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Return To Social Work Case Study

Return To Social Work Programme Case Study

The Challenge

As part of the £5 million fund set aside by the Minister of State for Apprenticeships, Skills and Women, to help people return to work after a long career break; The Local Government Association (LGA) were tasked with building upon the success of it’s Come Back To Social Work pilot, to deliver it as a national programmed called the Return To Social Work Programme, working in partnership with the Department of Health and the Department for Education, in an attempt to get 100 experienced social workers back into the adult’s and children’s social work profession in London, the West Midlands and the East of England.

In order to meet the increasing demand and cut recruitment costs for councils, reduce the need for agency staff, and bring passionate people back into the profession, the Return to Social Work programme offered councils a free and simple way to hire experienced social workers without the cost or time required to run a recruitment campaign themselves.

The aim of the programme was to carefully select qualified social workers who were on a career break, with a minimum of two years’ experience who had been out of the field for no more than five years, and provide them with a free, high quality 12-week training programme to support them meet the requirements to re-register with Social Work regulator and return to practice.

The Return to Social Work programme will equip you with the skills to ensure you’re at the forefront of social work knowledge, then give you the expertise to excel in an interview and secure a role within a council that you really want

Lyn Romeo

The Solution

Chinara Enterprises were commissioned to create a high quality 12-week training programme to be delivered across three regions of England, facilitating and managing the training and learning development of 100 social workers, providing them with hands-on work placements, plus coaching and mentoring, in order to prepare the social workers to return to practice.


This included:

  • Organising logistics for classroom based teaching across 3 regions
  • Developing an effective streamlined recruitment and selection process in order to screen the correct potential candidates to partake on the programme
  • Working with tutors from Making Research Count , the social work research unit at King’s College London, along with their associates across the UK from partnered Universities to create a blended learning programme, that takes into account a wide range of learning styles that meets the needs of the learners at various stages of their learning and development skillset
  • Structuring the learning experience of the programme, so that it provided development activities that the candidates could engage within, such as action learning sets and group reflective supervision, facilitated by practice educators.
  • Organising supervised practice for each candidate, which enabled them to gain real life work experience with a local council, and to transfer some of their learning into practice, as well as providing employers with an opportunity to assess their potential for any future vacancies.
  • Providing coaching and Mentoring reflective peer service to each candidate, to help the participants identify their career, learning, personal and professional goals whilst developing their personal and professional resilience.
  • Creating an effective measurable assessment process to track and review the progression of the learning and development of each candidate, allowing for the candidates final portfolios to be presented to a quality assurance panel for their feedback and sign off, enabling each successful candidate to re-register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

The Results

The launch of the Local Government Associations Return to Social Work programme carried out across three key regions within the UK, scaled up from the previous Come Back to Social work programme, turned out to be a success.

Following the initial Come Back to Social Work pilot in 2016, which saw 93% of the 30 candidates successfully finding employment upon completion of the programme, after doubling the number of candidates for the Return to Social Work campaign, 87% out of the 60 participants of this programme returned back to social work upon completion of the scheme.

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