Thurrock Social Work Academy supports the training and development of employees and student social workers by offering programmes of support and continuing professional development.
It is led jointly by Principal Social Workers in our adult social care and children's services teams. The collaboration of skills allows social workers in Thurrock to access extensive learning and development opportunities at each stage of their career.
The overarching aim of the academy is to create a sound, committed and creative professional workforce with high aspirations for excellent professional practice. Our objectives are to:
- support and upskill the workforce by investing in social work development across adults and children services
- create career pathways for social workers beyond an assessed and supported year in employment (ASYE)
- enable our subject experts to assist in the development and facilitation of programmes
- implement and coordinate national development programmes at a local level to assist in improving practice locally and ensure compliance with national standards
- promote Thurrock Council as an employer of choice for social workers
Training and development
We want social workers to stay with us, develop new skills and gain valuable experience. This provides a platform for progression and consistency that will benefit the people of Thurrock who use our services.
Development opportunities begin with our excellent ASYE programme – ensuring social workers' careers get the best possible start – and goes all the way to our management programme, which helps experienced individuals take their next steps in management.
We offer a comprehensive programme of one-day courses, short courses, and formal accredited training programmes.
Social workers in Thurrock have access to training, research, up-to-date articles and information about national developments within the profession. In children's social care, this is through 'Research in Practice', whilst and in adults social care it's through 'Care Knowledge'.
Assessed and supported year in employment (ASYE)
Our ASYE programme provides a bridge from qualifying training to practice. It is based on building a firm foundation of skills and knowledge that can be used as the basis for continuing professional development.
Our Social Work Academy supports each newly qualified social worker (NQSW) from student placement, through the recruitment process, on to the ASYE. Each NQSW will have:
- a protected caseload
- enhanced levels of supervision
- an ASYE assessor
- access to training opportunities
- time to shadow other social workers
- support to create a personal development plan
Continuing professional development (CPD)
All social workers must undertake CPD in line with Social Work England (SWE) requirements.
We have strong links with our local universities, including:
- University of Essex
- Anglia Ruskin University
- University of East Anglia
We actively work with Eastern Region local authorities and universities, as well as understanding local needs and practice to explore and develop ways of supporting social work practice.
We work with social workers to explore their career pathway and help them to identify their learning needs and ways of meeting them.
Experienced social workers who are interested in becoming a Practice Educator can access the relevant training and support. We work with the University of East Anglia, which runs a specialist course that supports individuals to develop the knowledge and skills relevant for working with a learner.
Once qualified, the individuals are then able to assess and support the learning of student social workers and NQSWs.
The programme supports candidates in supervising, mentoring, and assessing learners. Candidates will be able to evidence requirements of the Practice Educator Professional Standards (PEPS).