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First days in the Teaching Partnership

Lucy Cairns, Consultant Social Worker, West Midlands Teaching Partnership

I worked for Warwickshire County Council Adult Mental Health services since qualifying as a social worker in 2010. As a Lead Practitioner with Warwickshire Council County, I was very much focused on raising the standards of social work practice in a multidisciplinary setting. Supervising social workers, I consistently promoted professional development. As soon as I heard about the West Midlands Teaching Partnership, I wanted to be involved and I was delighted to secure a position as a Consultant Social Worker.

My first weeks in post as a Consultant Social Worker for the Teaching Partnership have been both busy and edifying. The project team have been welcoming and supportive and I have started to develop productive links with our partners by attending the recent programme board meeting and workstream meetings. I have been assigned to the Admissions, Teaching, Learning and Research workstream and very quickly I have identified that through set aims and objectives the Teaching Partnership has the very real potential to make a difference to social work teaching and practice education across the region. And I feel very privileged to be part of this project!

My initially focus has been on admissions and the requirement to attract and recruit the highest calibre of social work students onto qualifying social work programmes. A key aim is therefore the recruitment of students who possess a unique blend of intellectual, personal attributes and attitudes, and the abilities needed undertake social work education and training and thrive in the profession. To recruit such candidate’s specific admissions and recruitment processes are required. Thus my focus for the coming weeks is meeting with our Higher Education partners to identify best practice and establish consistency in admissions across the region. But this is only the beginning…..

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