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Social Care Academy Launched in Cambridgeshire

20 November 2023

A new initiative aimed at nurturing and developing social care skills in Cambridgeshire has been launched.

Cambridgeshire Academy for Reaching Excellence (CARE) is a new approach launched by Cambridgeshire County Council to support learning and develop talent within our children’s social worker and social care practitioner workforce.

The new Social Care Academy aims to improve outcomes for children and young people through support and training being offered for social work students and apprentices, international practitioners, experienced social workers and those in leadership positions.

It comes at a time when across the country Local Authorities are facing a shortage of social workers. CARE is part of Cambridgeshire County Council’s local solution to a national issue. The Academy will have the capacity to support the development of around 70 people in the children’s workforce at any one time. This is seen as a long-term investment to deliver excellent outcomes for children and young people of Cambridgeshire and to enable opportunities for them to thrive.

It will drive forward a culture change where everyone is valued and experiences kindness and compassion. The focus is on growing people and supporting colleagues to create a more stable workforce.

The training model will include fundamental knowledge and skills through to tailored courses and programmes, giving participants the chance to specialise in a team they feel best supports their career choices.

This supports our ways of working while also embedding the ambitions for a greener, fairer and more caring Cambridgeshire.

Bryony Goodliffe, Chair of Children and Young People's Committee said: “We are going to make sure that Social Workers and social care practitioners at all levels in our Children’s Social Care teams are being equipped to do their jobs to the highest standards from the moment they join us.”

“It is really important for us to provide high-quality support, advice and protection so that we offer better outcomes for Cambridgeshire children, young people and their families.”

“A joint investment from the Council and the DfE will see a total of over £1m made available to support the academy during its first year.”

The council is preparing to welcome social work colleagues who are joining them from overseas as part of the academy’s first cohort of learners. They will be joined by newly qualified social workers undertaking their assessed and supported year in Employment Programmes and employees who are training as social workers via the Social Work Apprenticeship.

Lauren Hayes, a newly qualified Social Worker said: “During my first-year training as a newly qualified social worker, I was supported by a dedicated team. Cambridgeshire offered me opportunities to develop my knowledge and network with other professionals. I found I was valued as someone coming into the profession as I was ‘up to date’ with the most recent learning.”

“As a newly qualified Social Worker the Academy has come at the perfect time, and after completing my ASYE programme I was left wondering where I would go next. I am excited as I feel the academy will not only offer a dedicated space to newly qualified social workers, but it will allow me to develop my training and offer opportunities for continual growth and professional development.”

For more information on Cambridgeshire’s new academy, watch the video below, or visit:

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