Since it’s inception, over 70 newly qualified social workers (NQSWs) have passed through the Hampshire’s support programme, developed in partnership with iESE. The programme sought to address some of the recurring and difficult issues with recruitment and retention of social workers around the country.
An urgent need was identified to support NSQWs through the difficult transition from academic study to become capable, confident and skilled social workers, against a backdrop of heavy caseloads, high vacancy rates and budget constraints. Stress related absence and drop-out rates were one of the highest and most costly in the country. Something needed to change to ensure that social workers were supported.
iESE worked with Hampshire County Council and Isle of Wight council to develop and implement a programme of support for NQSWs. This involved eight modules, over six months covering including a range of case clinics facilitated by practice educators for NQSWs to reflect upon individual case work issues.
This tailored package of support reduced NQSW drop outs (to only one on the year following the implementation), increased applications and hass led to a team being implemented to manage the project.