Jersey Training Social Workers

26th July 2018

Jersey will train up its own social workers from next September.

A new degree course will be taught at Highlands College, in partnership with the University of Sussex.

It’s aimed at better protecting the welfare of the island’s most vulnerable children and young people – which was recommended in the Jersey Care Inquiry.

Education Minister, Senator Tracey Vallois, says having another option will help both students and the wider community.

“I think there are a lot of people that would like to be involved in social work, but can’t necessarily do that because of family commitments and having to stay on island.

“Having this social work degree on island means they’ll be able to access this and possibly make a huge career of it and also assist the States in supporting vulnerable people.”

The University of Sussex will co-teach the course with a local team of lecturers for the first three years of the course.

It will start from September 2019, meaning Jersey will have its first group of locally-trained and qualified social workers in the summer of 2022.

Highlands Principal, Steve Lewis, says the lecturers are already well-versed on the care inquiry and the impact that has had.

“It’s quite interesting that they already knew about the Child Care Inquiry and the report and they’d already been using that with theirs students as a piece of research and academic study.

“That was the in to it. To have now got to a point when, over the next year we can redevelop the course ready for students to start in September 2019, is absolutely fantastic.”

The States is investing £686,000 in recruiting, developing and delivering the course over the next four years.

There’s between 12 and 20 places on the course and applicants have to be from Jersey or Guernsey.

You also have to be over 18 and have the equivalent of 3 A levels at grades B, B & C or above.

The course is open to school leavers and mature students.

“There is a £116,000 fund for four years to train social workers currently employed in the voluntary and statutory sectors to be Practice Educators so that they can mentor and assess trainee social workers in the workplace.

“The course consists of a 14 week placement in the second year and a 20 week placement in the third year and, to give on-island students the opportunity to experience training either in Guernsey or on the South Coast of England, there will be a bursary fund of £240,000 to cover travel and living expenses.” – Steve Lewis – Highlands Principal

Dr. Russell Whiting, Course Convener, BA in Social Work and incoming Head of Department at the University of Sussex, says he’s thrilled to partner up with Jersey.

“Social work colleagues at Sussex are enthusiastic to be involved in this opportunity to support ‘home grown social work’ in Jersey.

“We are keen that Jersey colleagues will be able to shape the course to meet local requirements but at the same time will seek to ensure that course bears the hallmarks of our social work degree – with high standards for admission to a course which emphasises relationship-based practice, is taught predominantly in small groups and draws on the latest research in practice.”

Rose Parkes, who is currently the programme leader for the BA in Social Work at the University of Hertford, has been appointed as the Course Leader Designate and will be starting at UCJ in the Autumn and will be to begin the process of recruiting students to the course.

*Stock image.

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