Social workers offered support to return to practice as training scheme extended

The 'Come Back to Social Work' programme will now partner with three regions in England to offer placements to 100 social work returners

Photo: adam121/fotolia

A pilot programme that supports social workers to return to the profession will be extended.

The ‘Come Back to Social Work’ programme, launched last year, will now partner with three regions in England to offer placements to 100 social work returners.

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.

‘Tailored training’

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.

‘Important work’

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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5 Responses to Social workers offered support to return to practice as training scheme extended

  1. Peter Endersby August 29, 2017 at 12:03 pm #

    Does this mean we not only accept austerity but encourage it as it leads to inovation? Would this change of occurred without the budgetary restraints imposed by central government? Seems bitter sweet to me.

  2. Paul August 29, 2017 at 1:32 pm #

    This scheme would probably have been unnecessary if local authorities looked after their staff better in the first place! One might argue it is relying on people’s optimism who have forgotten why they left and who find on their return that those same reasons are still there. Creativity (and by extension innovation – although they are slightly different beasts given that innovation is driven by external motivators including money) requires an idea to be both original and effective. This is hardly either – it is simply a management technique to get more bums on seats as cheaply as possible and not think about the real issues which take more money to solve.

    • Too old for this stuff August 30, 2017 at 9:59 am #

      Totally agree. I wonder how many people will actually take this up?

  3. Janet ryan August 30, 2017 at 2:21 pm #

    I left the proffesion nearly 3 years ago. I worked in cp social services for 15 years. I never recieved the support from management. I would not return as nothing has changed in social work front line. I watch my ex colleagues falling apart still today. Big changes are needed to retain good SW.

  4. Blair McPherson August 30, 2017 at 8:12 pm #

    Why do people leave social work ? I am sure there are many reasons but if LA’s want qualified workers to return they need to address the reasons they left. I think we can agree for many those reasons will have included feeling the profession is under valued and management is unsupportive add to this budget cuts which mean the resources don’t exist to provide the help people need. So what has changed to attract good people back?