Employer Zone

Northamptonshire Children's Trust

Frontline view

Learning and development

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Northamptonshire is committed to providing staff with the right working environment and ensure social workers feel safe and have opportunities to develop and grow their skills and careers.

Base training

All social workers receive training in Signs of Safety and this approach underpins the core social worker training programme. A key focus is on achieving excellence in the basics of building and maintaining relationships, assessment as well as planning and purposeful intervention. This then provides a platform for further, specialist training.

Team and service managers complete a four-module programme covering the key skills and knowledge needed to be effective social work managers. This is supported by group coaching and action learning sets to ensure learning is carried forward into day-to-day practice. In addition, managers are fully trained in Signs of Safety and complete a range of online and face-to-face corporate training in the systems, processes and expectations of the Trust.

Learning tools

The learning programme at Northamptonshire complements different learning styles. Formats include face-to-face training, e-learning, coaching, action learning sets, bitesize continuous professional development sessions.

This is underpinned by access to:

  • Comprehensive online resources supporting our signs of safety culture
  • NSCB multi-agency training
  • Research in Practice (RiP) account which enables access to research and practitioner expertise, news and events

In addition, both newly qualified and experienced social workers benefit from knowledge skills statements and professional capability framework mapped learning opportunities.

Learning topics

Our coaching and training professionals have worked in children’s services and have a comprehensive and current knowledge of the work environment.

Learning topics include:

  • Voice of the child
  • Signs of safety
  • Achieving excellence in the basics of relationships
  • Assessment, planning and purposeful intervention
  • Drug and alcohol awareness
  • Child sexual exploitation
  • Effective multi-agency working
  • Engagement, assertiveness and challenge
  • Applying professional judgement and decision-making in social work
  • Short topical courses such as gangs, knife crime and guns

Social Work Academy

Northamptonshire’s social work academy is highly regarded. Working collaboratively with senior leaders and learning and development teams, the academy provides development support for newly qualified social workers as well as managers and aspiring managers, support for practice educators and those returning to practice.