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04 NOV 11

An evaluation report on the second year of the Newly Qualified Social Worker (NQSW) programme has been published.

The interim evaluation of NQSW for 2009-10 highlights progress two years in for the three-year project that was launched in 2008.

Designed by the Children's Workforce Development Council (CWDC) working with employers, the programme sets out how to ensure NQSWs receive consistent, high quality support and that those supervising are confident to provide support.

As part of the evaluation newly qualified social workers, supervisors and programme co-ordinators gave their views in long term online surveys as well as through focus groups and detailed organisational case studies.

Among the findings were:

  • NQSWs and their managers reported that the programme had made NQSWs more confident in their role and job satisfaction was high.
  • the majority of NQSWs who responded by the end of the survey were happy with the overall package of work, support and training that NQSW offered.
  • NQSWs particularly valued reflective supervision, a reduced caseload and peer support as key features of the first year.
  • Senior managers said they thought NQSW had led to an increase in the quality of applications for posts and that NQSWs had a better idea of what to expect in a career as a social worker.
  • Senior managers also saw NQSW as helping them to consolidate good practice and promote staff development through more formalized and systemic training.
  • Team managers said the programme was effective in raising the profile of supervision and Continuous Professional Development. They thought it made NQSWs more aware of the need for effective support in the crucial first year.
  • Where NQSWs were dissatisfied with the programme, the reasons were generally to do with the ways in which it was implemented in their organisation.

Keith Brumfitt, Director of Social Work at CWDC, said:

"The evaluation shows significant benefits of the NQSW programme as well as the challenges in implementing it.

"It is really positive that we have seen a significantly higher percentage of NQSWs expressing their satisfaction in the programme from the first year. We are also seeing managers endorsing the value of the programme and as a result  employers have been, and continue to be, committed to making this programme work.

"This evaluation and other learning from the NQSW programme will help us and Skills for Care in our work over 2011-12 in making recommendations for the Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE)."

The evaluation of the second year of NQSW can be accessed here. 

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