Welsh Partnership Prepares Course for All Social Workers; UNIVERSITY TO VALIDATE GRADUATE CERTIFICATE

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Byline: GARETH EVANS gareth.evans@walesonline.co.uk

NEWLY-QUALIFIED social workers across Wales will soon be boosting their skills and confidence through a new qualification designed by their employers.

The new Graduate Certificate in Consolidation of Social Work Practice is validated by the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David and is the first programme to be approved by the Care Council for Wales, the nation's social care workforce regulator.

It comes as part of its new framework for Continuing Professional Education and Learning for Social Work in Wales, which aims to further improve the standard of social work practice and support social workers as they progress in their profession.

The qualification has been designed and developed by a partnership of 12 Welsh authorities, collectively called Porth Agored, chaired by Hywel Jones from Swansea council social services.

He said: "The whole programme helps newly qualified social workers increase their knowledge and skills. It supports the Welsh Government's drive to build a professional workforce and means that people who use social care services can continue to expect professional high-quality support.

"The programme is founded on work-based learning. Participants attend training courses already available in the workplace, by personal reading and research around the cases they are dealing with as part of the job, and with the guidance and support of an experienced mentor.

"This completely focuses learning on research and practice and minimises the amount of time learners spend away from the workplace."

Gwenda Thomas, Deputy Minister for Children and Social Services, said: "This is another key step in the professionalisation of social work. I am pleased that all the organisations involved in the design of this continuing professional education programme have successfully collaborated in preparation for this launch.

"Social workers in this area of Wales can now engage in this energetic programme to prepare and support them for their crucial early years in practice. …