A NEW Social Work Academy has been launched by Worcestershire County Council in a bid to improve confidence and skills among the authority’s social workers.
It comes just three months after the council was forced to respond to claims by a former children’s services employee about ‘cash-saving measures being put ahead of youngsters’ wellbeing’, social workers having unmanageable case loads and workers not receiving the support they needed.
Back then the authority’s chief executive Steve Stewart said a recent Ofsted inspection report had shown tangible improvements to the department.
The new academy which started this week will see social workers have a comprehensive information hub at their disposal where they will also be able to access training easily.
The launch has headlined and run alongside the county council’s Celebrating Social Workers’ Week which is aimed at improving everybody’s knowledge of the profession.
Coun Adrian Hardman, cabinet member for Adult Services, said: “It is extremely important our workforce continues to improve, and all staff are thoroughly supported and encouraged to better their knowledge of Social Work.
“The Social Work Academy will allow easier access to all of the excellent training and professional development that is already taking place in Worcestershire.
“The launch of improved services like the Social Work Academy will hopefully help us attract the very best social workers to the county, and further highlight the positive reasons why Worcestershire is a great place to live and work.”
Catherine Driscoll, Director of Children’s, Families and Communities said: “The Social Work Academy is about making sure our staff have the resources available to them to provide the best services possible out in the community, whilst feeling supported in terms of their own professional development and career progression.”
The Celebrating Social Workers event featured a keynote speech from Siobhan McLean, a successful social worker turned author.