Our Academy Journey:
In Somerset we understand that working alongside families who are sometimes facing difficult and demanding situations is not an easy option for any professional. We appreciate that getting involved in the lives of children and their families can be challenging and complex work, and requires high levels of emotional intelligence and resilience.
Somerset recognises that the quality of social work practice depends on the quality of the workforce, which is why we are making a commitment to develop the skills of our staff. Our Academy will provide you with a high level of quality support, which will include an induction programme for all new starters, clear continued professional development (CPD), professional leadership and a firm commitment to regular supervision. We understand that good quality supervision (for even the most experienced social worker) that addresses both organisational and professional requirements really makes a difference. All the staff at the Academy work towards a culture of learning, innovation and support.
Our qualifications will signpost staff to an extensive and well-resourced continued professional development programme including access to a range of qualifications delivered through our Universities in the South West.
Also available are opportunities to develop leadership and management. Our learning and development programme is cross referenced to the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF) and the Chief Social Worker’s knowledge and skills for child and family social work, and supports social worker registration with HCPC.
Included in this suite of qualifications for Newly Qualified Social Workers, is a highly recognised and comprehensive Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE) programme.
Being part of our Academy will also give you exclusive access to corporate membership of CC Inform, the web based resource, and to Research in Practice (RIP).
Clarity of purpose
Somerset will ensure you understand where you fit within the whole system; your unique contribution, the quality and standards of practice required in your role and how to work with a strong family focus while continuing to safeguard the most vulnerable children and young people in Somerset.
High quality managers
We know that leadership and management has a significant impact on the organisational culture that social workers operate in. We appreciate that managers must drive ways of working that result in a high challenge, high support and high performing organisation, and we believe our managers can achieve this with the right balance of support and challenge. By offering a programme of management development for new managers who wish to make the transition from practitioner to manager, and the on-going development of leadership and management competencies across social work managers, Somerset strives to do this.
Students and work base trainees
Somerset’s support to social workers begins pre-qualification by working in partnership with universities and providing high quality placement opportunities for students. We also have a strong heritage of nurturing our own talent by annually funding a limited number of degree places on the Open University programme.
A rewarding career is on the cards for all our social workers, with second to none training opportunities, manageable caseloads and supportive supervision high on our list of priorities.
We are committed to the professional development of all our staff and there are different career routes available, depending on whether you wish to step up to a management role or if you wish to be a leader of advanced practice and take on more complex cases.
Our training and development commitments include:
Protected Training TimeAll social workers have protected time for College of Social Work endorsed supervision training.
Management OpportunitiesNew and aspiring managers benefit from accredited leadership and management programmes.
E-Learning OpportunitiesInstant access to hundreds of e-learning opportunities through Somerset County Council’s Learning Centre.
Community Care Inform LicenceAll practitioners will have their own Community Care Inform licence.
Research in PracticeThere is full access for all practitioners to Research in Practice information.
Protected Time for LearningProtected time for learning (including 50% protected time to support learning for Newly Qualified Social Workers).
Advanced SupportAccess to advanced practitioners who can support you in your career journey.
For those social workers who have completed their Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE), we offer access to a wide variety of professional development opportunities and will help you to consolidate your learning while you gain valuable professional social work experience.
Somerset’s Social Care Academy will provide you with a high level of quality support which will include an induction programme for all new starters and clear continued professional development (CPD).
You can find out more information and view our full collection of supporting documents at CPD Opportunities