Fast-track programme offers talented graduates rewarding careers in child and family social work

Graduates and career changers will be given hands-on experience through a fast-track programme to train the next generation of social workers

Mar 1 2019

Councillor Keith Mans, Deputy Leader and Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services at Hampshire County Council, said: “Children’s social workers are essential in supporting vulnerable children, young people and their families to overcome the difficulties they are facing and help them to avoid reaching the point of crisis that can lead to children having to be cared for by the local authority for short or extended periods of time. 

“With rising demands  on children’s services, we continue to invest heavily in children’s social care, particularly in recruiting additional staff and their professional development, so that we have the capacity to work with vulnerable families at an early stage, long before they reach crisis point.”

Step up to Social Work trainees can expect to learn and achieve their diploma through a combination of in-work and university experiences. On completion, the diploma will allow graduates to register and practice as a social worker, making a difference by nurturing relationships within families during difficult times, protecting children and helping them to stay safely with their family. 

The programme runs every two years, with more students qualifying as social workers each time. Applications should be submitted by 18 March 2019. Successful, initial applications will be followed by regional assessments. Students who are selected for the programme will start in January 2020, and complete their training in March 2021.

Candidates are eligible to apply if they have a 2:1 degree (for example, with honours), or a 2:2 plus a higher degree, which can include a Master’s degree or a Postgraduate Certificate in Education, in a discipline other than social work. They should also have the equivalent of a GCSE Grade C in maths and English, and experience of working with children, young people or families.

The programme is backed nationally by £25 million from the Government, from which successful candidates will receive a bursary of £19,833 to support them while they are training.

This will be the sixth group of child and family social workers to train through the Step Up to Social Work programme in England. Nationally, more than 1,100 trainees have qualified through the programme since 2012, and a further 500 are set to complete this spring. To date 25 have qualified in Hampshire.

More information about applying to Step Up to Social Work can be found online: