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Herefordshire offers pioneering support for social workers

Hertfordshire has set up a Social Work Academy to give social workers the backing they feel social workers need, as well as learning and development opportunities. The academy has a team of advanced practitioners who provide social workers with access to research and who are available to talk through challenging situations.

Jo Davidson, the council's director of children's wellbeing, speaking in The Guardian, says: "We are recruiting experienced frontline social workers and managers. We have a very good track record for supporting newly qualified social workers and have expanded that support and development so it is available throughout a social worker's career.

"We created the Social Work Academy to focus on support and development as well as to provide theoretical models so our social workers have what they need to do a really good job.

"The advanced practitioners provide research and have the necessary experience to talk through cases with social workers in a reflective way so they can reach appropriate decisions about complicated situations."

John Roughton, head of children and young people's casework, says: "We are unique in our vision of how we look after our social workers beyond their first year of practice.

"In the Social Work Academy we have the mechanism to support our social workers and to ensure they have the professional development they need.

"Our advanced practitioners are very experienced social workers who have been tasked with developing specific models of practice.

"We want to retain our quality social workers so they can be the next generation of consultants and team managers."

More information: http://www.theguardian.com/

Wed 9th Oct 2013