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Annual Review 2015

Social work training for a changing profession

Adapting training to meet the needs of the the vulnerable in our society.

The Research

The social work profession has adapted over time to meet the changing demands of societal pressures which impact on the most vulnerable in our society. Those changes require the workforce driving the profession to be equipped with the latest skills and knowledge, allowing them to provide excellent care and support to individuals and families across the country.

Driven by sector-leading research, the National Centre for Post-Qualifying Social Work (NCPQSW) at BU, led by Professor Keith Brown, is a crucial provider of the continuing professional development and training for already qualified social work practitioners. Their programmes equip social workers with the necessary skills and qualifications to make a positive contribution to practice with vulnerable citizens. As well as working with private providers, the Centre works with over half of the local authorities in England and is therefore fundamental in ensuring local authorities can fulfil their statutory responsibility of delivering social work provision to vulnerable individuals.

The Centre is recognised as a significant and trusted provider of such vital provision throughout the sector, and is now expanding its remit. The NCPQSW is currently collaborating with the Chartered Trading Standards Institute to develop a toolkit and an advice programme for professionals and family members who support those at risk from financial scamming in their own homes.

As a result, the NCPQSW is broadening its underpinning research to have an even wider reaching impact on society by providing advanced support for the social work profession across the country.

The Centre also continues to play a significant role in the field of Mental Capacity by providing Best Interest Assessors education under the Mental Health Capacity Act to over a third of the country, giving social workers the ability to provide the right kind of care to the people who need it.

The Academic

Professor Keith Brown, Director of the National Centre for Post-Qualifying Social Work 

My passion as an academic is to make a real difference to the lives of the most vulnerable citizens in our society. Over 15 years ago I started to develop Post Qualifying Social Work programmes for qualified social workers in order to help their professional development to work in the most complex and demanding situations within social work practice. Over the years we have grown to become the National Centre working with over half of the local authorities in England. We are well known as leaders in the fields of Approved Mental Health Professional practice, Mental Capacity and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards and we have produced the National Competency Framework for Safeguarding Adults which is used throughout the country.

As a team we take great pride in the impact of our work within society, and we are delighted to be currently working with the Chartered Trading Standards Institute and the National Financial Scamming team to research and develop best practice guidance to reduce the growing issue of financial scamming within our society. Our aim is to remain at the forefront of Social Work practice and development and to continue to make a real and significant difference in the way services are delivered to those in need.

The Impact

Kim Holmes, Chair, Learn to Care charity

The NCPQSW’s research, which is at the heart of the Centre’s work, has provided the social work profession with leading concepts and analysis which have advanced the field greatly. This is particularly important given both the changes to the profession concerning the integration of the health care and social work sectors, and the increasing pressures the sector is facing. The NCPQSW is a critical organisation for us at Learn to Care and for our members, as well as being an integral player in the social work profession across the country. It is a fundamental resource for local authorities in England as it equips their staff with the most up to date and necessary skills and qualifications, enabling them to provide the vital and excellent care which vulnerable citizens need.