The West Midlands Social Work Teaching Partnership: improving standards of social work

The West Midlands Social Work Teaching Partnership’s main aim is to improve and maintain high standards of social work education through research and practice. The Partnership is a collaboration between academics, practitioners and Local Authorities across the West Midlands. The Partnership’s objectives are:

  • To create a consistent approach to social work education and practice across the region
  • Foster a learning culture to develop research and share best practice with all partners, students and practitioners
  • Develop clear career pathways to support professional development and progression for students and practitioners
  • Engrain an ethos of practice-led education, that is informed by experience and evidenced through research

These objectives form three key thematic groups:

1 - Admissions, Teaching, Learning and Research

  • Raise the standard and consistency for entrants on to social work education programmes
  • Enhance pre and post qualifying social work curriculum to reflect contemporary social work practices and issues
  • Strengthen the links between HEIs and practice to develop and bridge the gap between research, theory and practice.

2 - Placements

  • Clarification & Consensus on Statutory Placements
  • Increase placements to guarantee every student 2 statutory placements within area of specialism
  • Ensure placements are linked to increased recruitment

3 - Practice Education and Continuing Practice Development

  • Strategic development of CPD activity to support practice leadership and implementation of strengths-based practice frameworks across children’s and adult’s Local Authority services and Children’s Trusts
  • Identify and build models of best practice for supporting and assessing practitioners in their ASYE
  • Develop a strategy for supply and quality of Practice Educators across the partnership based on assessment of current requirement to support two statutory placements

These workstreams are supported by a Consultant Social Worker assigned to each group. The Teaching Partnership will run to March 2020, with aims to sustain its work thereafter.

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