Graduates across Derby and beyond are being encouraged to apply to a fast-track programme to become the next generation of child and family social workers.

Applications have opened for Step Up to Social Work, a 14-month programme that combines real-world experience in a local authority social work team with high-quality university training.

Successful candidates will qualify with a post-graduate diploma in social work, allowing them to register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) to practice as a social worker.

Councillor Sara Bolton, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People and Safeguarding said:

“This is a fantastic opportunity for young people in Derby who are interested in becoming a social worker to get invaluable training and support to achieve that goal. Children and Families in Derby need support from local people, with local knowledge who can best help and care for them.

I would urge anyone who is thinking about becoming a social worker, or thinking about their future career to apply for a place on this fast-track programme.”

Isabelle Trowler, Chief Social Worker for Children and Families, said:

“I know from my own experience what a challenging and fulfilling career child and family social work is, and I’m pleased to see that this programme is encouraging more people to consider it. Programmes like this one are attracting hundreds of talented graduates each year, who could make a real difference to the lives of children and families.”

The Step Up programme runs every two years, with more students qualifying as social workers each time. In 2015, 300 students completed their training and we expect over 420 students to graduate in June this year. Many of those graduating will be offered a trainee social worker role with the local authority where they trained.

This year more than 550 funded places across the country are available to support trainees. After applications close in May, students will start training in January 2018.

Candidates are eligible to apply if they have a 2:1 degree, or a 2:2 plus a higher degree, which can include a master’s degree or a Postgraduate Certificate in Education, in a discipline other than social work. They should also have the equivalent of a GCSE Grade C in maths and English, and experience of working with children, young people or families.

To find out more or apply, visit the Step up to Social Work website.