Community Care’s survey of social workers who are on or have recently completed their assessed and supported year in employment has discovered problems with how the scheme is currently being used. Here are some quotes from social workers who responded to our survey.
- [I] feel ASYE was treated like a tick-box exercise and was a real missed opportunity to provide relevant and good quality practice based training.
- Got thrown in the deep end, already doing the job of a full social worker. The protected caseload was meant to be 15 at the end of the year. I had 15-20 within a week of starting.
ASYE did not help me feel prepared only added to an already stressful job and seemed to repeat assignment format from uni! Not sure what the point is!
- [The] Treatment I got left me suffering from mental health. I had passion for social work but this one manager killed my passion. I was left scared.
I hate being a social worker but I’m not trained for anything else, I feel overwhelmed and depressed, I hate the politics of it all and the unsupportive atmosphere where you are just expected to get on with it
- I felt unprepared to practice when I left uni and going into social work was a shock. I don’t feel the ASYE has prepared me to practice, more that I myself have made it my responsibility to seek out learning opportunities. The ASYE portfolio has not taught me anything what so ever and has been an extra burden on top of all the other paperwork we have to complete! In theory ASYE would be great but in practice it is just more stress.
- I feel like there’s a tension between being treated like a qualified social worker, which is a confidence booster in one aspect. But, when I’m struggling, or I need to take a study day and there’s no leave available on the leave schedule, or when I say I need a paperwork day… It’s like asking for gold. It’s a tension between expectation and reality, and the reality is that employers don’t want ASYE’s as much as the practitioners don’t want to do the ASYE. No one has time, that time presents as tension and adds to feelings of stress.
- The protected caseload did not come into effect until I had completed 6 months of the ASYE. This has impacted my ability to achieve what was required resulting in my ASYE needing to be extended.
- I am already looking for other positions. Preferably ones that don’t require me to complete my ASYE as I don’t believe the scheme is enhancing my practice. My supervision is doing that. The ASYE is just extra paperwork and does not add anything of benefit.
- The case load is too high to allow focus on ASYE.
Three changes in team managers and two changes in managers. Whole team burnout.
- My manager is very supportive, but other pressures impact on her ability to protect ASYE’s, however 20 months after starting my ASYE I am still to submit my portfolio as caseloads mean I do not have time to finish the work.
- I was clear that I needed time to learn however this was not accepted. I was given highly complex work with no mentor for most of my ASYE and when I raised this I was told it was about my own time management rather than my case load being unmanageable. I was expected to produce high level court paperwork with little guidance and the la continued to allocate more work when I advised I couldn’t cope. My mentor attempted to advocate for me, however this was not successful and the issues remained. I eventually passed my ASYE but the pressure of this on top of the demands of the job resulted in me suffering severe panic attacks. The ASYE in my opinion served only to add more pressure to a [Newly Qualified Social Worker] and did not offer me any case protection or support at all.
- My ASYE made the role so awful I just wanted to leave as soon as I had the chance.
I can’t work for the local authority for much longer because I feel so undervalued and unsupported and unsafe in my practice.
- I would like to leave the field of social work totally. I would like more time with children and young people.
- I was bullied, sworn at during supervision and not supported during personal crises.
- I was given a full caseload and expected to hit the ground running.