Comment: ASYE child and family annual report

Commenting on the second annual report on the ASYE for children and families Rachael Wardell, Chair of the ADCS Workforce Development Policy Committee, said:

“This report provides valuable insights into the ASYE programme for children and families and the experiences of newly qualified social workers. For example, regular supervision is identified as the single most critical element in managing the workload, securing protected time and supporting overall wellbeing of new social workers. The benefits to wellbeing are enhanced when new social workers have informal and pastoral support from their colleagues. Access to buddying, training and coaching are valued too. There is important learning in this report for local authorities, particularly in relation to the significant value senior management ‘buy in’ can bring to the success of the ASYE and how the level of support available to newly qualified social workers, and all those involved in supporting them, is key to their wellbeing. Social work is complex and challenging work and good employers provide appropriate support at every stage of a social worker’s career. It is in this spirit that some organisations are considering extending elements of the ASYE support package into the second year of practice.

“Workforce sufficiency continues to be a challenge for all local authorities, and we are committed to ensuring that social workers entering the profession are well supported with their workload and wellbeing. For newly qualified social workers developing their practice in their first year in employment this is particularly important, and a well-designed ASYE programme is a good way to do this. However, we recognise there is variation across the country. This is in part because the programme is employer-led and therefore the approaches taken are largely informed by the local context. That said, it is encouraging to see that the majority of ASYE programmes visited were delivered at least in line with basic requirements, and where there were issues about the ASYE experience these were acknowledged by employers, who will want to improve what they offer. Local authorities remain committed to getting the basics right so that good social work can flourish. This includes ensuring social workers get the support they need, have manageable workloads, and receive regular, reflective supervision where they can raise issues about their work. We cannot support the children and families we work if we do not support the staff who work with them.”

ENDS



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