Social Workers: Recruitment and Retention - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 11:06 am on 16th May 2019.

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Photo of Baroness Blackwood of North Oxford Baroness Blackwood of North Oxford The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care 11:06 am, 16th May 2019

My noble friend is absolutely right that social workers do vital jobs and that it is an attractive career choice. More than 4,000 students enrol in social work courses every year, and we have introduced a fast-track graduate programme that has brought 2,000 more into the social work programme. However, it will work only if we retain those within the system, so we have developed some post-qualifying standards for social workers at key stages of their career to create a consistent, practice-based career progression. In particular, we have introduced the assessed year in the workforce to provide that key level of support in the first year, so that those who experience the shock of the caseload in their first year have the support that they need to remain in the profession and develop the key skills to be able to manage that workload.