Skills for Care and the Children’s Workforce Development Council have commissioned research into the quality of practice placements for student social workers.
The Sheffield Hallam University study comes amid widespread concern over the quality and quantity of placements for degree students.
Last September, Community Care ran an open letter from two academics to children’s secretary Ed Balls and care services minister Ivan Lewis expressing concerns about the supply of practice placements.
Meanwhile, Brunel University cut its student intake for 2007-8 from 65 to about 45 due to problems finding placements.
The research will be led by Professor Mark Doel of Sheffield Hallam’s centre for health and social care.
He said: “Good practice begins with good training and education, so it’s crucial at this stage that we are confident students are getting the right kind of experience.”
As part of its research, the study will examine 30 non-traditional practice sites in education, criminal justice, health, service-user led and black and ethnic minority settings.