Social Work Students are set to benefit from a new partnership that will help transform the lives of our local community

Photo L-R: Professor Gillian Ruch (Head of Dept School of Education and Social Work, University of Sussex), Richard Cattell (Principal Social Worker for Adults, Brighton & Hove City Council), Jane Goldingham (Principal Social Worker for Adults, East Sussex County Council), Nicola McGeown (Principal Social Worker for Children, East Sussex County Council), Tom Stibbs (Principal Social Worker for Children, Brighton & Hove City Council), Sheena Cameron (SCRC Project Manager), and Cath Holmstrom (Deputy Head of School of Applied Social Science).

The South Coast Regional Centre for Education (SCRC), is a new formed partnership consisting of the University of Brighton, the University of Sussex, East Sussex County Council and Brighton & Hove City Council.

One of its key aims is to recruit and retain high quality social work graduates in the local area, equipping them with the skills and confidence to make a difference for children, adults and families in East Sussex, Brighton and Hove.

With a focus on delivering first class social work education on the frontline, students will practically benefit from ‘a one stop shop’ from this innovative social work education model of three hubs: Student Learning Hub, Professional Development Hub and The Research Hub.

Student Learning Hub

The Social Work Student Learning Hub offers enhanced teaching and placement opportunities for students to help best prepare them in their social work careers. A Professional Education Consultant (PEC) will be responsible for educating and contributing to the assessment of practice for 5-8 postgraduate level qualifying students whilst they are on placement. Students will be placed within teams – coming together as a learning hub with the PECs through group supervision and skills workshops. This new model will provide councils and their teams with additional support for practice educators and supervisors, in addition to bringing the added value that a group learning model will bring for students.

The Professional Development Hub (PDH)

The Professional Development Hub will focus on developing direct work grounded in day-to-day practice and be orientated to an innovative education and professional learning pathway.  There will be a number of strands of activity planned including the ‘Practitioners Who Teach’ programme to prepare practitioners for teaching on social work qualifying programmes and ‘Academics in Practice’ which will provide opportunities for academics from both Universities to reengage with frontline practice.

The Practice Research Hub (PRH)

The Practice Research Hub will embed research firmly in frontline practice and create a virtuous circle of education-practice-research. It will give practitioners the opportunity to engage in research that gives us an insight into current social work practice and the issues and challenges being faced by social worker’s today.  Practitioners will drive the questions to be answered by research and academics will support research activities that promote improvements in practice.

Cath Holmstrom, Deputy Head of School in the School of Applied Social Science at the University of Brighton said: “The recognition and funding provided by DfE for this initiative will support a genuine commitment on the part of the two local authorities and the two universities to provide excellent social work education and ongoing development opportunities to practitioners at all levels, as well as stimulating practice-led research. Running throughout the Teaching Partnership plans is a determination to ensure that our work has a positive impact upon the experiences of the many vulnerable members of our communities who require social work support or intervention”.

With the ever increasing demands on social workers to remain knowledgeable and ‘in the know’, the partnership opportunity presents an ideal environment for students to learn, develop, share new ideas and discuss new research that is relevant to the everyday work that they do.

For further information on University of Brighton Social Work courses click here

Wesley launches community enterprise | University of Brighton Alumni Association

Last week, Wesley Ankrah (Criminology and Sociology BA(Hons) 2012) formally launched his community interest company, Essential Living Future. Essential Living Future offers training programmes, work experiences and employment opportunities to engage with the communities where property developers are undertaking development projects.

Source: Wesley launches community enterprise | University of Brighton Alumni Association