A national programme to recruit and train more children’s social workers has received praise from two local students.
Mia and Ellis, both from Grimsby, have shared their experiences of the Step Up to Social Work Programme – a Government-backed scheme to boost the recruitment of children and family social workers.
The programme has recently reopened up for another round of recruitment following success over a number of years. Since 2017, the scheme has seen over 2,500 students graduate.
Ellis, aged 31, and Mia, aged 27, spoke about how the scheme had offered them a way into social work “without having to go back to university for 3 years.”
Ellis said: “I was enjoying the job I was in but I liked the idea of becoming a social worker. I just didn’t want to go back to university for three years.
“The most attractive thing about the Step Up Programme for me was the placements.”
Mia added: “I was working in a local primary school, getting into teaching, and I was reading up on safeguarding and realised how interesting it would’ve been but I couldn’t afford another three years at university.
“This offered me a chance to get qualified without huge tuition fees.”
The pair agreed that whilst the programme was intense, it had been worth it:
“Now that we’re coming to the end of the programme, I’m really proud. It was hard but well worth it,” said Ellis.
“You do have to be quite confident as a learner. You have to be quite strict with yourself to get yourself through your modules. I t has absolutely flown by. I cannot believe what we’ve achieved.”
The 14-month Step Up to Social Work Programme is designed for people with a degree who are interested in a career as a social worker but don’t hold a social work degree.
Applicants must have a minimum 2.2 degree qualification (level 6) in any discipline except social work from a UK higher education institution or an approved overseas equivalent.
Those successful in getting on the Programme will receive a £19,833 bursary to support them whilst they study, and those who finish the course will receive a Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work.
North East Lincolnshire Council support the Programme, and are to host a series of question and answer sessions for those interested in applying.
To join a virtual Q&A session on Microsoft Teams on Wednesday 8th March from 5:30pm to 6:30pm, email [email protected].
A further in-person drop-in session will be held in the Lounge Bar at Grimsby Town Hall on Tuesday 14th March from 4pm to 6pm. To sign-up to the event, email [email protected].
The Step Up to Social Work Programme closes to applications at noon on 24th March 2023. To find out more, and to apply, visit www.gov.uk/guidance/step-up-to-social-work.