SOCIAL WORK: A Brighter Future; ADVERTORIAL

Article excerpt

A GREAT DEAL IS BEGINNING TO CHANGE IN SOCIAL WORK, PARTICULARLY FOR SOCIAL WORKERS WHO WORK WITH CHILDREN AND FAMILIES.

Despite a difficult year where media scrutiny of social workers has been intense, developments are taking place across the West Midlands that will build understanding and confidence in social workers and help them get on with the job they signed up for: improving children and young people's lives.

Councils across the West Midlands, including Coventry, are working hard - and with each other - as part of a national drive to strengthen the way social workers are recruited, trained and supported.

The social work workforce of the future Social work is a career like no other and it's vital to attract the very best people into the profession, from all walks of life. This is why local councils in the West Midlands are taking part in a new 'earn and learn' scheme to attract other professionals to a career in social work with children and families.

'Step Up to Social Work' is an on-the-job qualification introduced to address the financial barriers faced by people who want to change their careers. 'Step Up to Social Work' will offer candidates pounds 15,000 support a year to study for a Masters degree while they train to become a social worker.

This course is exclusively for people with 2:1 degrees or above and experience of working with children or young people. The training takes account of this experience and means that participants could qualify more quickly, bringing their expertise into the profession and getting them onto the frontline within two years. It aims to make it easier for people interested in changing careers and becoming a social worker to take the first step.

Community Nurse, Karlene Wong, is one of the many experienced people across the country who have already been drawn to the programme: "I've always been interested in social work and this support is going to make a huge difference to my decision to change careers. It's also great that people on the programme will get to learn from experienced social workers."

Supporting social workers Retaining experienced social workers in the workforce is a key issue across England. Councils in the West Midlands, including Coventry, are working together to find ways to do this by improving the training and development on offer. …