Bridge over Troubled Water: working together to ensure that social work students are fit to practice.
SYTP staff presented a poster at the University of Sheffield’s recent Engaged Learning Conference. The poster, created by Jane Laing (University of Sheffield), Jess McEwen (SYTP) and Fiona Addison (Sheffield City Council), outlines SYTP’s approach to working collaboratively in order to enhance the quality of the SYTP’s qualifying social work programme. The poster is available to download here: Bridge over Troubled Water
For further details of the event, please see https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/als/current/engaged/programme
In line with national drives to raise the quality of social work education and training, a priority for the South Yorkshire Teaching Partnership is to raise the quality and capacity of Practice Education. This has involved work in a number of different areas which staff from across the partnership have contributed to.
The South Yorkshire Teaching Partnership has hosted 91 placements for students from Sheffield University this academic year. Central to this work has been the agency co-ordinators who contribute to the Practice and Placement Development Group (PPDG). They co-ordinate student placements across the authority and quality assure Practice Educator portfolios.
The Teaching Partnership have refreshed the Practice Educator module available to staff to train as a Level 1 Practice Educator and have just completed delivering this for a second time to staff from across the partnership. A module for Level 2 Practice Educators is currently being finalised for delivery in January. Additionally, there have been two “masterclasses” offered already this year with a focus on Practice Education, including one on learning styles and another one on supporting failing students. Practice Educators also attend quarterly network sessions so that they can keep up to date with changes across the partnership and refresh their own knowledge base.
Work has also been ongoing with students with staff from across the partnership contributing to a number of workshops that have been delivered for students. This has included newly developed workshops on child protection and also employability for students hoping to work in adult services.
Catherine Mawn, SYTP Quality Assurance and Standards Manager
Children matter… It’s a simple statement, but it’s what unites everyone in children’s social work.
Under the banner Children’s Social Work Matters, all 14 local authorities and one Trust in Yorkshire and The Humber are working together by sharing knowledge and experience in a collaborative way to drive standards of care higher and ensure children feel safe – a cause completely aligned with that of the South Yorkshire Teaching Partnership.
Children’s Social Work Matters is about helping to promote and recognise the good work and dedication of our children’s social work teams and to help enable and facilitate collaboration across the region.
To this end, www.childrenssocialworkmatters.org promotes the work and benefits of childrens social work and how to get into the profession in Yorkshire and Humber. This includes all the latest job opportunities across the region and up-to-date news from across the UK on social work matters.
To support collaborative working Childrens Social Work Matters offers social work professionals, students and academics access to Our Children’s Social Work Matters https://our.childrenssocialworkmatters.org – a private and secure online platform providing a range of very useful features that enable interaction and sharing of information and experiences across the region.
Also accessible at your fingertips via a mobile phone app, the key features include:
- The latest, real-time, social work news from around the UK and region
- An events calendar, which as well as being abele to publicise your events can also be used to offer and manage bookings
- The facility to have private online discussions with colleagues via the ‘Team Room’
- The facility to log and store CPD activities with reporting and HCPC audit submission functionality
- Access to, participate in or watch, topical webinars hosted by CSWM from social work practitioners, service users, academics and policy makers
- Best practice and other resources via the Knowledge and local authority sections
If you’re interested in Children’s Social work and not already aware of or plugged in go to Children’s Social Work Matters at www.childrenssocialworkmatters.org – if you’re already working in social work register for OurCSWM here. If you’re a student or lecturer email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get you registered in no time.
Advanced Practitioner and Practice Educator
I am employed by Barnsley Metropolitian Borough Council as an Advanced Practitioner working with Children and their families who are subject to a Child In Need Plan, Child Protection Plan, PLO Process or Care Proceedings. Within this role, I visit families and continuously assess whether the needs of the children are being met and to form a professional judgement about whether they are safe or if further steps need to be taken in order to safeguard the child.
The Social Worker role is necessary to support parents or carers with personal difficulties such as mental health, substance misuse, learning disability or experiencing domestic abuse. It also supports parents in affording their children with good enough parenting. Without Social Workers, it is highly likely that children would be placed at continuous risk of harm or experience harm for longer periods with no legal framework being implemented by Social Care.
There is no doubt that being a Social Worker is a physically and emotionally demanding role but it is one which is also rewarding and enables the best interests of the child to be secured. On a typical day I arrive at the office at 8:30am and print off documents for meetings that I need for that day. At 9am I catch up with my student to ensure she is aware of her diary commitments for the day and to make she sure is aware of what is required for each task. I then attend my first meeting of a day; a core group meeting for 4 child subject to a child protection plan. Following this, I undertake unannounced home visits to families on child in need plan and a child protection plan. I return to the office for lunch and then meet with my student for supervision where we discuss the cases she is co-working and how this links to theory such as child centred practice and solution focussed.
The toughest problem in my role is diary management and meeting deadlines to ensure delay does not occur for children. At times this means being flexible with working hours to achieve all of the deadlines.
The most rewarding part of being a Social Worker is seeing parents making changes; being internally motivated to make change and seeing children’s behaviour and presentation changing and improving. Sometimes this cannot being achieved with parents which leads to children being placed with family members, long term foster care or adoption. It is rewarding to see children thriving in such placements.
The South Yorkshire Teaching partnership has supported my role as a Practice Educator to understand the framework which students are required to meet, understanding the process of placements and procedure when there is a disagreement.