I have been a social worker for over thirty years. I worked in local authorities as a practitioner and Practice Educator and then, having found supervising and developing students particularly rewarding, moved into a social work learning and development role. My interest in improving practice learning from both the student and employer perspective led me to join a government Practice Learning Taskforce as a Change Agent for the West Midlands in 2002 to support the implementation of the Social Work Degree. This was an amazing experience and I had the opportunity to work regionally and nationally with employers and universities on projects, research and initiatives to improve the quality and supply of placements.
After the Taskforce finished, I obtained a position with Skills for Care and remained there until the end of 2017. Working in the national social work team on initiatives such as the Practice Educator Professional Standards, Quality Assurance for Practice Learning, ASYE and most recently the Knowledge and Skills Statement for Practice Supervisors was very rewarding and it’s good to see that those projects still have a place in social work today.
I was self-employed after leaving Skills for Care and had a number of contracts including working as a National Assessment and Accreditation Assessor and as an Independent Chair for Continuing Healthcare funding for NHS England.
I was thrilled to be offered the post of Partnership Programme Manager for the West Midlands Social Work Teaching Partnership. The role seems a natural progression for me and is an exciting opportunity to work directly with employers and universities on all facets of social work learning, development and education.
Our Programme Team is evolving. The Consultant Social Workers started at the beginning of July and I started in late June and we are all working hard to get to know partners, understand their priorities and embed a new structure to ensure we can be as efficient and effective as possible. I have enjoyed the first month and am looking forward to developing productive relationships and collaborative solutions with you all as the year progresses.
Cheryl Wall, Partnership Programme Manager, West Midlands Social Work Teaching Partnership