A social work recruitment drive is taking off in Stockton-on-Tees!
Three new trainee social work students have started work in the Borough under the innovative Step up to Social Work scheme, which is funded by the Department for Education.
The full-time 14-month training programme will see the students experience a wide range of local authority social work and by early 2017 they will successfully qualify with a Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work.
Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council is part of a partnership of local authorities, led by Darlington Borough Council, which have been successful in attracting the government funding for the programme.
One of the students, Gemma Cohen, was attracted to the programme after working for the local authority to promote campaigns aimed at recruiting more foster carers and adopters within Stockton Borough.
She said: “Having had the opportunity to meet looked after children and families as part of my work I became interested in the role social workers play in keeping children and young people safe, healthy and happy. I felt inspired to change career direction and was certain I could transfer my skills and life experience to re-train as a social worker.
“The course is extremely fast-paced and challenging, as we’re learning so much in a short space of time. However, almost as soon as we’ve been taught the theory and skills, I’m applying it to practice, as I’m currently on placement within Stockton’s Adult Mental Health team. The blended learning approach between academic study at university and workplace training is preparing us for the challenges and complexities around working with adults, children and families – and we’re hoping we can help make a difference.”
Councillor Jim Beall, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Services and Health, who worked as a social work professional for 33 years, said: “As someone who has worked over a wide range of different services within social work, I can say it is a very challenging but extremely rewarding career. Helping those in need, especially the most vulnerable in our communities, to realise their potential and lead fulfilling lives, is immensely satisfying.”
Councillor Ann McCoy, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “The Step up to Social Work programme will help us recruit and train the most talented and dedicated people to improve the circumstances of children and families. We are looking for the next generation of social workers to come forward, to further develop our workforce, so if you are a graduate and are interested in social work as a career there will be more opportunities to sign up to begin training in 2017. I wish our current three students the best of luck as they complete their training.”
To find out more about the course and how to apply for 2017 visit www.gov.uk