Seven reasons to become a social worker

If you want an in-demand career that lets you make a real difference in the world, there’s never been a better time to become a social worker. If you need a little persuasion, here are seven reasons why you should join.

It will challenge you in ways few other careers will

Social work challenges much more than just your typical professional skills. Social work is practically challenging. No two cases are the same, which means social workers must constantly solve problems and apply their studies and experience in creative ways. Social workers also have a direct influence on someone else’s life, which can be extremely rewarding, but also emotionally difficult, which is why social work requires a unique combination of intelligence and emotional strength.

You get to change someone’s life for the better

You may not get a thank you or card every day, or even every year, but when you do occasionally get someone thanking you for helping them to overcome the challenges in their life, you will not be able to stop smiling. To know that you helped another person in some small (or sometimes big) way is quite rewarding and one that you will cherish throughout your career.

You will learn new things about yourself

The situations social work put you in are unique and often extreme. You will learn how to cope when someone feels unwell or has emotional and well-being issues; you will learn how do deal with aggressive or challenging behaviour. You will learn your different strengths and weaknesses as you constantly reflect on your practice.

Being a social worker is really diverse

Whilst training to be a social worker, you will be trained in all aspects of the profession, from child protection to mental health. While you can choose to specialise in one area once you qualify, you will have the opportunity to move around different areas.

It is not just a desk job!

At any point during the day, you may get a phone call that requires you to drop everything and go to the scene of a crisis. You have to attend people’s homes, hospitals, schools, and community centres. Being an effective social worker means engaging with the community and this cannot be done from behind a desk. In fact, when you do eventually get to sit down at your desk, you enjoy the short break.

Your job will never be boring

In social work, each day is completely different than the next. While you may try and plan meticulously, you can guarantee that there will be several unexpected challenges for you to deal with each week. Social work constantly keeps you on your toes, allowing room for new challenges each day.

Opportunities to make a difference

Social work is undeniably stressful, because you witness many challenges firsthand. You might have to help families living in poverty, parents with drug problems or young people who are turning to crime. You might also witness mistreatment of senior citizens or meet victims of sexual violence. Social work careers are not for the faint of heart, but they are for those who want to make a difference. Few careers offer you the opportunity to be an advocate and a positive force for change the way that choosing to become a social worker can.

Deciding on whether or not a career in social work is for you takes a lot of thoughtful consideration. If, however, a passion for social justice and an interest in both your community and job security appeal to you, then social work may be exactly the career you’ve been looking for.

Special Guardianship Order Reports: Tips and Hints

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Special guardianship assessments are one of the most detailed and extensive assessments to complete within Children’s Social Care Services. An SGO serves to grant parental responsibility to one of more special guardians (usually kinship carers or sometimes foster carers) whilst not severing the bond with birth parents. It was introduced in 2005 as a permanency option and once granted is expected to last until the child/ren reach the age of 18 years.

The amount of information needed to formulate the assessment can be daunting and very time consuming. As such, I have put together some vital information and tips to consider during the assessment process.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Legislation and Guidance” font_container=”tag:h2|text_align:left|color:%23ef7e21″ use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]

  • The Special Guardianship Regulations 2005
  • The Special Guardianship (Amendment) Regulations 2016
  • Children Act 1989
  • Adoption and Children Act 1989
  • Re B-S judgement
  • Special Guardianship Guidance 2017 (updated from 2005)
  • DfE Impact of the Family Justice Reforms on Front-line Practice Pase Two: Special Guardianship Orders – research report – August 2015
  • DfE The impacts of abuse and neglect on children; and comparison of different placement options – Review – March 2017

Supervision Orders have quite commonly been attached to SGO’s due to remaining doubts about the prospective guardian’s ability to care for the child/ren on a long term basis. However, the government have reported that “it is vitally important for the Local Authority analysis to be robust, supported by strong and independent evaluation” so as to reduce the need for Supervision Order applications.

The report will encompass a detailed assessment and analysis of the child/ren, both birth parents and the applicants. Below is not an exhaustive list, but may help in some aspects to consider:[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Family history” font_container=”tag:h2|text_align:left|color:%23ef7e21″ use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]

  • When interviewing parent’s and prospective special guardians, ensure all family names, dates of birth, places of birth, any deaths and explanations for deaths are gathered and the dynamics of each relationship. This will enable you to consider the support network and any conflict within the family that should be explored further.
  • A short personal history of the parents and special guardians should include occupation, health care difficulties, any risk factor in respect of alcohol use, drug use, criminal activity, mental health or psychological difficulties. In addition, the way in which each special guardian was parented and what have they learned from their own past experiences etc.
  • Analysis of their early life and teenage years to include any involvement with the Local Authority, any welfare or child protection concerns. Include any physical abuse, sexual abuse, how their emotional needs were met and any negligent patterns of parenting.
  • An analysis of the special guardian’s relationships with each birth parent including any risk factors.
  • Consider family conferencing to enable the wider family to provide support for the placement sustainability.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Educational history” font_container=”tag:h2|text_align:left|color:%23ef7e21″ use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]

  • Undertake a chronology of educational placements for each special guardian. This needs to include any qualifications gained, changes in schools and why, experiences of bullying or being bullied, special educational needs, school attendance, attainment and exclusions, their values regarding education.
  • Include any college courses and/or university courses and whether these were completed.
  • Previous, current and future career goals and aspirations and how these can be achieved as a special guardian.

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  • A full chronology of the special guardian’s employment to include explanations for leaving employment (whether sacked and reasons why), periods of time out of work and if they were in the forces (if dishonourably discharged) and possible mental health implications from such employment.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Medical history” font_container=”tag:h2|text_align:left|color:%23ef7e21″ use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]

  • Undertake an analysis from the special guardian’s own self reporting in respect of their childhood and adulthood to include any serious illnesses, accidents, injuries or operations (including head trauma).
  • The impact that any medical or health care problem has had upon their ability to parent or quality of life.
  • Medical records should be made available and should be considered. The medical records can also be cross-referenced with other aspects of the assessment. For example, drugs, alcohol misuse and mental health.
  • Special guardian’s overall physical health and age should be taken into account, including any illnesses that are degenerative, any patterns of health problems in the family, hereditary illnesses, smoking, diet and exercise.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Psychiatric/psychological history” font_container=”tag:h2|text_align:left|color:%23ef7e21″ use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]

  • Consider whether mental health services were involved when the prospective special guardians – whether as children or as adults.
  • The Recent Life Events questionnaire and the Adult Wellbeing Scale are useful tools to use.
  • Consider whether the special guardian has attempted to take their own life, self-harmed or had suicidal ideation. Detail here when each event happened and in what context etc.
  • Consider any medications taken and the reasons for such medication.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Drug and alcohol history” font_container=”tag:h2|text_align:left|color:%23ef7e21″ use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]

  • Create a chronology in respect of the use of alcohol and drug use to include all substances. For example, cannabis, heroin, cocaine, glue, gas, amphetamines and psycho-active substances. Detail here when any problematic use started and the context etc.
  • The Alcohol Use Questionnaire should be undertaken.
  • The medical records should be cross-referenced in respect of drug and alcohol use.

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  • Complete a detailed analysis of the applicant’s forensic history to include all involvement with the police and courts.
  • Discuss all relevant convictions with the applicant and set out their response within the body of the assessment report. Cross reference with their respective criminal records.
  • Identify any patterns of behaviour and any risks regarding illegal activity upon the child/ren.

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  • Complete a detailed account or chronology of each special guardian’s relationship history, the children from the relationships (on-going contact etc.) their involvement with those children and any concerns about those children.
  • This section should include any relationship issues, such as domestic violence, reasons for relationship breakdowns, child deaths etc.
  • Interview previous partners and their experiences of the prospective special guardians.
  • Stability of current relationship, any periods of separation, how disagreements are solved, how each applicant views the others characteristics etc.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”The relationship between applicants and child/ren” font_container=”tag:h2|text_align:left|color:%23ef7e21″ use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]

  • Include how long they have known the child/ren, and in what context, how much involvement they have had, their understanding of the needs of the child.
  • Their on-going understanding of the longer term needs of the child up until 18 years of age and any difficulties they may face regarding the child/ren’s past experiences.
  • Their understanding of any current or future risks posed by birth parents.
  • The strength of the previous and current relationship between the child/ren and the applicants.
  • Include a ‘day in the life of’ to explore an average day (if children are currently placed with them) in the children’s lives.

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  • To include observations between applicants and child/ren.
  • Observations of applicants during interview process.
  • Discussions with family members and references.

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  • This aspect should include an analysis of their practical, emotional, financial and professional support networks, their attitude to help and support and their ability to engage and co-operate.
  • Familial and friends references should be obtained.

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  • A detailed analysis of the home conditions should take place, details of each room should be observed, look out for any aspects that could present a risk to the child/ren. The Home Conditions questionnaire is a useful tool.
  • Consider whether the family is vulnerable to eviction, debt, privately owned, rented etc.
  • The outside area of the home should be seen, both front and back and any safety aspects discussed.
  • The children’s bedrooms and bedding should be seen.
  • Any pets and any risks attached – meet the pet.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Income” font_container=”tag:h2|text_align:left|color:%23ef7e21″ use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]

  • Complete a detailed analysis of the applicant’s income and expenditure. This should be supported with bank statements or other documentation and should also set out what disposable income is spent upon. Any loans, CCJ’s, debt should be taken into account.

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  • The domains of parenting capacity should be considered through the observation of contact, discussion during interview, information obtained from other professionals, references and questionnaires and scales completed.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Basic care / emotional and behavioural development / education” font_container=”tag:h2|text_align:left|color:%23ef7e21″ use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]

  • Analysis should take place on the applicant’s ability to meet the health, education, emotional and behavioural developmental needs of each child, provide emotional, financial and home life stability.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Safety ” font_container=”tag:h2|text_align:left|color:%23ef7e21″ use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]

  • The applicant’s ability to safeguard the child from parental risks, their understanding of what the risks are and how they will manage these.
  • To include other potential risks, e.g internet use, social media, stranger danger and how risks may increase as the child enters adolescence including CSE, drug and alcohol use, mental health etc.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Identity and attachment” font_container=”tag:h2|text_align:left|color:%23ef7e21″ use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]

  • This should include an understanding of the child’s identity within the family, the child’s attachment to the parents, the parents’ attachment to the child, the sibling attachments, religious persuasion and sexual orientation and how these will be managed and supported.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_custom_heading text=”Stimulation” font_container=”tag:h2|text_align:left|color:%23ef7e21″ use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]

  • How the applicants will provide a stimulating environment, extra activities, family time etc.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_custom_heading text=”Guidance, boundaries and routines” font_container=”tag:h2|text_align:left|color:%23ef7e21″ use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]

  • What is the applicants understanding of these aspects of care, what their values are regarding boundaries, routines, (cross reference in ‘day in the life of’), expectations, behaviour management etc.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Social presentation and self-care skills” font_container=”tag:h2|text_align:left|color:%23ef7e21″ use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]

  • This should consider the children’s social presentation and self-care skills but should also include the applicant’s ability to meet these needs. Their own social presentation and self-care skills to include; how they manage their health, household, emotional well-being etc. and how they have presented during the course of the assessment and any deficits within self-care skills should be raised.

Finally, just remember not to become overwhelmed with the amount of information needed. Organise yourself to discuss specific sections in each interview session so as to break the process down.

You can also set ‘homework’ to enable the gathering process to become easier. For example, request family trees to be completed by each applicant before your next meeting, a chronology of employment, education and income. In addition, for the applicants to involve themselves in research regarding the impact of specific abuse and neglect the child/ren may have experienced. Above all, always keep the child’s needs, safety and welfare at the centre of the assessment.

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Author Bio

The Author of this blog is an experienced Social Worker, Practice Educator and Independent Social Work Consultant who enjoys sharing experiences and learning new skills and knowledge. Background includes working in Child Protection, Family Court, Fostering, EDT, Adults with Learning Difficulties and the Youth Justice System.


Neil Thompson Celebrates 25 Years!

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]One Stop Social have worked closely with Neil Thompson to help establish our social work membership (launched last month!) and we love recognising how he helps support our social work community. Now, as he celebrates 25 years with Macmillan International Higher Education, we’re so proud to promote that they are offering 25% off all his titles![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Yes, you read that right – 25% off ALL Neil Thompson books with Macmillan International Higher Education. This discount can be applied at the checkout with the promotional code: THOMPSON25. It’s a great chance to discover new knowledge and insight that Neil has to offer the social work community, without breaking the bank![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Neil’s experience within social work makes him a valuable voice, and his contribution to the sector through his writing and educating makes him someone One Stop Social loves to collaborate with in any way we can. Student social workers and qualified practitioners can learn a lot from his writing and online learning resources – making the offer of 25% off everything not only generous, but actually useful. Whether you’re after a guide to reflective practice like “The Critically Reflective Practitioner”, which was co-authored with Sue Thompson; or a more specific investigation of a particular ethical issue within social work, for example “Anti-Discriminatory Practice” or “Social Problems and Social Justice” – no matter the interest, Neil and his library will be here to help![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]If you’re interested in consistent discounts on books from Neil Thompson then make sure to register for One Stop Social Membership. Among a whole range of other benefits (including access to a rewards platform for holidays, utilities and more; and 90% off bespoke social work insurance packages) you can enjoy 10% off all books, e-books and resources by Neil Thompson available through Palgrave, Russell House and Routledge.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_btn title=”Check out all his titles here!” color=”warning” align=”center” link=”|||”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

A Guide to Starting University (From Someone Who’s Finished)

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Starting university can be a daunting prospect. Living independently without mum and dad, building new friendships, remembering to eat and sleep, it’s a total mine field. With more and more young people reporting mental health issues like anxiety or depression, it’s clear students don’t always adapt to starting university in the right way. So, here’s a short guide to help you kick start the beginning of the rest of your life. (With a couple of gritty truths chucked in for good measure.)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Living away from mum and dad.

This is never going to be easy. It may feel like a 24 hour party and you’re completely invincible, but many people will feel some sort of home sickness. Hell, I still felt it during my third year. Home sickness will affect everyone slightly differently. Some people lock themselves away for hours or days at a time. Some people become depressed, paranoid or irritable. Some people just cry at a moment’s notice. However it may affect you, it’s perfectly okay to ask for help. I honestly cannot emphasise this enough. University is about being out of your comfort zone, and it’s pretty much the same for everyone. Maybe pack a few small tokens from home to keep you feeling connected to your mum and dad or have weekly skype sessions with your family so that you can see the dog. It’s okay to miss home and it’s okay to do something about it.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Making friends.

Remember, university is a shared experience. No one really knows what they’re doing, but everything will go much smoother if you have friends on your side. Try not to make sure you’re not accidentally alienating people early on (no-one actually likes the ‘phantom flatmate’ who never leaves their room).  Give them a chance to get to know you before any judgements are made. Especially in halls. You have to live with them for at least a year, so you’re going to see a lot of them. Including in embarrassing or compromising situations. But then again, they might find you like that too. Either way, it’s easier if you get along with the people you have to interact with on a daily basis.

It might be worth organising a form of meet and greet to get to know your flat mates in the first few weeks of term, after the rush of Freshers Week. Here are some suggestions from someone who’s survived all the awkward “Hi, my name is…” before:

  • House meetings
  • Group cooking
  • Host a Party
  • House night on the town
  • Movie night/Game night

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Course mates.

These will be some of the most useful people to know on campus. Especially on courses with small numbers of students. These will be the people you spend most of your time on campus with. Whether you’re in a lecture or seminar, in the library, or having a pint at the students union, they’ll be at the centre of your university life. You will also find at some point on your course you will have to participate in a group project, which, let’s be honest, no one wants to do, but will be much more bearable if you’re friendly with the people you’re with. Don’t be the pretentious one who thinks they know more than every other student, but also don’t rebel against engaging with your course. You’re all there because you like the same subjects, so it’s a level playing field.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Societies and sports teams.

Honestly, join one. Something that will get you out of the house and socialise. Whether you’re a chess champion or a rugby protégé (or both, we’re not judging), your university has something for everyone. It will give you new skills and friendships that will last you a life time. You may even end up in competition with other universities, giving you the chance to travel and experience even more. Take the leap of faith out of your comfort zone and you’ll thank me for it.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Nights out.

You’re independent now, so no one can make decisions for you. You want to go drinking? Fine. Want to do it on a Tuesday, even though you know you should probably go to that 9am lecture on Wednesday? By all means. But know your limits. Forget everything you knew about drinking before you started, because university is a different ball game. The game has changed. And everyone has a different set of rules. So find yours. It may take a few weeks into term, but you will quickly learn what you can and can’t drink, how much you can tolerate, and how much it will affect your behaviour. Another beautiful fact to remember? You don’t actually have to drink if you don’t want to. Starting university can make you feel like you have to be just like everyone else, but I’m here to tell you, you don’t. Be fun on a night out and that’s all your friends are fussed about.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]And finally, actual work.

Whilst university is a truly amazing experience, you do actually have to do some work. This may take the form of essays, research, practical classes in labs etc. Take it seriously but enjoy your down time.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Essentially, university is about learning, experiencing new things and finding yourself. And the start of it can be a scary time. But that is totally normal, and you are not different, weird or doing uni wrong if you get nervous, homesick or sad. The most important thing is to find a healthy balance between work and play. Apart from that, we’re all just making it up as we go![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]By Fraser Wilson, Salford University Graduate. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Student Social Worker Guides, Resources & Recommended Books

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]So, September is just around the corner and for many it will mean the start of your social work career/placement.  

To help all student social workers and ASYE’s, we have put together this page which has a list of our most viewed and downloaded resources and student practitioner support guides. We have also put together a selection of recommended books.

It is free to download and is an excellent ‘starter pack’ for any Student Social Worker. Our advice is to download and save (or print) and keep an individual pack that you can keep adding to. We will continue to add to the list, so make sure you’ve signed up to our E-Bulletin.

We wish you all the best of luck in your studies and social work career! [/vc_column_text][vc_cta h2=”Social Work Guides” txt_align=”center”]

How to make the most of your Student Social Work Placement

Student Placement Top Tips: How to treat your Student Professional

Student Social Work: What makes a good observation?

How to Evidence PCF | Positive Social Work: The Essential Toolkit for NQSWs

Critical Reflection Writing

[/vc_cta][vc_cta h2=”Social Work Resources” txt_align=”center”]

Ecomap Template | How to do an ecomap

Genogram Template | How to do a genogram

What’s Your Learning Style?

Social Work: Theories to Inform & Intervene & Models of Assessment

Reflective Log Template | Student Social Workers

Professional Capabilities Framework Evidence Sheet | Student Social Workers

Professional Capabilities Framework Evidence Sheet: End of Second Placement

[/vc_cta][vc_cta h2=”Recommended Social Work Books” txt_align=”center”]

Share A New Model for Social Work

The Social Work Portfolio: A Students Guide To Evidencing Your Practice

Evidencing CPD: A Guide to Building your Social Work Portfolio

Report Writing

Practising Critical Reflection: A Resource Handbook

An Introduction To Social Work Practice

Writing Analytical Assessments in Social Work

[/vc_cta][vc_btn title=”Looking for work? Upload your CV for free today! Create a Candidate Account” color=”warning” align=”center” button_block=”true” link=”||target:%20_blank|rel:nofollow”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

5 Popular Social Work Interview Questions

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Congratulations! Your amazing CV and cover letter worked – you landed an interview! Now the pressure is on for you to stand out from all the candidates and impress the interviewer. [/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Wanting to make a positive difference to people’s lives is a great thing, but you need to be able to demonstrate in your interview how you plan to achieve this. To help you get fully prepared, we have put together some of most commonly asked interview questions with tips on how to answer them.

Prepare, prepare, prepare!

As with any interview it is vital that you prepare yourself. Whether you’re an experienced care worker or going for your first ever interview in the care field, it is essential that you read up on current policy and do some research into the responsibilities you will have in the role. As a support worker, there are some key policies you should be aware of, ones which will directly affect how you provide support for a support worker. Demonstrate your understanding by highlight key legislation such as:

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]What do you know about working for your local authority?

This question presents you with the opportunity to express how much you already know about the local demographic. It is imperative that you research your local authority. Explore the social care section on its website, check for press coverage and read any recent Ofsted reports. If you acknowledge this in your interview, it shows you’ve been demonstrated a strong appreciation for the type of work involved, which increases your chance of being successful.

How would you load your prioritise your caseload?

Craig Davis, head of social work at Sanctuary Social Care says: “Try to have one or two examples that show you had to make an important decision while managing caseloads in previous roles. This will show how adaptable you are at managing your time and meeting the need of service users.”

 Could you tell us about how you approach case recording?

Here, your interviewer will be looking for an answer that shows you can work in a timely manner with an evidence based approach. You should emphasise your understanding of meeting legal requirements and draw on relevant examples of successful case recording.

Tell us about something you are particularly proud of in your social work career?

This is your chance to showcase yourself to be the best candidate for the position. Use stories of how you have managed complex cases. Bring in examples of how you assess and address risk, and try to cover which models of practice you use and why.

Why did you decide to become a social worker?

Here you can give the interviewer a further insight into where your interests and passions lie. Use anecdotes to really show them the reasons why you have chosen this career path. Be sure to highlight what you enjoy about social work and what you feel that you can bring to the organisation.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]We hope that after reading through these questions you feel a lot more prepared and ready to take on your interview. Click here to see a previous blog post on interview tips and tricks.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_text_separator title=”” i_icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-handshake-o” i_color=”orange” add_icon=”true”][vc_cta h2=”Are you currently searching for jobs in social work? Browse our job listings or sign up to our E-News for the latest Social Work job vacancies and career advice. ” add_button=”bottom” btn_title=”Social Work Jobs” btn_shape=”round” btn_color=”warning” btn_align=”center” btn_button_block=”true” btn_link=”|||”]



Salford Look Back on the GMSWA Careers Fair

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]On Friday 27th April, the School of Health and Society hosted the Greater Manchester Social Work Academy (GMSWA) Teaching Partnership Careers Fair at MediaCityUK.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]The fair saw around 200 final year Social Work students from across Greater Manchester from the University of Salford, Manchester University and Manchester Metropolitan University visit our campus to find out more about social work opportunities available from a range of employers including the ten Greater Manchester local authorities and private and voluntary sector agencies who together form the Greater Manchester Social Work Academy and many Social Care agencies and local charities.

The students were also able to take part in a selection of workshops hosted by employers and careers’ service colleagues, where they picked up practical advice on getting through the application process and useful interview techniques.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Three newly qualified social workers Shareen, Kate, Winnie and Calum, all Salford graduates, hosted a panel discussion sharing their top tips for success and answering questions from students about their jobs.

Shareen Denman, who graduated last year and is now working with Wigan Council with children and young people at risk of significant harm said she was keen to join the panel to emphasise the importance of researching the difference councils before applying for jobs. “I hadn’t realised how important the Wigan Deal was, for example – each authority has its own culture and their own unique strategic priorities”;

2016 graduate Winnie Ebockayuk now works in Birmingham for the Council. She said: “I feel it is my calling to come back to help on the panel. I have such fondness for Salford University because of the support everyone gave me while I was here and I hope that sharing my experiences will help other students achieve their goals.”

Calum Wiggle wanted to reassure students who hadn’t got placements with local authorities that it was still possible to be successful and secure a permanent job with one. He had spent his placement with the Prince’s Trust and with a homeless charity and admitted it was a little harder to then get the job he had now with Manchester Council Court Team, but quite achievable if you just tried a little harder.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]One of the exhibitors Helen Delamere, Head of Rochdale Council’s Child Protection Service said:

“The Teaching Learning Partnership is committed to offering a certain percentage of student placements, so we’re here today showcasing what Rochdale can offer and letting students know about opportunities available and our interview assessment dates.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Orlaith Kelly, Social Worker from Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust added: “We are here to spread the word about the benefits of working at Salford Royal. There are so many opportunities arising from the integration of Health and Social Care so it is a good time to be in social work. We are also telling students about the ASYE (assessed and supported year in employment), where we mentor new recruits to ensure they continuously develop in their roles and gain confidence and experience.”[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Gabi Hesk, Lecturer in Social Work who led the organisation of the event, was thrilled with the turn out.

She said: “This event has its roots in the early careers fairs we used to hold in a corridor in the Allerton Building, which were always successful with students and agencies. We felt then that there was a need for a special social work careers fair to highlight jobs and placements and were delighted when The Social Work Practice Learning and Admissions Team at Salford were approached by the Greater Manchester Social Work Academy to host this fair. I would like to thank the technicians and staff for helping us make full use of the digital technology for our Twitter wall and offering to recreate the GMSWA Logo for example and generally making the event run smoothly. Thanks also go to colleagues in alumni and from the careers teams in all three universities who have all contributed to the success of the fair. It’s been lovely working in partnership with the other two Greater Manchester universities and collaborating with our Practice Learning colleagues, Pauline Black from Manchester Metropolitan University and Claire Harnett from Manchester University. We’re sure they will have been impressed with what Salford has to offer and hope this isn’t the last time we collaborate.”

[/vc_column_text][vc_text_separator title=”The GMSWA got some great feedback about their Careers Fair: “][vc_column_text]“The panel was very helpful as you get to hear first-hand newly qualified experiences that you can relate to as you are about to qualify”,[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

“The workshops were really helpful as they provided us with examples of how to complete application forms

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]“I have gained knowledge which can build confidence. A day worth it.”[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]“I would say help with the interviews and meeting with Newly Qualified Social Workers was helpful. I have got an idea now when I should apply, what questions I will be asked and how I can prepare myself”[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]“I am now very confident in job searching”[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]“I now realise the benefits of doing more research in agencies’ values and then incorporating this into the interview”[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]“The employers on the stands and in the workshop used PCF language maybe without realising it – it seemed a part of their normal language which was great to hear”[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]“It was great to gain experience of interviewing skills”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery interval=”5″ images=”2377,2378,2379,2380,2381,2382,2383,2384,2385,2386,2387,2388,2389,2390,2391,2392,2393,2394,2395,2396,2397,2398″ img_size=”full” title=”Take a look through some of the pictures Salford and One Stop Social took at the Careers Fair! “][vc_cta h2=”Salford University Review” add_button=”bottom” btn_title=”Salford News – GMSWA Careers Fair” btn_align=”center” btn_link=”||target:%20_blank|”]Check out the original piece from the University of Salford here![/vc_cta][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Greater Manchester Social Work Academy Collaboration


As One Stop Social are driven by our commitment to the highest quality of support and development for social work and care professionals across the UK, we know we do things a little bit differently. Our ‘customers’, social media followers and everyone invested in our success are an extended One Stop Social community. And, like any good community, we like to celebrate good news with you when it comes our way. Our recent collaboration is most definitely good news.

We’re so excited to announce that we’ve partnered with the Greater Manchester Social Work Academy (GMSWA)! Don’t know what GMSWA are? That’s what we’re setting about to fix! We’ll be showcasing their Teaching Partnership and helping promote the positive change within the sector.

The GMSWA is a grouping of 3 Higher Education Institutions (Salford University, Manchester Metropolitan and Manchester University) and 10 Local Authorities (Salford, Manchester, Rochdale, Oldham, Bolton, Bury, Tameside, Stockport, Wigan and Trafford) and some private and voluntary sector representatives (PVI’s).

The Academy hopes to offer an integrated, co-ordinated and high-quality response to Social Work training, practice and continuous professional development across Greater Manchester. Our collaboration will be to raise their profile to social work practitioners across the region and nationally, so that more people in the sector know how the GMSWA can facilitate professional development and the fantastic work they’re currently undertaking.

We know this collaboration will help us stay true to our goal of putting you, the social work and care professionals, first – keep an eye out for more news soon!

Are you a final year social work student based in either Salford University, Manchester Metropolitan and Manchester University? Then make sure to register for the Greater Manchester Social Work Academy Careers Fair on 27th April! It’s free to attend and is a chance to network with NQSWs and get some interview advice!

[/vc_column_text][vc_btn title=”VISIT GMSWA WEBSITE” color=”violet” size=”lg” align=”center” link=”||target:%20_blank|rel:nofollow”][vc_cta h2=”Social Work Careers Fair – 27th April 2018″ txt_align=”center” add_button=”bottom” btn_title=”Find out more” btn_color=”warning” btn_size=”lg” btn_align=”center” btn_button_block=”true” btn_link=”||target:%20_blank|rel:nofollow”]

Are you a final year social work student based in either Salford University, Manchester Metropolitan and Manchester University? Then make sure to register for the Greater Manchester Social Work Academy Careers Fair on 27th April! It’s free to attend and is a chance to network with NQSWs and get some interview advice!


Student social workers Q&A session with a practice educator

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Recently, we were asked a series of questions from a number of student social workers from across the UK regarding their pending placement. They have been answered by an experienced practice educator (PE).

Why are you a practice educator?

Because I enjoy it! I’ve been a qualified social worker now since 2010 and I can still recall both my PEs. I was lucky in that both were fantastic in their chosen field; my first placement was with a disability service based in Lancaster and my second was with a Youth Offending Team.

Both PE’s promoted me to put into practice what I had learnt during the ‘academic’ stages of the course. I felt confident in my decision making because I was supported as a student.

So, when I became a social worker, I was keen to support students on placement; and it evolved from there. Personally, I really enjoy being a PE. I am passionate about supporting the next generation of social workers. I enjoy and value the enthusiasm they bring to teams. They see things differently and offer new approaches/solutions to working.

I learn a lot from students; such as the latest theories, approaches and research. For me, it’s a two-way process – they learn the skills of social work and I continue to develop my knowledge base.

Can you talk about the stresses of being a practice educator?

Overall, being a PE hasn’t been that stressful, when compared to ‘front-line’ social work. However, it’s an important role and one that I take seriously as it does carry significant responsibilities. So for me, the main stressor is when you are required to fail a student.

A student who is already on placement does not yet have a practice educator and doesn’t know when one will be found. Have you known this to happen before and what should they do?

I have come across it once before in that a PE took ill and so couldn’t start. But this is unusual.

Overall, my advice here would be; what has the placement said and have your sought advice from the Universities? How long have you been on placement? (see point 5 regarding some minimum ‘standards’ for supervision). I would ask for clarity in relation to how your learning needs are going to be met and how is reflective learning going to be promoted without a PE?

A student’s practice educator has told them that they’re going to be ‘hands off’ because they’re busy i.e. very little supervision. How do they figure out what this means before it turns into a problem?

No, I’ve not really experienced this and it is something I would never consider saying to any of my student social workers. Firstly, there’s ambiguity in the language. So, I would ‘nail down’ with the PE, what does ‘hands off’ mean?

As PEs we do have minimum requirements of support. For example, most Universities I work with suggest a minimum of 21 hours of supervision on a 70 days placement. This works out at usually one hour of supervision every week. Now, the specifics of this is somewhat negotiable. For example, I supervise my students once every fortnight for two hours unless they specify weekly sessions.

Is it normal to have a complete crisis of confidence during final placement?

Yes, I think at some stage most student social workers doubt their capabilities as a social worker. So, please don’t think you’re alone here, as placements can feel a little overwhelming on occasions.

But I would ask; what has been/is the trigger for this crisis in confidence? Was/is it practice related? And have you sought advice and guidance from your PE?

In order to move forward, I would suggest reflecting on your journey as a student social worker so far. For example, reflect on when you first started placement and compare it to where you are now in the ‘social work journey’. Do you think your skills have developed? If so, what are they? And what areas would you like to develop further. This will help offer some clarity. You can even compare them to the PCF (final placement). If you can evidence with relevant examples of work you have achieved, then great. If not, try and be more proactive in day to day work tasks.

But remember, as social workers it is impossible to know everything. The key is knowing where to find the information!

 How an off and on site PE works and what are their expectations of the student?

  • Off-site Practice Educator is a qualified and HCPC registered social worker that facilitated via ‘long-arming’
  • On-site Practice Educator is a qualified and HCPC registered social worker that is based within the team you are on placement with.
  • On-site Supervisor is an unqualified worker.

An Off-site Practice Educator is used when there no available On-site Practice Educator. Overall, the expectations are the same in that they complete all supervision sessions (usually 21 hours for 70 day placements), observations and reports.

Is it only appropriate to have peer/group supervision?

In short, no!

Now don’t get me wrong, peer supervision is a great form of learning within social work – I’m a huge advocate of its use. However, it should never be seen as a replacement for one to one supervision. Supervision is personal in that it should focus on three elements; learning and development, support and line management. This can’t be done (or achieved successfully) if sessions are in groups.

Peer supervision should be completed in conjunction with; not instead of!


Have a question that you’d like to ask our practice educators?

If so, leave a comment below!

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