A pilot programme that supports social workers to return to the profession will be extended.
It is one of four ‘returner programmes’ to receive investment from the Government Equalities Office, as part of a £5m fund announced in the budget earlier this year.
The other three programmes will support civil servants, teachers and allied health professionals, including physiotherapists and radiographers.
The ‘Come Back to Social Work’ programme is led by the Local Government Association (LGA). It was launched in response to fears that a shortage of experienced social workers in adults and children’s services was “reaching crisis point”.
In the first phase of the pilot 30 social workers were offered 13 weeks’ training to help prepare them to register with the HCPC and re-enter practice earlier this year.
It was open to social workers who had left the profession in the past two to five years.
In the next phase, which starts in November, the placements offered to 100 social workers will include tailored training and development to help them return to practice.
Claire Kober, chair of the LGA’s resources board, said: “We are pleased that the government has recognised the importance of supporting the return of good, experienced social workers back into the profession.
“Social workers do incredibly important work in difficult circumstances and it’s vital they have the support that enables them to succeed.”
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