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Return to Social Work Practice (RSWP) Programme

What is the process after I apply?

The diagram shows how to apply for the DCC’s Return to Social Work Practice (RSWP) programme. To start with, you must fill in an application form. The form will then be sent to the Workforce Development Service Manager to review and shortlist for an informal Interview. If you are invited to interview, you will meet the team who will be supporting you during the programme. You will also need to provide relevant ID, proof of address, qualifications, and previous registration details. The interview may include discussing previous work experience, any experience from your period of absence from practice, the type of role you hope to return to, working pattern, learning and development needs, and confirming there has been no previous Fitness to Practice restrictions. If successful and offered the role, the Recruitment Team will complete the usual pre-employment checks. Including a DBS check, Occupational Health Clearance, references, a ‘Voluntary Agreement’ to support the unpaid or ‘Voluntary’ route to Return to Social Work Practice; and as you are not registered with the SWE, you will be delegated work by a registered professional and work in a supernumerary capacity. If checks are okay, then you can start the RSWP placement.

Support during the programme

4 Children's Social workers sitting in group discussion together.It is important to us at Devon County Council that those returning to social work benefit from a positive and supportive learning experience and feel valued as part of the team. Therefore, managers, supervisors and practice educators will meet with you to ensure you receive the support and development needed.


You will:

  • Receive a comprehensive induction and relevant mandatory training before starting the programme (although this may vary depending on the route you take).
  • Receive E-learning, virtual training and face-to-face training.
  • Be assigned a practice educator who will provide support and advice as required throughout the programme.
  • Receive weekly supervision and caseload management meetings provided by a social worker.

How to re-registration with SWE

Follow the steps noted on the Social Work England (SWE) website on ‘How to apply to restore your registration.’

  1. You will need an account with SWE to start the process.
  2. To complete the application to restore your registration, you will need to provide the following information:
    • proof of any name changes that have occurred since you were last registered, such as a marriage certificate (this must be a certified colour copy)
    • details of the qualification that entitles you to join the register
    • evidence of updating your skills and knowledge (if you have left the register for more than two years)
    • Information about your employment since you left the register and any other regulators with whom you hold registration
    • details of any criminal convictions or cautions that you have not yet disclosed to SWE, the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), or the General Social Care Council (GSCC), except those that are protected
    • health conditions you have not yet disclosed to SWE, the HCPC or GSCC that could affect your practice as a social worker
    • details of any occasions where a regulatory body has investigated your fitness to practice
    • up- to-date evidence of your knowledge of English (in some circumstances).
  3. Your profession can be used towards your return to practice hours and used as evidence for registration with the SWE.

To apply for the programme

The image shows hands typing on a laptop with the words- to apply for the Return to Social Work Practice Programme, applications open on the 23rd of January. Applications are now open for the next intake of returnees.

To apply for a place on the Return to Social Work Practice (RSWP) programme starting in early April 2023, go to the application form (link below) and download the application form. Fill it in and return it to: by Sunday 12th February 2023.

Application form