Graduates across the country are being encouraged to apply to a fast-track programme to become the next generation of child and family social workers.
Applications open today for Step Up to Social Work, a 14-month programme that combines real-world experience in a local authority social work team with high-quality university training.
Successful candidates will be awarded a postgraduate diploma in social work when they graduate, allowing them to register and practice as a social worker.
The government is working hard to make this a country that works for everyone, and social work is at the heart of this fairer society. This includes making social work a career that many more people will aspire and have the opportunity to join.
This is backed by an over £800 million investment in social worker training and improvement, including through teaching partnerships, bursaries and our fast-track programmes Frontline and Step Up.
Edward Timpson (pictured), Minister for Vulnerable Children and Families, said: "Whether you are a recent graduate or someone whose student days are long behind you, this is a fantastic opportunity to begin a new career helping children and families. We want all young people to be able to go as far as their talents will take them, and part of that is making sure childhood is a happy and safe time in their lives.
"I have been inspired by previous graduates of the programme, and I’m sure this year will be no different. I look forward to meeting the next generation of social workers who will be transforming children’s lives."
Isabelle Trowler, Chief Social Worker for Children and Families, said: "I know from my own experience what a challenging and fulfilling career child and family social work is, and I’m pleased to see that this programme is encouraging more people to consider it. Programmes like this one are attracting hundreds of talented graduates each year, who could make a real difference to the lives of children and families."
The Step Up to Social Work programme runs every 2 years, with more students qualifying as social workers each time. In 2015, 300 students completed their training and we expect over 420 students to graduate in June this year. Many of those graduating will be offered a trainee social worker role with the local authority where they trained.
This year more than 550 funded places are available to support trainees. After applications close in May, students will start training in January 2018.
Candidates are eligible to apply if they have a 2:1 degree, or a 2:2 plus a higher degree, which can include a master’s degree or a Postgraduate Certificate in Education, in a discipline other than social work. They should also have the equivalent of a GCSE grade C in maths and English, and experience of working with children, young people or families.