Children’s services Learning Academy grows routes into social work offer

A man wearing an blue and white check shirt putting pen to paper

Routes into social work - Credit: Submitted

Torbay Council’s Children’s Services Learning Academy have partnered with South Devon College to support its community care workers to undertake the Level 4 apprenticeship in ‘Working with Children, Young People and Families’.

Starting in the new year, the Level 4 apprenticeship course will see learners become skilled in recognising and assessing the complex needs of children, young people and families and support qualified staff with any specific interventions or referrals.

Part of the council’s ‘grow your own’ initiative which offers various routes into social work, upon successful completion of the two-year course, participants will be able to apply for a social work degree.

At the end of the course Torbay’s community care workers will have an understanding of the importance of early intervention and safeguarding work and the knowledge to help them manage risk across the spectrum of needs for children, young people and families.

Fully supported by a tutor, learners will be required to attend South Devon College on day release one day a week.

Cllr Cordelia Law, Cabinet member for children’s services on Torbay Council, said; “We are committed to developing the routes by which people can chose to commence their career in social work. In particular developing the need for professional curiosity and helping to qualify local people through a clear tiered training programme.

"By growing our own talent we are supporting our own workforce requirements, minimising our need to seek agency support.”

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This Level 4 apprenticeship is the latest offering in Torbay’s ‘grow your own’ initiative. Back in 2018, Torbay took its first ‘Step-Up’ to Social Work students which allows graduates from other professions such as teaching to fast track their social work qualification – and has so far seen three ‘step up’ and qualify, with a further three currently on the programme.

For a number of years, Torbay’s children’s services has worked with local universities, from assisting at the interview stage of students into the university, to providing statutory placements for student social workers as they progress through their degree.

As part of the ongoing improvement journey there are aspirations to extend these relationships with other universities and colleges across the region.