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The Chief Social Worker for Adults is actively working with the profession to create a highly skilled, flexible workforce which is able to contribute to improved outcomes for people in all settings.
She is developing a comprehensive framework for continuous professional development for adult social work, which will include development of specialisms in key areas of practice, such as dementia, end of life care and learning disabilities. This will provide a clear progression route for both newly qualified and experienced social workers to deepen their knowledge, skills and practice.
The Government has funded four teaching partnerships which build on and enhance the existing arrangements between Higher Education Institutions and employers. The key aims are to improve the quality of education received by social work students, mainly through a greater experience of quality statutory placements and employer involvement in the selection of students and provision of placements.
The Department has also developed Think Ahead, a new fast-track scheme for exceptional graduates and career-changers to become mental health social workers. The programme has been in development since 2014 and will take its first graduates in July 2016.