Taking the first steps towards a social work degree
Three social work assistants from County Durham have taken their first steps towards becoming fully qualified social workers.
Clare Hawman, Jasmine Booth and Amy Robson have become the first members of our adult social care team to start a Social Work Apprenticeship programme.
The programme launched nationally last year, offering existing staff the opportunity to study for their social work degree and become practising, qualified social workers.
The three successful apprentices were selected from 13 applicants in a thorough and robust interview process by the adult social care managers and members of the council's development and learning team before preparing for their university interviews.
Continuing through the coronavirus pandemic
Despite the preparation being affected by the coronavirus pandemic, the trio met every challenge to prepare for the opportunity, all the while continuing to work as social work assistants.
Clare, Jasmine and Amy have this month started their studies at the University of Sunderland, with all three thanking the council for the opportunity to become social workers. They have also already begun to work with colleagues from the adult and health learning and development team to prepare for their next steps.
Jasmine Booth, who works in the Easington locality team, said: "I am very grateful for the opportunity provided and am looking forward to the challenge and adventure ahead."
Completing the programme
The programme takes three years to complete and involves a minimum of twenty per cent of time during the working week for 'off the job' training across all three years. Each apprentice will also have to complete a 70-day placement in a children's team in their second year and 100-days in their own team before they can qualify.
They will also continue to fulfil their current roles as Social Work Assistants while they study.
Assets to the team
Cllr Lucy Hovvels MBE, Cabinet member for adult and health services, said: "I am delighted to see our first candidates starting on the Social Work Apprenticeship programme. This is a fantastic opportunity for Clare, Jasmine and Amy and I would like to congratulate them on their successful application to the apprenticeship programme.
"I am sure they will gain significant experience throughout their time at university. They will each be excellent assets to our adult social care team. I am also looking forward to watching the programme grow and providing more of our staff with the opportunity to gain a social work degree and become practising, qualified social workers."
More details about adult social care can be found on the Adult social care and health pages.