Latest news

March 2019

World Social Work Day is Tuesday 19 March 2019.  Event taking place at Buckfast Abbey Conference Suite. All places now full.  See our sharepoint page regarding the event.

Give Me Strength Seminar

The Student Faculty

Information on the Social Work Ba OU bursary scheme will appear here in May.

If you are interested in applying for the bursary scheme, please ensure that you have the full entry requirements, the agreement and support of your manager. They need to be aware of the impact on the team when students start this demanding course. There is plenty of guidance on placement on the Academy’s website and the course details on the OU website. Both accessed here:

OU Social Work Training

Step Up to Social Work

Devon County Council’s Children’s Academy has supported six places in the most recent cohort, and these students have now completed their training successfully.  They are now holders of a Post-Graduate Diploma in Social Work and are about to commence their ASYE program.  We are very proud of this group who have survived exams, deadlines, essays and gruelling assessment whilst  excelling in their 14 month course.  They have had varied placement experiences including Permanence and Transition, Initial Response, Fostering and Disabled Children’s teams. They had a celebration day at Exeter Racecourse on the 7th March and we in the Academy say WELL DONE.

The next Cohort for Step-Up is open for applications until 18th March 2019. This Post Graduate Diploma course is run and funded by the Department for Education. It is a very intense, full-time course that provides students with a Social Work Qualification on completion. To qualify you will need to have an existing Undergraduate degree in a related subject at 2:1 or above and have experience in working with people. The applications window is from 4/2/19 – 18/3/2019. Potential candidates can find information about the course, the entry requirements and application process here:

Step-up Program


Awareness Months, Weeks and Days

This month we have some important Awareness Days for disadvantaged people world wide;

We also had Pie Week…..

Self Harm Awareness Day is on the 1st March. Self-Injury Awareness Day is on the 1st of March every year, as it has been for eighteen years or more. SIAD is an international event that is recognised across the globe. Life SIGNS is proud to have supported Self-Injury Awareness Day since we launched in 2002, and we’re the number one resource for SIAD material.

Raising awareness about self-injury is incredibly important. Awareness leads to understanding and empathy, banishing judgment and fear, and reducing the number of people who feel alone and suffer in silence.

Raising awareness is about educating people who do not self-injure, and reaching out to people who do.

Self Harm Awareness Day


International Women’s Day International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8 every year. It is a focal point in the movement for women’s rights. After the Socialist Party of America organized a Women’s Day on February 28, 1909, in New York, the 1910 International Socialist Woman’s Conference suggested a Women’s Day be held annually.

International Women’s Day


World Social Work Day. 19th March. Not enough is made of the positive relationships and outcomes social workers are part of every day. It’s hard to share the positive stories because they are not ours to share. They are often incredibly private and should remain so. Even so, we can and should do more to highlight those stories that can be told, and World Social Work Day is a great opportunity to do so.

World Social Work Day

International Day for the elimination of Racial discrimination. 21st March. The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on 21 March. On that day, in 1960, police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa, against the apartheid pass laws.

International Day for the elimination of Racial Discrimination

Also on the 21st March is World Down Syndrome Day. Often the term is misspelt as Down’s syndrome. The correct term is Down syndrome after a

World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) is observed on 21 March every year. … The WDSD website is a hub of activity taking place around 21 March each year. … People all over the world wear socks, t-shirts or brightly coloured clothing to draw attention to 21 March. The Down Syndrome Association states ‘All people with Down syndrome must have opportunities to live fulfilling lives, included on a full and equal basis with others, in all aspects of society’. There will be special events at the UN in New York and Geneva and the DSA will be joining the DSi and other organisations, families and communities around the world to say that society needs to make sure that we #LeaveNoOneBehind.

World Down Syndrome Day


Interfaith dates – calendar of events and festivals available here Interfaith Calendar

ASYE Program 

Cohort 21, 22 and 23 are under way! The largest group, 21 are fast approaching their 6 month reviews and are really settling into the Social Work role.

Cohort 24 will start in May and we anticipate this to include our 6 recently completed Step-up students. Details of the induction will appear here.


Social Work Practice Education

The Introduction to Practice Learning (IPL) is aimed at Social Workers interested in supporting students as a Placement Supervisor. The next group of students wont start until November 2019 so we will be running this 2 day course again at the end of the summer. The IPL workshops form the first level of the new Practice Education Pathway.  If you are interested please discuss with your manager and then apply with their support here;

For further details of supporting students follow this link Practice Education Pathway.

Practice Educator program; Our 11 experienced Social Workers who started the Graduate Certificate in Practice Education (GCPE) have now completed their training and submitted essays. They are waiting on the result of Module one. Sime have already started working with their student and others are about to do so. Good Luck to you all.

Call for your thoughts! – The Practice Educator Professional Standards are being reviewed by BASW. Two live events (webinars) have taken place on the 13th and 27th November. We are waiting for the results of the consultation and draft of the refreshed PEPS . Information here BASW’s PEP’s Link

Children’s Social Work BAME group;

BAME GROUP within the Social work Academy is in its early stages of development. Meetings take place every 3 months in different locations across the county to enable and encourage maximum involvement.

The Aims and Objectives of the group;
• To create a safe and supportive environment by means of having a confidential group supervision time to share their experiences.
• Advocacy for any BME issues in particular with DCC.
• A reflective group to look at issues BME SU’s/SW’s might face.
• To invite speakers/parties of interest to the group which are approached by all members to attend.
• To meet every three months with venue decided by the group.

Further information please contact Penn on


Next Meeting 21st February 2019 from 11- 4pm:

This meeting is at Taw View in Barnstaple

South West Group will meet;

Next meeting- Friday 8th of March 2019 10 -3:30pm in Plymouth; Ballard House, Room 1C, West Hoe Road, Plymouth PL1 3BJ.

Please confirm your attendance by emailing

There is very limited free parking spaces, so please be prepared to pay to park. This will then later be refunded by your LA.

Tea and coffee will be provided.

For further information please contact Tom Taylor.

Childrens Social Work in the Media

There is lots of activity on Twitter this month including Social Work England who is working to launch in 2019 as the new regulator of the social work profession in England. The organisation will operate at an arm’s length from government in order to be adaptable to changing demands. Its principle roles will be:

• Developing and maintaining a regulation framework for social workers
• Setting professional and educational standards
• Promoting public confidence in the social work profession

Hemingway Design have been appointed to develop a visual identity to communicate the mission of Social Work England and convey its personality as an organisation. They have created a questionnaire to gather insight that will be used to inform the values and narrative behind the design.

Help shape the future of an organisation that will represent all social workers across the country. HERE:

Social Work England

BASW are calling for the experiences of Social Workers who work with children with Special Educational Needs; particularly your views and insight in this area of Social Work.

You can find out more here;

BASW SEND Research