Donna Chapman, Placements Workstream Local Authority Lead, Shropshire County Council
‘Placements’ – just hearing the word will make most people involved in the coordination of them shiver. So what’s the deal here, why are placements so important and what can we all do collectively to support the growth of placements, growth both in terms of quality and capacity?
Strengthening placement quality and increasing the capacity of placements is a key outcome for the West Midlands Social Work Teaching Partnership (WMSWTP). The quality of a placement and the opportunities it offers to a student will have an impact on the students transfer of learning from the classroom to the front line and readiness to practice as a social worker. Securing a statutory placement for a student is recognised as advantageous to a student’s growth and development, in terms of skill development, knowledge and experience.
A recent survey of placement need and capacity evidenced that we require a wide scale campaign to engage new, existing and inactive practice supervisors and practice educators. The current need for placements outweighs the supply on offer by our statutory partners across Local Authorities and Trusts.
The placements workstream is currently working on:
Exploration of student units
Development of split placements guidance
Exploration of regional student guidance and paperwork
Collation of all placement dates to produce a placements calendar
As a result of this work, a number of pieces of guidance and supporting documents will be developed, please look out for these.
The WMSWTP intend to deliver a number of Practice Educator Conferences in the Autumn to explore the issues of practice education locally, informed by the NOPT Conference. More details to follow.
To grow the number and quality of placements we need you. Dates for training are now available across the WMSWTP, to become a practice supervisor, educator or to refresh your knowledge. If you are interested in joining in the placement growth strategy, please speak to your manager and contact Maria Day (Maria.Day@coventry.gov.uk) to express your interest.
The WMSWTP intend to deliver a number of Practice Education Conferences, to explore the issues of practice education locally. Further details will be posted on the website soon.