Press release

Funding to support new social workers

Details of a £2,000 learning and development boost for social workers.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Every newly qualified social worker could benefit from £2000 to boost their learning and development, under plans announced by ministers today.

Children’s Minister Tim Loughton and Care Services Minister Paul Burstow have announced funding to make sure that newly qualified social workers receive extra support in their first year of practice to help them become confident, competent professionals.

This funding is to assist employers of newly qualified social workers to:

  • implement an Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE),which supersedes the Newly Qualified Social Worker (NQSW) framework from September 2012;
  • provide regular support for their newly qualified social workers; and
  • assess each newly qualified social worker during their first year of employment.

Tim Loughton, Minister for Children, said:

We are committed to improving the quality and availability of training for all social workers in order that the most vulnerable children and adults in our communities receive the best possible support.

I am confident employers will use the funding we have announced to give newly qualified social workers a great start to their careers.

Paul Burstow, Minister of State for Care Services, said:

This programme will make a practical difference to newly qualified social workers by ensuring that they are supported in their first job and will therefore have a better chance of becoming really good social workers.

The aim of the ASYE is to help newly qualified social workers develop their skills, improve their knowledge and strengthen their professional confidence. It will provide them with access to regular support and ongoing assessment by their employer.

Earlier this year, Moira Gibb, Chair of the Social Work Reform Board (SWRB), issued advance information on the ASYE to employers so they could start preparing for implementation.

Employers of newly qualified social workers who undertake the ASYE will be entitled to receive this funding. Details of how to apply will be made available shortly on the Department for Education and Skills for Care websites.

The ASYE was recommended by the Social Work Task Force in their final report in 2009. In March 2012 the Social Work Reform Board agreed that the ASYE should supersede the existing arrangements for newly qualified social workers from September 2012.

The ASYE has been built on the successes of the NQSW programmes. An evaluation published today found that the NQSW programme in the children and families sector helped participants improve their skills, competence and confidence as social workers during their first year of practice. NQSWs said that receiving regular, structured supervision helped them to reflect on their practice.

The Department for Education and Skills for Care has provided funding for more than 8000 newly qualified social workers over three years of their NQSW programmes.

Notes for editors

  1. The ASYE is an employer-based, employer-owned programme of development and support available to newly qualified social workers. Successful candidates will receive a certificate from The College of Social Work. The ASYE is one of the reforms introduced by the Social Work Reform Board (SWRB).

  2. In March 2012 the SWRB issued information on the ASYE and how it would work. Details can be seen on the Department for Education’s website or on the Skills for Care website.

  3. The assessment under the ASYE is against the Professional Capabilities Framework, which lists the skills and knowledge needed by social work students and social workers at all stages of the profession. The Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF)can be found on The College of Social Work’s website.

  4. The Social Work Reform Board asked Skills for Care and the Children’s Workforce Development Council (CWDC) to make proposals for an Assessed and Supported Year in Employment for social workers. The reform board accepted these proposals in full in March 2012.

  5. The Assessed and Supported Year in Employment for social workers will supersede the CWDC NQSW programme which was available between 2008 and 2012, and the Skills for Care NQSW framework which was in place from 2009 to 2012.

  6. The Department of Health has provided funding to Skills for Care for the adult component of the ASYE programme.

  7. Employers who have already registered newly qualified social workers on NQSW programmes with the Department or Skills for Care are not eligible for this funding but will continue to receive funding under the existing programmes.

  8. The evaluation of the NQSW programme, Newly Qualified Social Worker Programme: final evaluation report (2008 to 2011), can be found on the Department for Education’s website.

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Published 26 July 2012