Supporting the profession

Supporting the profession

Supporting the profession Click to enlarge

12 Feb 2016

Coventry City Council has developed a successful in-house ASYE scheme

As part of COMPASS's continued support of the social work and social care sector, we are happy to counteract the negative news stories in the sector with good ones highlighting innovative or positive practice. One such story is that of Coventry City Council's new in-house ASYE scheme:

"Coventry Children’s Services has a very successful in-house Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE). It is designed to help Newly Qualified Social Workers (NQSWs) to develop their skills, knowledge and capability, thus strengthening their professional confidence. It also aims to assure the quality of social workers’ practice by assessing NQSWs’ development against the Professional Capabilities Framework and the Knowledge and Skills Framework (KSS). One key component of the ASYE programme is the provision of tailored and mandatory training and development opportunities to support the professional development of NQSWs. Alongside monthly workshops facilitated by the Professional Social Work Educators and e-learning on Research in Practice, NQSWs access wider training from the Children's Services Learning and Development Brochure, which is accessible to all social workers. All the training and development activities and resources in the brochure are mapped against the PCF and KSS and are linked to resources on the Research in Practice website. NQSWs also receive fortnightly supervision from their line manager and their Professional Social Work Educator.

After successfully completing the Assessed and Supported Year in Employment, social workers start the Early Professional Development Programme (EPD).  This programme is designed to support practitioners in continuing their career pathway through to the next level of the Professional Capabilities Framework.  All social workers start their EPD Programme at the PCF level of 'Social Worker'.  On successful completion of the EPD Programme they progress to the PCF level of ‘Experienced Social Worker’. The two-year period is not fixed. It is acknowledged that practitioners have different abilities, opportunities, constraints and interests and may continue to develop at different paces.  This is not a process that can be fast-tracked by undertaking many training courses; it is about reflective learning that is aligned to professional development plans and the corporate Our Behaviours Appraisal Framework. As part of the EPD Programme, social workers attend four workshops (Child Observation, Child Protection Refresher, Care Planning and Critical Analysis and Decision-Making). Additional training is also accessed in agreement with the line manager.

During the final year of the EPD Programme, practitioners are encouraged to apply for the Graduate Certificate in Practice Education with Bournemouth University. This enables experienced social workers to prepare for the important role of teaching and assessing social work students and NQSWs.

Senior Practitioners have a pivotal role in modelling quality practice and supporting newly-qualified and experienced social workers. As part of their learning and development the Principal Social Worker (PSW) organises monthly two-hour workshops led by outside facilitators, Senior Practitioners and the PSW. The workshops enable Senior Practitioners to share their knowledge and skills across the service and provide them with tools, reading and research that they can share with colleagues in their teams in order to improve practice

All frontline practitioners are trained in the Signs of Safety model. This enhances practitioners’ skills, ensures a consistent approach with families and is the chosen form of evidence-based practice in Coventry. The model supports practitioners’ risk assessment and safety planning in child protection and enables them to work collaboratively and in partnership with families and children across different disciplines. The Signs of Safety tools are designed to help with the conduct of risk assessments and the production of action plans, identifying areas that need to change, whilst also focusing on strengths, resources and networks that the family have. Signs of Safety is an on-going rolling training programme that is aligned to social work career progression."

Come and talk to Coventry City Council at the COMPASS Jobs Fair, Birmingham on 16 March at Stand 32 .