in Worcestershire.

Working for Worcestershire you will have access to a range of learning and development opportunities to support you to thrive in your career including:

  • an exciting Learning and Development offer
  • career progression and development pathways
  • post ASYE support in years 2, 3 and 4 of Social Work Practice
  • leadership and management training offer
  • CPD Surgeries to support Social Work England Registration
  • annual Celebrating Social Work Week 
  • co-produced training and learning resources
  • opportunities to undertake qualifications with local universities
  • access to Research in Practice
  • access to the West Midlands Social Work Teaching Partnership
  • access to a comprehensive wellbeing offer 

Research in Practice

Research in Practice is an online learning platform which supports social care professionals in their day to day work. It aims to support organisations and individuals to access, understand and apply evidence into their work with children and families, young people and adults.

Worcestershire employees have access to Research in Practice to support their practice including a programme of national conferences, workshops and online events, resources such as case law and legal summaries and bitesize learning tools to meet a range of learning styles.

One of our Social Workers says: “Research In Practice is an invaluable tool for developing knowledge that can be used in practice. There are a variety of sources from webinars, research papers and online training. I love how the online training incorporates time to go through materials before the session and how the materials support your learning” - Newly Qualified Social Worker

Find out more here: Research in Practice

West Midlands Social Work Teaching Partnership

The West Midlands Social Work Teaching Partnership aim to strengthen the quality of education and training for social work students and practitioners across the West Midlands.  

Worcestershire is part of the West Midlands Social Work Teaching Partnership and employees can access the varied range of resources and bespoke learning events offered by the partnership.

Find out more here: The West Midlands Social Work Teaching Partnership

Contact us

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