Social worker training pilot spearheaded by university and council
A pilot project to improve training and standards among social workers is being run by the University of Bradford and Bradford Social Services.
The project is being funded by Bradford City Council and is backed by the Department for Education. It will be run as part of the Bradford Social Work Teaching Partnership with the aim of upskilling dozens of frontline social workers and give students valuable first-hand experience of what social work entails.
If successful, organisers say it could be used in other areas of the country.
The university is due to enrol up to 30 social services staff seconded from the council onto a programme created especially for them. In addition, Bradford Social Services will provide up to 40 placements for students on university social work programmes.
Robert Strachan, head of the Social Work & Care department at the university, said: "The staff in both the Social Work Department at The University of Bradford and, under the auspices of The Bradford Teaching Partnership, Bradford Social Services staff, have worked incredibly hard to develop and deliver this truly groundbreaking initiative. I am immensely proud of them all in being able to work together in such a positive way that will ultimately benefit the people of Bradford and the social work profession locally and nationally."
Professor Amir Sharif, Dean of Faculty of Management, Law and Social Sciences said: “This is an exciting and important initiative which we wholeheartedly support. Our Department of Social Care and Social Work within the faculty has deep experience and knowledge in social work over many years.
"The funded support from Bradford Council via the Department of Education is fundamental to ensuring the development of future talent in this area. This complements our existing programmes, including our soon to be launched Apprenticeship in Social Work, which will in parallel boost knowledge, capacity and capability of service Bradford’s social service provision at this critical time.
Robert Mitchell, Director of Adult Social Services at Bradford City Council, said: “Through the development of the Bradford Social Work Teaching Partnership, the University of Bradford delivers social work education of a standard that provides excellent quality, inspires belief and has led to the employment of many social workers across the city and district.
“In partnership, Bradford City Council and the University have agreed an ambitious and exciting programme to expand the BA, MA and Apprenticeship courses across social work. This will lead to more people experiencing first class social work education, practice placement opportunities and hopefully fulfilling careers within social work services to the benefit of children, young people, families and adults at risk across our local communities.”
Deputy-Vice-Chancellor Professor Zahir Irani said: “This is a ground-breaking initiative and we at the university are delighted to be part of it - this is a concrete example of how the university is supporting the Bradford community. The people who come here to train will return to the local workforce and build on a service that already has extensive knowledge, enhancing service provision and ultimately improving the lives of many vulnerable people.”
National awards shortlisting
Three university students have been shortlisted for this year’s Social Work Awards, to be held in London in November. Kulchuma Begum and Kelly Bentley-Simon have been shortlisted in four categories for their work with the Social Work Student Connect team, and Momoh Suleman has been shortlisted in the Social Worker of the Year award.