In Oldham there is a comprehensive programme in place to support Social Workers with Continuing Professional Development (CPD) which is in line with the Knowledge and Skills Statements (KSS) and reflected within Children’s Services Annual Training Plan. The Council works in partnership with the Greater Manchester Social Work Academy (GMSWA) which has a CPD offer that can be accessed at each stage of career progression from students and post qualifying modules, through to leadership and management opportunities.
We understand the importance of a thorough induction as it provides a firm foundation for your future practice.
All our new social workers are warmly welcomed and provided with a structured and carefully planned introduction to the job.
Our induction process has four dimensions:
Establishing relationships with your immediate team and supervisor
Building relationships with those who support your practice both within and outside the organisation
Clarifying your role and responsibilities and procedures you must follow
Identifying and mobilising resources to support you in your role and an introduction to the council’s wider objectives.
Development and progression
Attractive salary packages are in place which includes a clear career progression scheme from Assessed and Supported Year in Employment – ASYE – on the Professional Capability Framework – PCF – to Advanced Practitioner. We want you to learn today, lead tomorrow.
We offer a clear career progression pathway, providing internal and external development opportunities, such as academic lectures and masterclass programmes to enhance your knowledge and skills enabling you to plan your future career direction to support your progression from newly qualified to specialist or manager.
Newly qualified social workers undertake a comprehensive programme of supported learning in their Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE), under the support of Practice Learning Mentors. This provides access to increased supervision, a protected caseload and a Professional Development Plan.
Following a portfolio submission (aligned to the Professional Capability Framework and the Knowledge and Skills statement for children and family social workers), to the career progression panel, newly-qualified social workers are offered permanent contracts and progression to the post-qualifying (PQ) pathway.
Experienced social workers can progress on the basis of undertaking an approved post-qualifying award, demonstrating learning in practice and helping children to achieve improved outcomes. This results in progressing via the career progression panel to the status of senior social worker.
Senior social workers can progress on the basis of demonstrating learning in practice and helping children to achieve improved outcomes. Senior social workers will be supported to develop a specialism in an area of practice, then share that knowledge and skills with colleagues, through mentoring and informal supervision.
National Assessment and Accreditation Scheme (NAAS)
Oldham social workers are leading the way on the National Assessment and Accreditation Scheme. Oldham has enabled our social workers to successfully develop and gain the recognition for their practice that they deserve.
We have also been able to develop an excellent learning and development programme as a result of being involved in the pilot, which you will be guided through with the support of an accredited practice learning mentor.
Oldham has developed great relationships with local universities and other partners enabling us to provide a range of accredited professional development support for our newly qualified and experienced social workers, senior practitioners and managers.
We understand that regular, planned and competent supervision is a right and a requirement for all our social work teams, and we have invested in two approaches to supervision, Critical Reflective Supervision (CRS) and relationship-based supervision:
We believe CRS is an excellent way of ensuring Continued Professional Development in line with our standards, Social Work England expectations and the overall regulation of professional practice. We’ve invested in CRS training for all managers and senior practitioners to ensure they have the skills they need so CRS is embedded across the service.
Oldham is committed to creating the right environment to ensure social workers spend more time undertaking direct work with children and families and we are promoting relationship based supervision and are training lead practitioners to become internal facilitators to deliver therapeutically informed group supervision in order to ensure safe, effective and constructive social work practice.