Step Up to Social Care: Fast track to a rewarding career in child and family social work

Graduates and career changers will be given hands-on training in an extension of a fast-track programme to train the next generation of social workers.

Borough of Poole, Bournemouth Borough Council and Wiltshire (SW Regional Partnership 1) have opened the recruitment round for 17 aspiring social workers to join the 14-month Step Up to Social Work programme, helping to train hundreds more children and family social workers who support children and families most in need.

The extension of the Step Up programme is backed by £25million from the Government to fund an additional 700 places across the country, with students receiving a bursary of £19,833 to support them whilst in training.

This will be the sixth cohort of child and family social workers to train through Step Up and in our local partnership across Bournemouth, Poole, Dorset and Wiltshire, 19 have already qualified through the Step Up scheme.

Councillor Karen Rampton, Cabinet member for social care, health and housing, Borough of Poole said:

“Social workers play a powerful role in supporting the most vulnerable children and families, providing hope and care when they are most in need. We want to attract both recent graduates and those who left education some time ago to apply for the Step Up training scheme to help develop the next generation of talented social work professionals.”

Councillor Nicola Greene, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Portfolio holder for Education and Children’s Services, Bournemouth Borough Council said:

“Social work is a challenging but rewarding career. The Step Up training scheme is an excellent way for graduates to qualify in social work. It is developing a highly skilled workforce who are making a positive difference to the lives of children and families.”

Justin, Social Worker, Children in Care team, Poole said:

“If you want to step into a career in social work, you need Step Up into social work. You earn why you learn and develop new and existing skills. This programme was life and career changing for me.”

Trainees can expect to learn through a combination of in-work and university experiences and upon completion, the diploma will allow graduates to register and practise as a social worker, making a difference by nurturing relationships with families during difficult times and protecting children.

The Government is committed to making social work a career that more people can aspire to, investing £25 million in what will be the biggest cohort of Step Up, to make it a career that talented people with a sense of purpose can achieve.

More than 1,100 trainees have qualified through the Step Up programme nationally since 2012, and a further 500 are set to complete this spring. This year, 13 will complete the scheme in across Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole.

The Step Up programme runs every two years, with more students qualifying as social workers each time. Applications will open from February to March, followed by regional assessment centres for candidates successful at the initial application stage. Students will start on the programme in January 2020, completing their training in March 2021.

Candidates are eligible to apply if they have a 2:1 degree (for example, with honours), 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.

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