Wednesday 9 December 2015
England’s first chief social worker for adults last night led a launch of the South Yorkshire Teaching Partnership in Sheffield.
Lyn Romeo is charged with championing social care services nationally for users and professionals.
Last night she was the guest of honour at a launch of plans to retain the best of the best in social workers in the area by making sure they are equipped with the right skills for the job.
One of her key priorities is meeting practitioners on the frontline, listening to what they’re saying about making a difference as well as getting involved with the people who provide the training and education for social workers.
This is exactly what she did at the Sheffield event, when she addressed an audience of key social workers, practitioners and managers from across the South Yorkshire region.
Also speaking at the event will be Sheffield’s Deputy Lord Mayor Denise Fox and Professor Gill Valentine pro-Vice Chancellor of Social Studies at the University of Sheffield.
Councillor Jackie Drayton, Sheffield City Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families said: “It is brilliant to have Lyn Romeo here in Sheffield, giving national recognition the work we are doing as a council in children’s and adult services, alongside our partners across South Yorkshire, to recruit and retain the best social workers we can.
“It is without doubt one of the hardest jobs there is, but at the same time it can be one of the most rewarding. This teaching partnership will go a long way to protecting the most vulnerable in society and the South Yorkshire Teaching Partnership is a brilliant example of excellent partnership working – well done to all involved!”
Sheffield has always had a good track record of being able to recruit social workers and now the city wants to build on this by working in partnership with other neighbouring authorities and the University of Sheffield.
Last month two of Sheffield’s social workers even made it to the national finals for best social worker of the year.
The South Yorkshire Teaching Partnership is one of only four such partnerships in the country. It includes Sheffield City Council, Rotherham and Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Councils and Doncaster Children’s Services Trust working with the University of Sheffield.
The South Yorkshire Teaching Partnership will test and refine new and innovative approaches to deliver high quality training for social work students and qualified practitioners. This will be for both children’s and adult services. The vision is for South Yorkshire to become a nationally recognised centre of excellence at both the qualifying and post qualifying levels of social work.
The courses will be for post graduate students and will be geared around what the daily expectations for social workers are with the idea that the more mature students will be able to sustain the pace.
Notes to Editors:
The South Yorkshire Teaching Partnership was one of 22 national partnerships who submitted an expression of interest for this early adopter phase. Only four of these were approved, of which South Yorkshire was one. The new teaching partnership arrangements are part of the Government’s broader strategy to strengthen the quality of practice learning and continuous professional development among trainee and practising social workers.
The council will be doing further work over the next 12 months with the aim of widening out the scheme to include Sheffield Hallam University and the private, voluntary and independent sector.
Current employability rates for Sheffield University social work graduates currently stands at 85 per cent. It is hoped this new teaching partnership will push that up to 99 per cent.
Sheffield City Council has a career pathway and it employs consultant social workers to mentor newly qualified social workers. It has a three-year early professional development training programme and social workers have to complete a portfolio.
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