Applications for the mental health social work fast-track scheme Think Ahead are now open.
A maximum of 100 places are available and applicants must hold at least a 2:1 undergraduate degree, as well as demonstrable attributes such as resilience and empathy.
The Think Ahead programme was announced by government in 2014 and aims to recruit ‘high calibre’ graduates into mental health social work.
Successful candidates will undertake intensive on-the-job training over a two year period to gain a postgraduate diploma and master’s degree in social work.
The University of York will be the awarding body for qualifications gained by participants and will lead on the delivery of the academic curriculum, which is focused on international best practice in mental health and social work. York has also partnered with the University of Central Lancashire to teach Think Ahead students.
Community Care understands the curriculum has been developed through consultation with more than 23 organisations including The College of Social Work, BASW, and the Royal College of Psychiatrists, as well as direct input from users of mental health services and social workers.
The curriculum will include interventions focused on three levels: individuals, families, and groups and communities. These interventions are being assessed to ensure they have an effective evidence base and can demonstrate clear outcomes.
Professor Martin Webber, the University of York’s lead academic on Think Ahead, said he was delighted to be partnering with the programme to develop mental health social workers.
“We will provide participants with cutting-edge knowledge and skills, drawing on the best evidence from around the world, to equip them to hit the ground running and make an immediate difference,” he said.