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Sefton Council launches brand new Social Work Academy

Last week, Sefton Council launched one of its flagship initiatives to improve Children’s Services for children, young people and families.

The Social Work Academy is a new, innovative approach to supported learning and talent development; the aim is for Sefton to ‘grow its own talent’ and produce confident, high quality practitioners.

Through the Academy, the Council will be able to provide the right support for Newly Qualified Social Workers and give them the right environment to grow into exceptional practitioners with a deep understanding of the barriers and problems families face in Sefton. They will have protected caseloads and a high level of managerial support to allow their practice to flourish.

A rolling programme of recruitment aims to see our Academy always filled with fresh new talent from all stages of the social work career, we welcome applications from recent graduates, social workers who may have taken a career break or ex social workers who wish to regain their registration in a supported environment

As our new recruits go through their Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE), they will be managed by experienced team managers who will develop their practice through reflective supervision and modelling of practice. Practice Assessors will ensure the Newly Qualified Social Workers meet the required standards. They will also receive clinical support around emotional resilience that will help prevent the recognised social work phenomenon of burn-out, sickness and early retirement by enabling them to manage the stress and pressure of the profession.

The first 3 months will focus on building a solid base of learning including theories of practice, relationship building and learning key process and systems. The next 9 months will focus on building the confidence of our ASYE’s to handle increasingly complex situations and finding the best outcomes for children, young people and families. They will get the chance to slowly specialise in a team they feel best suits their passions and hopefully go on to join our permanent workforce.

Martin Birch, Sefton Council’s Director of Children’s Services said:

“Providing the right support, protection and consistency that delivers better experiences and outcomes for Sefton’s children, young people and their families starts with our own workforce.

“We are determined to make sure that Social Workers at all levels in our Children’s Social Care teams are being equipped to do their jobs to the highest standards from the moment they join us.

“I was delighted to welcome 23 new recruits last week who are at the beginning of an exciting journey- this is just the start and we’re so pleased you have chosen Sefton as the place to make a difference!”

Cllr Mhairi Doyle MBE, Cabinet Member for Children’s Social Care, said:

“Creating an Academy where our social work teams can learn and grow in confidence is a key part of our Improvement Journey.

“We face unprecedented demand for our services but we remain absolutely committed to tackling the issues raised by our recent Ofsted rating. The Social Work Academy is a crucial part of tackling these two key issues and will give us a resilient, confident, high quality workforce for the future.”