Workforce Insights

Surrey County Council

In the spotlight

Children’s Services Academy


Career development in Surrey is facilitated through the Surrey Children’s Services Academy which promotes learning and networking on a single or multi-disciplinary basis.

The training courses and workshops provided reflect learning and good practice from case reviews, audits, domestic homicide reviews and child deaths as well as changes in legislation, policy and guidance. We aim to share both national and local best practice through a range of digital and face-to-face events.

The multi-agency learning ethos means professionals can learn with, and from, each other which in turn helps them work together more effectively.

The academy supports social workers in their career path through eight faculties.

  1. Practitioners in training (and newly qualified practitioners) This faculty will address the needs of all Surrey partners to get a qualified workforce, working in partnership with universities and other providers.
  2. Qualified practitioners This faculty will support staff as their careers develop – it will enable staff to build a detailed understanding of theory and practice, give staff the opportunity to develop special interests and expertise and give them the opportunity to support and learn from their colleagues and others.
  3. Career pathway: This faculty will support qualified social worker to progress to senior social workers through the career progression panel.
  4. Practice educators: Social work staff will be supported to obtain a practice educator qualification and develop a wide range of skills to support and assess student social workers.
  5. Apprenticeship programme: This faculty will support the development of qualified social workers. Unqualified social work staff can apply for this scheme and will learn on the job, attending a local University one day a week over three years, and will complete two placements during the programme. On successful completion they will be awarded the Social Work Degree Apprenticeship which includes the BA (Hons) Social Work degree, a qualification that is approved by Social Work England.
  6. Management and leadership (Succession Planning): This faculty will encourage the growth and development of leaders and managers across services for children in Surrey, with shared responsibilities for outcomes. It will also provide generic skills in areas such as data analysis, budget management, staff appraisal etc.
  7. Surrey model for working with children and families (Onboarding) Common induction for all staff working with children and young people; development of further shared training; job shadowing etc.
  8. Commissioning This faculty will support the learning and development of children’s commissioners.

In addition, to these learning pathways social workers also have a range of online resources available to them whenever they require help including Community Care Inform, Research in Practice, and CareKnowledge.