New cross county social work initiative
A partnership between Lancaster University, Cumbria County Council and several other organisations aims to develop education in social work.
The Cumbria-Lancaster Social Work Teaching Partnership includes Lancaster University, Cumbria County Council as well as Barnardo’s, South Lakeland District Carers, Howgill Family Centre and East Cumbria Family Support.
The partnership aims to ensure that people with the right skills; experience and professionalism are recruited to qualifying programmes and take up posts with Cumbria County Council and allied partners.
Director of children’s services at Cumbria County Council, John Macilwraith, said: “The teaching partnership will enable us to work closely with Lancaster University and our partners to have clear practice focussed, professional career development pathways so that students are better prepared for the transition from University, into our social work academy.
“We will also develop comprehensive development programmes for all our social workers to reach their full potential so that we retain talented social workers in Cumbria.”
The programme also seeks to increase the quantity and quality of practice placements to ensure that more Lancaster University students experience two statutory placements, to better prepare students for employment after graduation.
Professor Karen Broadhurst, from Lancaster University, said: “This is an excellent opportunity to work more closely with our Cumbria partners and to showcase developments nationally.
“Cumbria’s expansive rural context does present some challenge in terms of both student placement and reaching a qualified workforce and we are keen to explore how these challenges can be overcome.”
The new partnership has been given the green light following a successful bid to the Department for Education to secure two-year funding.