Kingston Upon Thames: Evaluating and Monitoring Social Worker Standards

Kingston Upon Thames: Evaluating and Monitoring Social Worker Standards

Carol Stewart of Chinara Enterprises has developed a template for the Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames to evaluate and monitor the Social Worker standards, this template is being used nationally.

Good social work can transform people’s lives and protect them from harm. In order to achieve consistently high outcomes for service users, social workers must have the skills and knowledge to establish effective relationships with children, adults and families, professionals in a range of agencies and settings and members of the public.

Social workers need to be confident, articulate and professional with highly developed listening, oral and written skills. They also need stamina, emotional resilience and determination.

Evidence submitted to the Social Work Task Force highlighted the need for a set of standards and supervision framework for all employers of social workers. These standards and framework set out the shared core expectations of employers which will enable social workers in all employment settings to work effectively. Good supervision has been shown to provide more consistent outcomes for children, adults and families.

The Standards for Employers and Supervision Framework build on existing guidelines for employers of social workers, and it is envisaged that these expectations will be incorporated within the emerging self-regulation and improvement framework for public services. The standards will inevitably then inform the revised inspection frameworks that will be aligned to this developing approach to public service regulation.

The standards apply to all employers and relate to all registered social workers that they employ, including managers and student social workers within the organisation. However, the landscape in which social work is delivered is changing. Social workers may be sourced through an employment agency, may provide their services as independent social workers on a locum or consultancy basis, and may be employed in the statutory, private, voluntary or independent sector, as well as in other organisations such as higher education institutions. Employment arrangements and responsibilities have become more complex but it is expected that these standards will be relevant to and adopted in all settings in which social workers are employed.

Employers should ensure that their systems, structures and processes promote equality and do not discriminate against any employee.

All employers providing a social work service should establish a monitoring system by which they can assess their organisational performance against this framework, set a process for review and, where necessary, outline their plans for improvement.

Newsflash Chinara Enterprises to deliver training programme for National Social Work campaign

Newsflash Chinara Enterprises to deliver training programme for National Social Work campaign

Come Back to Social Work launches today 6th September 

Chinara Enterprises Ltd is pleased to announce that we have been selected to develop a training and development programme for candidates who wish to return back to Social Work, having not practiced for over 2 years.

Chinara Enterprises has developed this programme in partnership with Making Research Count, (a project promoting knowledge-based practice among social workers based in the Social Care Workforce Research Unit at King’s College London) and The Reflective Practice Network Ltd.

[urcr_restrict access_role =”all_logged_in_users”]Carol Stewart Director of Chinara Enterprises Ltd and Director/Co-Founder of The Reflective Practice Network Ltd commented ” I am very excited that we have been chosen to develop and deliver this programme on behalf of The Local Government Association (LGA), Department for Education and Department of Health. Having worked in the Social Work profession for over 20 years, mainly in the area of workforce development, I know only too well the pressures that Social workers face. Many leave the profession because of the bureaucracy, lack of support and access to reflective supervision, lack of career progression, and general burnout. In recent years there has been an attempt to address some of these concerns, with a number of reforms in Social work policy and legislation, and there is still more to come.

There are many experienced professionals out there who I have met who do want to return but don’t know how to, and for them, this is a fantastic opportunity to access high-quality learning, as well as coaching, mentoring, and guidance on career development, as well as support to assist with HCPC re-registration.

I am very honoured to be working with MRC, who are leaders in the field of Social work policy and research, and RPN, who has been working with agency workers to provide reflective supervision, coaching, training and mentoring. “

Jan Carpenter Co-Founder/Director/Lead Coach of The Reflective Practice Network commented we’re really excited about this opportunity to make a positive impact on 30 returning social workers careers through a blended learning approach, including high-quality personal performance and career coaching.

The programme launches on Tuesday 6th September, and you can find out more by clicking on this link later on today

Please see below for the official press release from the Local Government Association


The Local Government Association (LGA), Department for Education and Department of Health are today launching a Come Back to Social Work campaign, to retrain both social workers for adults and children who have left the profession.

This programme will be crucial to increasing the number of experienced social workers at a time when vacancy rates are rising.

The Come Back to Social Work campaign is aiming to recruit 30 experienced social workers initially and is encouraging those interested to visit a jobs portal built by Jobsgopublic.

All applicants, whether successful or not, will have access to a personal development plan on the site for six months which will aim to help them with future applications. They will also be held in a talent pool which can be targeted by potential council employers.

Successful applicants will be informed later this month and will be provided with 13 weeks’ training to prepare them to re-register with the Health and Care Professions Council and be ready for work within councils from early 2017.

Latest figures show there were 1,700 vacancies for adult social workers in 2015 compared with 1,100 in 2014, up from 8 to 12 per cent of the workforce. The number of leavers increased from 12 to 13 per cent of the workforce between 2014 and 2015.

Vacancy rates for children’s social workers have increased by 15 to 17 per cent in the same period.

Cllr Izzi Seccombe, the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board Chairman, said:

“The shortage of experienced social workers is reaching crisis point. Many talented people have left or are leaving social work, and increased reliance on temporary workers is resulting in spiralling agency costs.

“It is experienced social workers who might take career breaks after seven years that we are particularly hoping to tempt back through this campaign.

“It’s easier than people think to come back to social work. This scheme will give 30 social workers the opportunity to retrain without cost. If you left social work between two and five years ago you may qualify for a place on the Come Back to Social Work pilot.

“We know that social workers are motivated by their passion for the profession and we hope to persuade those contemplating returning that they can definitely make a difference for people.”

Lyn Romeo, the Department of Health’s Chief Social Worker for Adults, said:

“This is an exciting time for social work as we refocus our efforts on working with people and their carers in their communities. Come Back to Social Work offers a fantastic opportunity to experienced social workers to be funded through intensive training. I want to welcome a strong cohort back into the profession to continue empowering people to lead the lives they want for themselves.”

Isabelle Trowler, Chief Social Worker for Children and Families, said:

“Those who have left social work to pursue other avenues still have a lot that they could offer to help improve the lives of our most vulnerable children, families and adults. The Come Back to Social Work pilot is a great way to help us learn how to overcome any perceived barriers to re-joining the profession and to encourage more former social workers to consider a return.”


Figures for vacancies for adult social workers:

Figures for vacancies for children’s social workers:

The Come Back To Social Work microsite will launch to applicants on 6 September and the deadline for submissions is 30 September. Its address is:

Case studies of people attempting to return to social work are available. Contact Neil Durham for details.


Neil Durham
Senior Media Relations Officer
Local Government Association
Phone: 020 7664 3359
Media office (for out of hours contact): 020 7664 3333
Local Government House, Smith Square, London SW1P 3HZ

Follow the LGA press office on


Chinara Enterprises chosen to deliver the Return to Social Work Programme in Partnership with Kings College on behalf of the Local Government Association

Chinara Enterprises chosen to deliver the Return to Social Work Programme in Partnership with Kings College on behalf of the Local Government Association

After successfully delivering the first Come back to Social Work programme for the  Local Government Association (LGA), which was developed and delivered in partnership with Making Research Count ( the Social Work research unit at Kings College ) and The Reflective Practice Network, Chinara Enterprises are extremely excited to announce that we have been chosen to deliver the national Return to Social Work programme for 2017-2018  which will look to retrain social workers for both adults and children who have left the profession.

[urcr_restrict access_role =”all_logged_in_users”]See highlights below from the previous programme:

Initially, 100 social workers across the West Midlands, East of England and London will be first to take part in this high-quality training programme. With social worker vacancy rates at their highest in four years, this programme is crucial to increasing the number of social workers in the sector.

Successful applicants will be provided with 15 weeks’ training to prepare them to re-register with the Health and Care Professions Council and be ready to return to practice work from early 2018.

This is an exciting time for Chinara Enterprises and our continued commitment to workforce and sector development.

For more information on the Return to Social Workers click here

Thank you for the continued support from all our Stakeholders.[/urcr_restrict]

Chinara Enterprises chosen to deliver the Return to Social Work Programme in Partnership with Kings College on behalf of the Local Government Association

My social work journey by Eloise

I joined the social work profession I was 19 years old. I was very naive at the time as to what actual ‘social work’ consists of in this generation. I applied for the social work course because I simply wanted to help others. For anyone who is a social worker, needless to say, social work is not that simple.

This desire to ‘help people’ is innate for me. I have never liked to see people in distress to put it simply and wanted to make a difference. I, therefore, don’t think I stumbled across social work, but rather social work stumbled across me (I know how cheesy that sounds). When I was 16 years old I was one of 40 people chosen in my school as part of a focus group to do a test that is designed to help students discover a profession that is conducive to their skills and capabilities, upon graduating. This is quite helpful for those of us who felt burdened by such a huge responsibility and had no idea what we wanted to do in the future. I am not sure if the test still exists, as I believe it was being trialled out, but social work came up as the number one suggested career for me.

I did not give social work much thought at the time. I was really focused on pursuing a career in performing arts. I had just applied for a BTEC in performing arts at sixth form prior to finishing school. That plan didn’t exactly work out. The sixth form made a last-minute decision to stop the BTEC course (for reasons I can’t remember) and requested we chose other subjects urgently. Among the subjects I chose was sociology, which was my favourite. For anyone who has studied sociology, you will be familiar with theories on Marxism, Feminism, and Functionalism; and the lists goes on. As dull as it sounds (or as dull as I make it sound) I was truly captivated by learning about sociological theories that seek to explain human behaviour. I am quite a curious person.

During my sixth form years, my stepmother got me some work experience with ‘Action for Children’. I was working on a ‘pinnacle project’ during the summer period. This was completely voluntary and I am smiling as I write this, because I am quite proud that I gave up my free time to commit myself to the project. I applied for self-development purposes. I knew that work experience would be helpful whilst applying to Universities. At this point in time, I was considering a career in social work but I was not 100% sure. The project was designed to support young boys from BME communities who had absent fathers. Being un-trained I did not have too much direct involvement with the boys but I did get to see first-hand some of the great work the project delivered. The most vivid memory I have is escorting the boys to the theatre to see ‘We Will Rock You’. I was informed by one of the support workers that none of the boys had been to the theatre before. Needless to say, they absolutely loved it, and were grinning from ear to ear.

Following this experience, and with some input from my stepmother – I chose a career in social work and therefore applied to do the course at University. When I started University I really struggled with the written word. I had poor critical thinking skills, and I had no idea how to do a proper plan for an assignment. It took me almost two years to develop these skills. Also, if I’m honest I was more focused on the social aspect of ‘uni life’, and my dedication to the course was lacking as a consequence. When my grandmother passed away during my second year at University it gave me a fresh perspective on what was important to me and graduating from University with a good degree was one of them. From that point onwards I channelled much of my energy into succeeding.


During my first year at University, I thought I would pursue a career in social work working with children and families. As a child of divorce, something I really struggled with personally, I believed that this would be an area of social work that would be most suited to me because it would help me to empathise with others (perhaps?). I quickly changed my mind. I have the utmost respect for anyone working with children and families, but at the time I was aware of the bad media coverage social workers received when I came across case studies such as the Baby P case. I immediately felt burdened by the enormity of pressure social workers face in front line practise working with children and families that I didn’t believe I would be able to handle.

My social work placements whilst at University ranged from working for The Prince’s Trust with young people not in education, employment or training (NEET); as well as a third sector drug and alcohol service (that lost its funding); working with young asylum seekers fleeing war-torn countries; and finally, in mental health, the forensic hospital where I worked with women on medium and low secure units. That was my final placement and in all honesty, the one I learned from and enjoyed the most.

When I graduated, I graduated with a 2:1 degree. Considering I was getting all D’S and C’S in my first and second year, and then getting A’s and B’s, I was proud of my achievements. When I graduated I embarked on a Balloon Kenya voyage (so to speak) now known as Balloon Ventures. My University gave scholarships to those of us who were lucky enough to get picked, to get involved in the 6-week social enterprise in Kenya that entailed helping to develop micro-businesses. 9/10 of the participants I worked with received funding to expand their business.

When I returned I found it impossible to get a job as a newly qualified social worker. Employers were looking for people with at least 1-2 years’ work experience. Whenever I was declined by an employer or agency I would think to myself – how the hell am I supposed to get work experience if you won’t give me any?

Eventually, I took an internship to try and get my foot in the door. The internship paid a basic wage but was designed to help graduates get positive work experience. I found myself working for a commissioner across a Tri-Borough in transition services for people between the ages of 16-25 with learning difficulties (LD). My employer was fantastic. I did not know much about transition services nor LD, but she wholeheartedly trusted me to get on with the work delegated to me and gave me plenty of learning opportunities. This helped me to develop my self-confidence and independence as a practitioner. It also demonstrated to me the importance of having a leader who has faith in their employees.

During this period of time, the Government were making changes to the Children and Families Act 2014 and also introduced the Care Act 2014. My role included helping Manager’s across transitional services in Education, Health and Social Care to implement the Legislation within the practice. When the internship (12 months) was drawing a close I had a wealth of knowledge on the Care Act 2014, which was shaping social work practice across the Country. Jobs were suddenly not hard to come across because of the expertise I had to offer, and social work was changing for everyone in the profession no matter how long you had been in the field for. I went for an interview with a Council (I won’t name) and got the job that same day. I was working in a community team that entailed complex casework and safeguarding adults.

What did I learn?

Social work is HARD!!!! and reliant on partnership working. People’s lives are complex and people have varying needs. Social workers have to shift their approach depending on the circumstances, and rigid practice that sometimes comes with policies, procedures, and budgets can be crippling. Having a good supervisor for support makes the world of difference. I have been really lucky to date that all of my supervisors have been approachable and taken the time to listen to me. I also had an AMAZING team. I say ‘had’ as I moved on to a different council after roughly 18 months where I now safeguard the elderly and review their care across residential and nursing homes. However, having a team ethic makes the world of difference, particularly when you feel like you are on the verge of a breakdown or suffering a panic attack – such as in my case. However, I have also learnt to be resilient, and I know that I have made a genuinely positive difference to the lives of others through care and grit. I have been fortunate that in the short span I have worked as a social worker I have been given the opportunity to submit a case study for the Social Care Institute for Excellence and provide training opportunities for my colleagues. I am also incredibly fortunate that I have met unbelievable people who share the same goal as me – to help others – and are doing so every day.


Written By:  Eloise Cromwell


Chinara Enterprises selected to review mentoring scheme for social workers

Chinara Enterprises selected to review mentoring scheme for social workers

We are pleased to have been chosen by The British Association of Social Work ( BASW) to undertake a review of their mentoring scheme for its social workers.

The scheme, which was launched in 2011, was originally set up to support newly qualified social workers, was extended to meet the needs of other social workers.

The scheme is now being reviewed to ascertain if members feel that mentoring is something they would like to access from BASW.

For more on this project and to take part in the survey, click on this link.