Return to social work scheme relaunched to lure 200 back to profession

Scheme offers 30 or 60 days of training to equip those who have been out of profession for over two years to re-enter local authority workforce


The Return to Social Work programme has been relaunched to encourage 200 practitioners to return to the profession.

The Local Government Association scheme is targeted at people with a background in statutory social work who have been out of practice for between two and ten years.

It is designed to help them re-register with the regulator and equip them to re-enter the local authority workforce, by providing training in law, policy and practice issues – in line with relevant knowledge and skills statments and the professional capabilities framework. Candidates will also receive placements, coaching, mentoring and interview preparation.

Thirty or sixty days’ training

Those who have been out of the profession for two to five years would be eligible for 30 days’ training under the scheme, with those who have not practised for five to 10 years getting sixty days – in line with requirements around re-registration.

Most of the training will be at online-based with workshops and placements taking place at locations across the country. There will be no reimbursement for travel costs.

Applications to join the programme will be open until 31 March 2020, and then candidates will be asked to complete an assessment and a video interview in April 2020. Successful candidates will be announced at the start of May.

Further information on the scheme, including how to apply, is available here.

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6 Responses to Return to social work scheme relaunched to lure 200 back to profession

  1. Tcm November 27, 2019 at 2:25 pm #

    They left social work for a reason? Why come back to increased demands? Blame culture at the front line? Senior managers appear to advoide? False promises of LA? Quality trainning,manageable case loads, etc?? Mean while back in the real world. Of practice. The reality is very different !

  2. Patricia Smith November 27, 2019 at 3:54 pm #

    I’ve been out of social work for 18years in order to bring up my family. I’m not sure therefore whether I would be eligible for this scheme.? Also would it be to work in any department? I’ve only ever worked in an Older Persons team and so don’t have expertise or experience in any other.

    • Mithran Samuel
      Mithran Samuel November 27, 2019 at 6:35 pm #

      Hi Patricia
      Thanks for your comment. I don’t think the scheme would apply to you because you’ve been out of practice for more than 10 years. According to the HCPC, if you have been out of practice for more than five years you need to do 60 days’ training before seeking to re-register and this rule will apply under Social Work England too. Their rules state:
      Recognised qualifications and additional education
      14. (1) A recognised qualification must have been awarded within five years of an applicant
      applying to be registered:
      (2) Where a recognised qualification was awarded more than five years before an applicant
      applies to be registered the applicant must demonstrate that they have:
      (a) relevant additional education or training against the following criteria:
      (i) evidence of 60 days of updating their skills, knowledge and experience in
      accordance with guidance produced by the regulator.
      (3) Where the applicant provides evidence in accordance with rule 14(2) this may include:
      (a) supervised practice;
      (b) formal study; or
      (c) private study;
      and the regulator must set out in guidance how this evidence must be demonstrated.
      (4) The period for any activity relied upon for the purposes of meeting the condition set out
      in rule 14(2) must be no more than 12 months prior to the date of any application.

      I hope that’s of use to you.

  3. Georgina November 27, 2019 at 7:10 pm #

    I did the course back in 2012 and didn’t get a job.

    Feedback from interviews was that I was out of
    date and had been out of practice for too long.

    I’d only been out of practice for 4 years (3 years of that was in NZ as I emigrated there with my ex partner who was Kiwi).

    Feedback from my work placement had been very positive they were of the opinion I’d be snapped up.

    Personally it was a waste of my time and money

  4. Geraldine Fletcher November 28, 2019 at 8:01 pm #

    Would I be eligible? I was out of social work for 3 years (due to having children) after doing 10 years local authority social work in England. I took up a local authority social work post in Scotland 6 months ago and have just quit due to feeling completely out of my depth.

    • Mithran Samuel
      Mithran Samuel November 28, 2019 at 8:16 pm #

      Hi Geraldine
      It might be worth checking with Social Work England whether you can re-register in England based on your time in Scotland or whether you need to do some more training and, if so, check with the LGA whether you can access this particular programme.
      Many thanks,