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Wed, 06 Jul 22 11:59

Comment on social work fast track programmes report

Rachael Wardell, Chair of the ADCS Workforce Development Policy Committee said:

“This final report on the Frontline and Step Up social work fast-track programmes provides us with some valuable insights that national government and local authorities can take away, particularly around retaining social workers. There are a number of encouraging insights within the findings such as high levels of job satisfaction and supervision being rated as ‘very good’ or ‘good’ by a majority of respondents. However, it is concerning that satisfaction with things like hours of work, caseload sizes and public view of social work was lower. These are all fundamental to retaining a high quality workforce and there is a role for national government here to champion the vital work social workers do each and every day in supporting children and families. There is also some learning for local authorities and providers as the report highlights a number of fast track graduates finding social work a major step up from initial training in terms of volume and complexity. This will have been even more pronounced for those beginning their social work career during the pandemic. Nevertheless, employers have been working hard, putting in place innovative measures to help with their development and wellbeing to ensure all those entering the profession receive the support they need during this difficult period.

“There is no ‘best’ or ‘better’ route into the social work profession; these programmes are a welcome part of a mixed range of provision aiming to raise standards across the whole system and Social Work England has a key role in ensuring that education qualifying standards are suitable for practice. It is vital that the programmes build on the broad range of routes available such as our local universities, teaching partnerships and work-based learning to attract more people who will be well-suited to the profession. It does not matter how a person came into the profession if they have the determination and commitment to making a positive difference and the necessary skills and are properly supported to do the job well.”


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