Why you should start your social work career in Oxfordshire

Did you know that Oxfordshire has a Social Work Academy that helps budding children’s social workers get on the job experience that puts the finishing touches to the learning that makes them a fully-fledged professional?

Social workers have the chance to get their career off to the very best start by applying to join Oxfordshire’s assessed and supported year in employment programme (ASYE).

Newly qualified social workers who come to Oxfordshire County Council aren’t just joining a fantastic children’s social care team (rated as Good by Ofsted) – they’re gaining access to the very best professional development and career opportunities.

The newly launched Social Work Academy brings together inspiring, cutting edge training and industry-leading research for Oxfordshire’s social workers. It is designed to make the county a centre of excellence for children’s social care, improve outcomes for children and families, and make the county a place where social workers can excel and grow – just like two of the county council’s deputy directors who started out at the council as a social worker and as a team manager.

Lucy Butler, Director for Children’s Services, said: “We want our newly qualified social workers (NQSWs) to stay and grow their careers with us. That’s why we have developed a pioneering induction and assessed and supported year in employment (ASYE) programme, to demonstrate right from the start how much we value our staff”.

It’s also why NQSWs will be recruited into specific roles that they’ve chosen and applied for.

“The council doesn’t do one-size-fits-all training – it’s all about you,” says trainee social worker Crispin (surname?). “I am challenged in a positive way to realise my potential at this early stage in my career. I am supported within the team, giving me the vision to see obstacles as an opportunity to grow in a positive direction.”

The council recognises that starting a career in frontline social work can be daunting so we give NQSWs a foundation of knowledge and support that helps them bridge the gap between learning and practise.

One-to-one support

All newly qualified social workers are provided with an intensive, six-week induction to enable them to find their feet, get to know colleagues and shadow teams across our service.

Throughout the first year staff receive one-to-one support to ensure progress is on track, as well as receiving support and feedback from a group of colleagues. They receive all the learning and development they need to prepare them for a career in children’s social work.

“I enjoy working for Oxfordshire County Council because it is like a family – we stick together and work as a team,” says social worker Charlotte (surname). “We look out for one another and that’s what makes our jobs that little bit easier.”

The council’s Social Work Academy also has close ties with Oxford’s two universities, with academic staff delivering some training. The academy supports all students to have a quality placement experience and strongly encourages them to apply for the ASYE year.

The place to be

The council’s social work bases at Oxford, Bicester, Banbury, Didcot and Witney are all well connected by major roads and public transport. Both London and Birmingham are also just an hour away by train from Oxford.

So, if you’re a student or simply keen to find out more about getting into children’s social care, please get in touch at workforus@oxfordshire.gov.uk.

Oxfordshire takes NQSWs onto its ASYE programme in April, July and October every year. Get your social work career off to the very best start – apply to join Oxfordshire’s ASYE programme today

What the council offers newly qualified social workers

– Training tailored to the individual– A role of your choice during your ASYE– One-to-one support to help staff realise their potential– Teams that look out for each other

– A role of your choice during your ASYE

– One-to-one support to help staff realise their potential

– Teams that look out for each other