Routes into social work
From starting your social work career to supporting your return after an extended break, at West Sussex County Council we’re proud to offer a number of routes to employment within children’s social care.
Routes you can take
We have an apprenticeship scheme for motivated and dedicated employees within our Children, Young People and Learning directorate who want to take the next step by training to become a qualified social worker. A social work apprentice will gain ‘on the job’ experience to develop their knowledge, skills and behaviours to achieve a level 6 degree in social work.
Sitting within an operational Children’s Social Care team, the social work apprentice will be employed as a Child and Family Worker while completing the programme. This is a challenging role and they will need to be able to demonstrate that they have the right skills, experience and attitude to become a social worker, as well as the ability to meet the requirements of academic study.
A social work apprenticeship will typically take three years. At the end of the programme there will be an assessment which will form the final point of the degree. Upon qualification and full registration, the apprentice will start their assessed and supported year in employment (ASYE) within our academy, before moving to one of our operational teams as a Newly Qualified Social Worker (NQSW).
Visit the Institute for Apprenticeship's Social Worker (Degree) page, where you can get further insight into the role.
West Sussex Social Work Academy
We are proud to have established our very own West Sussex Social Work Academy, sitting alongside our social work teams in the north and south of the county. We are revolutionising the way we work within our children's services and continue to develop the academy so that we can guide and steer NQSWs through that crucial first year of practice - the assessed and supported year in employment (ASYE). Only the most promising and passionate advocates of children and young people who wish to work in front line child protection teams will be selected to take part in this programme.
Guidance and support
The academy provides guidance and support as each NQSW embarks on a challenging and hugely rewarding career, helping to support children and families. They will be equipped and highly trained to become the best possible social worker, with a phased approach to the volume and complexity of their workload. They can expect:
- reduced and protected caseloads
- a dedicated training pathway – intensive for the first four months
- regular reflective supervision
- group supervision
- a dedicated, holistic assessor to help oversee their development.
We need brilliant workers who inspire and deliver change all around them. That’s why we’re looking for talented, ambitious and passionate people to come and join us.
Our campaign to recruit NQSWs launches at the beginning of each year so keep an eye out for the events, activities and applications around this time.
Step Up programme
West Sussex County Council is part of the South East regional partnership. This intensive, 14-month, full-time programme is for graduates without a degree in social work and who now want to become a social worker. Students can expect to learn through a combination of academic study and real social work experience in a local authority. On completion, the Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work will enable graduates to register and practice as a social worker.
The Step Up programme runs every two years.
"The Step Up To Social Work course gave me a fast track route into becoming a social worker. I was provided with excellent support from the university and West Sussex to help me meet my learning needs and to build my confidence and experience to become a practising social worker. I can’t wait to get started in the role and make a positive difference to children’s lives in West Sussex."
Step Up to Social Work 2021 graduate
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