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Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Survey identifies demand for Community Development for Social Work in Northern Ireland

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A survey led by the Southern Health and Social Care Trust Website (SHSCT) has identified demand and content for a Community Development Training Programme in the Professionals in Practice (PiP) Framework for Social Work.

Community Development is a requirement for undergraduate social workers. The SHSCT, through a steering group comprising of health and social care, academic, and voluntary/community sector organisations has completed a study to identify the demand and content for a PiP programme in Community Development for Social Work.

The next step will be a meeting with the project lead, steering group representatives and Ulster University Community Development and Social Work Departments to provide a submission to prepare an accreditation application to the Northern Ireland Social Care Council (NISCC).

The target date for the new courses is September 2017.

Survey Feedback

This work began in 2015 and included a regional survey of social work managers to establish demand for community development training. This was followed by 6 regional focus groups to determine the most appropriate content for new courses.

  • 104 managers responded; 92% from statutory sector, 8% from Voluntary/ Community Sector.
  • 72% felt that there was a need for training in the use of CD approaches within SW for themselves and 92% for social workers in their organisation.

The survey provided evidence that CD would assist managers and social workers in partnership work; personal and public involvement; person centred approaches including self-directed support; critical thinking and improved outcomes for service users/ carers through contract management.

The survey provided clear demand across NI for PiP CD training for social work managers and social workers. Furthermore it indicated that short accredited modules no longer than 2 days be developed at Consolidation, Specialist and Leadership and Strategic level which could gain accreditation within the Professionals in Practice framework. A statement of intent to NISCC for the CD training programme, was submitted and approved following completion of the survey.

Focus Groups

Following a decision by the steering group to engage the Social Work and Community Development Departments within Ulster University, 6 regional focus group were held with 16 service users and carers and 31 social work staff and managers to determine the content for the new courses. 

Full detail of the survey and focus groups are available on