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Report calls for more rigorous social work training

Training for social workers should be made more rigorous, a new report has claimed.

According to Making the education of social workers consistently effective, while some college courses are excellent, others have low entry requirements and provide inadequate training for children’s social work.

The report also highlights the lack of consistent guidance on course contents, with no single defined curriculum for children’s social work training yet available.

As a result, newly qualified social workers are sometimes poorly prepared for their new careers and employers may lack confidence in their skills.

The report makes 18 recommendations. These include a single definition of training requirements and the auditing of university and college courses to ensure that only properly qualified, quality candidates obtain places.

Making the education of social workers consistently effective was commissioned by Education Secretary Michael Gove from special advisor and former civil servant Sir Martin Narey. He was asked to study the effectiveness of recent government investment in social work training.

He said:

“Many higher education institutions recruit the very best candidates and maintain the highest academic and training standards when preparing children’s social workers. But standards are variable and many employers, and some academics, are concerned about graduates sometimes inadequately prepared for the challenge of children’s social work. There is too little clarity on what a children’s social worker should know at graduation – that needs to change, quickly – and there is a question mark over the entry calibre of too many students. We need greater assurance about both the academic standards and the quality of work experience at different universities.”

He added:

“Children’s social work is a massively demanding occupation. I believe that my recommendations, if implemented, will allow the public to have far greater confidence in new entrants to the profession. Vulnerable and neglected children deserve nothing less.”

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. Tristan says:

    Just in case anyone is under any illusions as to the way magistrates work hand in glove with social workers to have children snatched away from their natural parents, take a look at this recent case.

    Here you can see in gory detail exactly how justices act as willing accomplices of social services to rubber stamp the removal of children. The absence of proper evidence means nothing to them. Be afraid, be very afraid.

  2. Stitchedup says:

    Tristan, I’m rapidly coming to the conclusion that magistrates courts should be abolished, they’re simply not up to the job. In general, magistrates and district judges are incredibly biased towards the police, social services and any other “authority” for that matter. They receive “training” that amounts to pre-conditioning if not brain-washing and apart from a few “renegade” magistrates will treat the accused as guilty until proven innocent.

  3. Tristan says:

    This case shows without any doubt just how badly corrupted public law cases can be by justices working in complicit fashion with social services. Christopher Booker, for all his nonsense and downright misrepresentation of the truth, at least gets the issue out into the public domain. Better his way with its half truths, than justices who act to corrupt justice.

  4. Hilary Searing says:

    I support the idea of allowing degree students to specialise in children’s social work. However, as the above posts indicate, the problems in children’s services cannot be solved by improvements in training alone. There is far too much dysfunction in the child protection system. My article considers the possibility of change:
    Children’s Social Work: There is Another Way

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