Practice educators are considered some of the unsung heroes of the social work profession, growing and nurturing the future generations of social workers. We are keen to find social workers with a practice educator qualification who is up for the opportunity to offer a student social worker a very rich and rewarding practice placement opportunity.
The Department of Education wants more statutory placements to be offered because student social workers need more experience in assessing, planning and managing risk. A student can co-work a case with their practice educator on specific tasks and manage a couple of cases of their own with a practice educator’s oversight.
We recognise the hard work that goes into Practice education where they teach, supervise and assess student social workers on their placements during training to become a social worker. The emphasis being to improve standards in social work education, and there maybe times where a student is not suitable for practice.
In Birmingham Children’s Trust we aim to support the growth of practice education across the Trust where it has become a part of the career pathway for social workers. Social workers completing their ACFP programme at the end of year two are offered placements for a funded opportunity to become a Practice Educator level 2 in their third year in the Trust. Each year applications are also open to wider staff members wishing to join in building a secure support network for students joining the Trust.
We work closely with Keele University to provide a double award opportunity to gain the practice educator level 2 qualification. This 14 month programme requires a practice educator in training to have two student opportunities over the learning period which is organised and supported by the Practice Academy. Each Practice educator in training is assessed within house to ensure skills and knowledge are developed in line with the PEPs for student placements.
The Academy also offer a host of supports to all Practice educators creating a community of practice, hosting regular practice forums to share learning and resources.
In order to support Practice educators, we offer
- Regular support and training through monthly Practice Educator forums run by the Practice Academy
- Placement Fee payment between £300 to £750 (for 100 day placements - £300 for PE1, £750 for PE2 taking full responsibility for a student, £500 for long-arm PE role)
- Two toil days for PE2’s hosting a final year student, and one day toil for PS hosting a final year student
- A fully funded professional development opportunity to undertake a practice educators award if you do not already hold this award at Stage One or Two/Practice Teacher Award. You must have at least two years post qualifying experience, more than 12 months permanent employment with BCC/BCT, have passed the probationary period.