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Council’s Social Work Academy in line for national award

Published Wednesday, 02 October 2019

Coventry City Council’s Social Work Academy has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award.

Social Work Academy logo

The Guardian announced today the Social Work Academy, part of Children’s Services, has been nominated in the Public Sector Awards in the category for workforce learning and development.

The academy was created to equip newly qualified social workers (NQSWs) with the best tools, professional development and innovative thinking to put the child at the heart of their practice.

It was set up in July 2018 and the first cohort of NQSWs graduated in January this year into roles in area teams.

The academy offers coaching and mentoring and encourages critical thinking. Those who join spend six months within the academy while also spending time shadowing and developing a good understanding of the real-life experience of being a social worker in Coventry.

Some feedback from NQSWs includes:

  • “Being in the academy has helped me to grow my confidence, and I feel supported by the academy team and Coventry”
  • “[the] Learning, reflection and opportunities I have had in the academy have been brilliant”.
  • “Some of my friends who have commenced in a new social work posts with other authorities have had a poor experience, I have told them that my experience in the academy has been good and they should apply to Coventry”.

Lee Pardy-McLaughlin, Principal Social Worker, said: “We are really proud of this nomination. The setting up of the Social Work Academy has been a team effort led by two incredible managers, Sarb Bhambra and Helen Rennocks.

“By providing a programme of professional support, development and challenge we are recruiting social workers who will provide the very best outcomes for our children.”

Cllr Pat Seaman, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “It is so important for our young people to receive the best social care we can provide.

“By taking NQSWs and working closely with them to develop their skills in both an academic and practical setting, the Social Work Academy is allowing Coventry to provide consistent and high quality care.”

Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on Tuesday 26 November.

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