Northamptonshire County Council’s new Social Work Academy has been praised by the Government’s Chief Social Worker for Children and Families.
Isabelle Trowler visited the Social Work Academy last month (April) to find out more about the training and support it offers newly-qualified social workers and meet the first group of graduates due to complete the programme this summer.
Ms Trowler, England’s first Chief Social Worker for Children and Families appointed to champion the social work profession, said: “Visiting the Social Work Academy was fascinating. Newly established, it is truly innovative in its approach and has the potential to radically change how newly-qualified social workers are supported.
“Having received intensive on the job coaching, social workers spoke of their very positive experience and their readiness to take their next steps into practice. They are a great team with a strong focus on getting it right for children and families. I really want to come back and see how they get on.”
Recruiting the best
The county council launched its Social Work Academy in October 2014 with the aim of recruiting the best newly-qualified social workers to work in Northamptonshire by offering a year-long intensive training and support programme and a competitive salary.
Graduates spend the first six months of the academy in a dedicated learning environment with a minimum of one day a week working within a social work team. For the second half of the programme, they are based mostly in the field with structured support from the academy.
Cllr Heather Smith, county council cabinet member for children’s services, said: “We were delighted to welcome Isabelle to our Social Work Academy to showcase the work we’re doing to attract the very best newly-qualified social workers to come and work in Northamptonshire.
“It’s wonderful to hear that Isabelle was impressed by the level of training and support we’re offering graduates to ensure they’re ready to do the best job possible for our children and families across the county.”
Join the academy
Northamptonshire County Council recruits graduates to the academy twice a year. To find out more about the Social Work Academy, or apply for a place, visit www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/academy.