All posts by Jessica McEwen

University of Sheffield ASYE Module

As part of the Assessed and Supported Year in Employment newly qualified social workers within children’s social care have the opportunity to gain academic credits for some of their work for the ASYE portfolio.

At the 9 month point of employment NQSW’s produce a 1000 word reflective piece on work they have undertaken with a family on their caseload. At the 12 month point of employment workers produce a 2000 word assignment considering the learning and development they have undertaken during the ASYE programme. Both assignments are intended to assist workers in demonstrating their developing skills, competence and confidence during the first year of practice and build on writing and critical thinking skills gained at university. A half day workshop focussing on the requirements of the assignment tasks is regularly delivered by staff from the University of Sheffield.

Successful completion of both assignments leads to the award of 15 credits from the University of Sheffield and opens up the possibility to apply to undertake further modules on the Advanced Practitioner Framework run by the university on behalf of the Teaching Partnership. We have recently started registration of our second cohort for the ASYE module. Developments for the future include a re-design of the module to provide a greater level of teaching input and separation of the module from local authority ASYE portfolio requirements.

Assessed and Supported Year in Employment

We recognise that working in social work is demanding, particularly when you are at the start of your career. Supporting our newly qualified social workers through the Teaching Partnership’s Assessed and Supported Year in Employment Programme (ASYE) is how we provide a bridge from initial training to competent and confident practice based on a firm foundation of knowledge and skill.

Children’s Services

Newly qualified social workers across the partnership are mentored by a social work consultant or equivalent for the first twelve months and are supported to gain their fitness to practice certificate. Key features of the programme include a reduced caseload, monthly network meetings to meet with peers and receive additional training, two study days per month and regular developmental supervision. Work undertaken by the South Yorkshire Teaching Partnership ASYE moderation group means that we have been able to provide a more consistent approach across the partnership to our newly qualified workers. All our workers now undertake a baseline assessment of their knowledge, skill and experience upon arrival so that appropriately tailored professional development plans can be formulated to support individual learning needs. These are then reviewed and updated at formal reviews of progress at 3, 6, 9 and 12 month points on the programme. Workers experience three formal observations of their practice whilst on the ASYE. They are required to produce 4 critically reflective written pieces during the twelve months and also seek regular written feedback from professionals and families they work with. This, along with a record of training completed across the year, and formal assessment reports from their manager and mentor make up the ASYE portfolio. This is considered by individual local authority ASYE panels in order to achieve fitness to practice.

Being in the Teaching Partnership has also provided some excellent opportunities for newly qualified workers from across the partnership to come together to learn and develop. We offer a six days ‘Core Skills’ training course just for new workers. This training course is very immersive; it focuses on the use of self and learning about ways to better manage very demanding work environments. We have also had a number of themed research days where we have considered the voice of the child in assessments and effective reflection, among other topics. Feedback to consultants and mentors across the partnership indicates that our newly qualified workers find this additional layer of support whilst finding their feet in a new career invaluable.

As part of the Assessed and Supported Year in Employment newly qualified social workers within children’s social care also have the opportunity to gain academic credits for some of their work for the ASYE portfolio. Please see here for details of our accredited ASYE module

Adults’ services

Since January 2016, 15 ASYE’s have successfully completed their ASYE with a further 8 that are currently in progress. Social workers have consistently demonstrated proficiency in a wide range of tasks and roles and have particularly proven to be able to deal with more complex situations; developing respectful and situation appropriate professional relationships, thus building their own confidence and earning the confidence and respect of others. On completion of the ASYE, social workers have continued to consolidate practice experience and learning which they have then shared with their peers and has allowed them to contribute to the evaluation and development of their organisation. Indeed, at least six of the 15 have progressed to practice educating with others already considering progression and potential social work management. Overall, there has been significant development in terms of progress of the ASYE in adults with further development in the pipeline of a more standardised and consistent approach in the region (South Yorkshire)’

A Day in the Life of….

Rebecca McClure – ASYE Hospital Social Work Team – Barnsley

What attracted you to social work

I worked as a nurse auxiliary and loved the listening to and talking with patients, more than the medical side. So I went to University and did a degree in Counselling, however this did not lead to anything when degree finished.  I then decided to go to a Huddersfield University’s open day and it was there I talked to the Social Work department and from that decided to study Social Work.

I qualified in July 2016 and got a temporary contract with Doncaster Royal Infirmary for 8 weeks, but was looking for a full time post so applied for a social work post with Barnsley.  My interview was went really well interview and I really liked the team so I  accepted my ASYE post here even though Doncaster then offered me a permanent post as well.

What team do you work in?

I started off in the Customer Access Team –  taking referrals from housing, self referral, district officers etc.  Work was very busy and fast, with not much long-term work.  Halfway through my ASYE year restructuring took place and the customer access team was disbanded.  I was allowed  to choose where i wanted to work and chose the hospital team.

My new team is working within the hospital setting with mostly elderly service users.  I found that my previous role as a nursing auxiliary has really helped in this new post as I have a greater understanding of how the hospital works and the different professional roles. Although the work can be high pressured I really  enjoy it.

Both teams have been very supportive and took me out on visits with them until my confidence and knowledge increased.

What support have you had as an ASYE?

I  started my ASYE with weekly supervision with my ASYE supervisor Karen Turner,  as time progressed and I became more confident these supervisions became less frequent though remained regular.  I also have a line manager who is an  Advanced Health Practitioner in the Hospital team, who goes through all my cases with me and I also have a team manager.  Karen has remained my ASYE supervisor through the change of teams.

Karen gave me a list of training, from Barnsley’s core offer,  that she recommended I undertake.  I was able to attend some of these but as I progressed in the ASYE year my caseload got bigger and I found there was less time to undertake all the training.

I have also has been part of a few peer group meetings – facilitated by Cora Beard – which included other ASYEs and students.  These groups consisted of going through each PCF and KSS and then a discussion on how they could evidence each one.  It was really helpful to meet other ASYEs and we were able to discuss our portfolios and help each other.

I also get a day of study leave every 2 weeks and it is during this time I work on my ASYE portfolio.

 

Student Placement Evaluation

An evaluation has been carried out of student placements that took place between February 2017 and July 2017. On the whole, the feedback was positive, with only a minority of students giving poor scores or negative responses.  Some of these responses were for issues that couldn’t have been avoided and are unfortunately symptoms of working in a busy and changeable service, for example, last minute changes to a placement setting or Practice Educator being on unexpected sick leave.

The majority of placements started on time (90%) and 100% of placements had their learning agreement meeting & contract signed within the timeframe agreed.

All students had an induction period and were satisfied that the information given was useful and appropriate.

Feedback from students included:

“Each individual involved within my placement was extremely supportive and I was never left worried about anything. My practice educator alongside my work based supervisor was always available for support in any areas at any time, which improved my own confidence in practice”

“This placement has been excellent. The team have been supportive, friendly, willing to help assist and support when required. I have been able to experience and engage in a wide range of work and have been able to co-work and undertake cases on my own. My Practice Educator has been amazing. She has always made herself available and supported me throughout my placement. I have been able to discuss personal and work related issues. Regular supervision and feedback has allowed me to work on my weaknesses during placement. This has been a fantastic placement and whichever student ends up with this placement next is extremely lucky.”

“The placement has been great and has confirmed the area of social work I wish to practice in. I feel lucky to have worked with the clients, my Practice educator and the team and just wish there were some jobs available”

Assessed and Supported Year for New and Aspiring Managers (ASYAM)

The Assessed and Supported Year for New and Aspiring Managers (ASYAM) pilot has been designed to identify, develop and support aspiring managers and leaders across the South Yorkshire Teaching Partnership (SYTP). The ASYAM will combine bespoke, targeted CPD provision along with work-based mentoring and support, in order to develop a clear, well-supported career pathway into management for our social workers.

The ASYAM pilot will build on the Leadership and Management stream of our Advanced Practitioner Framework, ensuring that future managers and leaders are supported to bring the skills and knowledge developed during this training into their practice, and to further develop and refine these skills under the mentorship of mentors who are experienced managers.

By supporting the development of effective and skilled social work managers, the ASYAM will raise standards and performance in services leading to improved outcomes for service users and carers. The ASYAM will also be embedded within a defined workforce development strategy for the SYTP, and will be mapped to the KSS for practice leaders and practice supervisors. The programme will contribute to the improved recruitment and retention of social workers by ensuring that aspiring managers are supported in both their everyday practice and their individual career aspirations.

The pilot programme will be fully evaluated, and the results of the evaluation will be used to further review and develop the programme, including its timescales, and to determine if the programme will be rolled out across SYTP.

This programme is grounded in what the research tells us about how people improve their practice. It is, therefore, an evidence-informed programme aimed at improving and developing the knowledge, skills, and values of participants for future management and leadership positions. The programme uses a metacognitive approach (Bruner, 1996), which identifies explicit and challenging goals for participants, identifies strategies to reach these goals, and monitors progress towards them. It is based on three inter-related elements: Organisational observation as a foundation for knowledge and skill acquisition; deliberate acts aimed at maintaining, developing, and improving knowledge and skills; and social support for learning and practice development.

The programme will include:

  • A 2 day foundation programme
  • Multisource evaluations of participants’ practice knowledge and skills
  • Individualised practice development plans
  • Practice development communities
  • Individually tailored organisational observations and follow-up practice-reinforcing learning activities
  • Tailored masterclasses and follow-up practice-reinforcing learning activities
  • Individually tailored learning opportunities to gain organisational knowledge
  • Individually tailored leadership activities
  • Individual practice development and improvement mentors
  • Multisource feedback of participants’ practice knowledge and skills

The dates for the ASYAM pilot are as follows:

  • 7th February 2018 – Training for ASYAM mentors
  • 5th & 7th March 2018 ASYAM induction

For further information, please contact jessica.mcewen@sheffield.gov.uk 

Teaching Partnership National Networking Forum

South Yorkshire Teaching Partnership (SYTP) have worked with other Teaching Partnerships (TPs) around the country to establish the TP National Networking Forum – the purpose of which is to share knowledge and good practice, and to act as a collective voice for TPs. The first meeting of the forum was held in Manchester in June 2017, and included representatives from 8 TPs.

The second meeting was held in September 2017, hosted by SYTP.  11 Teaching Partnerships were represented at this meeting. The meeting was also attended by the DfE, who will use information gained from the meeting to feed into decision making about the future of funding for Teaching Partnerships. Topics discussed at the meeting included: Placements; CPD; Workforce and labour market planning; and the future of Teaching Partnership funding.

The next meeting will be held in Nottingham on the 9th January, hosted by the D2N2 Teaching Partnership. For more information about this meeting please contact Chris Durkin, D2N2 Project Manager at christopher.durkin@ntu.ac.uk

South Yorkshire Teaching Partnership planning workshop

The South Yorkshire Teaching Partnership (SYTP) held a workshop on the 21st September, the purpose of which was to reflect on our achievements so far as a partnership, and to plan ahead for the next phase of Teaching Partnership delivery. The event was well attended, with 47 representatives from across all the SYTP partner local authorities, plus The University of Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University and the Department for Education. The event opened with a series of keynote presentations to outline our journey so far – including a welcome speech from Paul Moffatt, Chief Executive of Doncaster Children’s Services Trust, and a presentation from Professor Kate Morris (University of Sheffield).

A series of workshops were then held, in which groups were tasked to look at future plans and developments across 4 key areas: practice education; academic delivery and CPD; research and evidence-informed practice; and retention and succession planning. The workshop facilitators were asked to focus the discussions on sustainability and on developing new and innovative ideas to help address service challenges. Feedback from the workshops and the group discussions will now be used to develop an action plan, which will inform our planning for the next phase of the Teaching Partnership delivery.

The feedback from participants following the event was very positive, with the majority finding it ‘useful’ or ‘very useful’, and with many asking for the workshop to become an annual event. Please see [upload summary report] for a summary of the event. A full post-event evaluation report and action plan is also available on request from Jessica.mcewen@sheffield.gov.uk

Experiencing the Social Work World Exhibition

Location: Sheffield
Date: 30 October 2017 – 16 November 2017
Time: 11:00 – 15:00

Media stories of failures in social care have meant that social workers are often vilified in the press and portrayed as ‘fools’ or ‘folk-devils’. As the job they do caring for vulnerable children and adults is confidential, social workers are unable to defend themselves and provide their side of the story. As a result, their voices are missing from any kind of public debate. The reputation and standing of the social work profession has, in turn, deteriorated in recent years and, in a number of different ways, this has affected social workers’ practice and their identity.

The artwork and audio stories that form this exhibition have been created with the hope of providing the public with a different perspective; a more sensitive insight into what social work means to those who do it on a daily basis.

This exhibition is taking place as part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science. For more information about the Festival, please see http://www.esrc.ac.uk/public-engagement/festival-of-social-science/ 

Bridge over Troubled Water

Bridge over Troubled Water: working together to ensure that social work students are fit to practice.

SYTP staff presented a poster at the University of Sheffield’s recent Engaged Learning Conference. The poster, created by Jane Laing (University of Sheffield), Jess McEwen (SYTP) and Fiona Addison (Sheffield City Council), outlines SYTP’s approach to working collaboratively in order to enhance the quality of the SYTP’s qualifying social work programme. The poster is available to download here: Bridge over Troubled Water

For further details of the event, please see https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/als/current/engaged/programme