Ny26
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Hi,

I'm interested in applying for the Step Up to Social Work course in 2020.

However, I wanted to gather more information on the course itself. I am wondering if this course is specifically tailored to those who wish to work with children or will the qualification allow you to work in other areas of social work such as mental health?

I am aware that Think Ahead is specifically for mental health social work, but I wanted to know if Step up the qualification gained with Step Up will allow you to work in this area also?
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Beccaroo10
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I believe that, whilst it's tailored to Children’s Social Work and intended to fill the skills gap here, the qualification gained is a PGDipSW and so there is a placement in Adult teams too. The qualification leads to HCPC registration which would cover both adults and children. Hope that helps! I’m thinking of applying for Step Up.
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cwaree
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Also thinking of applying. I'm currently a teacher and contemplating taking my career in a different direction. It's not that I don't enjoy being a teacher but I've been doing it for nearly 10 years and thinking about a new challenge. I've worked very closely with children's social workers and complex cases but wondering whether I'm slightly crazy for thinking of retraining?!?
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EmiMarie21
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I am wanting to apply in Feb ready for 2020, but I am still studying my ba hons so wondering if I will still be eligible to apply if I get my 2:1 by July?
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Beccaroo10
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(Original post by cwaree)
Also thinking of applying. I'm currently a teacher and contemplating taking my career in a different direction. It's not that I don't enjoy being a teacher but I've been doing it for nearly 10 years and thinking about a new challenge. I've worked very closely with children's social workers and complex cases but wondering whether I'm slightly crazy for thinking of retraining?!?
I wasn't sure if I wanted to teach or go into social work so can definitely see why both options would appeal to the same kind of person. I've left a different career to work in a social work team for a few months to decide whether teaching or social work is the best option for me and I’m fairly convinced that social work is the right route. Changing career and starting over has been a humbling and sometimes stressful experience and that's before I've even begun to qualify!

I’d love a job that merged safeguarding and pastoral care with teaching but I get the impression that most safeguarding leads / heads of year etc do it on top of a teaching timetable.
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Beccaroo10
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(Original post by EmiMarie21)
I am wanting to apply in Feb ready for 2020, but I am still studying my ba hons so wondering if I will still be eligible to apply if I get my 2:1 by July?
The site says you have to provide evidence of your qualification when you apply, which might affect your eligibility but I don't know for sure. I get the impression that Step Up is aimed at those already working in the social work field or similar areas. Frontline might be another option for you to consider too? Applications close next week, no harm in applying for both!
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Emma2885
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(Original post by EmiMarie21)
I am wanting to apply in Feb ready for 2020, but I am still studying my ba hons so wondering if I will still be eligible to apply if I get my 2:1 by July?
I am in the same position as you. I hope I can still apply.
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Lgm84
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(Original post by Ny26)
Hi,

I'm interested in applying for the Step Up to Social Work course in 2020.

However, I wanted to gather more information on the course itself. I am wondering if this course is specifically tailored to those who wish to work with children or will the qualification allow you to work in other areas of social work such as mental health?

I am aware that Think Ahead is specifically for mental health social work, but I wanted to know if Step up the qualification gained with Step Up will allow you to work in this area also?
Hello,

I’m on Step up now, the 2018 Cohort and am just a few weeks off finishing the course!
The course does guide you in the direction of children’s social work - the academic content is mainly around the Children Act (touching on adults and mental health very briefly) and both placements are in children’s (there wasn’t a choice with this) however the qualification is a PGDip in Social Work so it can be used in any of the fields. It’s just difficult to apply for adults and mental really! But you never know your luck! I think people on my course who want to do something different are planning to stick it out in children’s for a while and then move once they’ve “done they’re time”.
It’s been a great course though, it’s absolutely flown by. Feels like yesterday I was at the assessment centre and that was around 18 months ago!
People should definitely go for it!
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Emma2885
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(Original post by Lgm84)
Hello,

I’m on Step up now, the 2018 Cohort and am just a few weeks off finishing the course!
The course does guide you in the direction of children’s social work - the academic content is mainly around the Children Act (touching on adults and mental health very briefly) and both placements are in children’s (there wasn’t a choice with this) however the qualification is a PGDip in Social Work so it can be used in any of the fields. It’s just difficult to apply for adults and mental really! But you never know your luck! I think people on my course who want to do something different are planning to stick it out in children’s for a while and then move once they’ve “done they’re time”.
It’s been a great course though, it’s absolutely flown by. Feels like yesterday I was at the assessment centre and that was around 18 months ago!
People should definitely go for it!
Hi
My concern is that I am not going to be able to apply as I don't finish my BA Hons degree until June 2019. According to the gov website you need evidence of your 2:1 degree when you apply which is what I'm expecting to achieve. Do you by any chance know if I can still apply?
Thanks
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JLoPrice29
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(Original post by Lgm84)
Hello,

I’m on Step up now, the 2018 Cohort and am just a few weeks off finishing the course!
The course does guide you in the direction of children’s social work - the academic content is mainly around the Children Act (touching on adults and mental health very briefly) and both placements are in children’s (there wasn’t a choice with this) however the qualification is a PGDip in Social Work so it can be used in any of the fields. It’s just difficult to apply for adults and mental really! But you never know your luck! I think people on my course who want to do something different are planning to stick it out in children’s for a while and then move once they’ve “done they’re time”.
It’s been a great course though, it’s absolutely flown by. Feels like yesterday I was at the assessment centre and that was around 18 months ago!
People should definitely go for it!
Could you please tell me what the application process entails? From the course opening for applications online, to the assessment centre and anything inbetween? Wondering how to prepare for Jan 2020 applications 😊 Also do you get breaks/leave/half term? Thanks
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charbarks94
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I have been looking for someone who has applied already to give me a quick bit of info on what the application itself was like. I have found information about what to expect at the assessment but not on the main application. Of course i wouldnt turn down the opportunity for more information on any of it though!
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Lgm84
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(Original post by Emma2885)
Hi
My concern is that I am not going to be able to apply as I don't finish my BA Hons degree until June 2019. According to the gov website you need evidence of your 2:1 degree when you apply which is what I'm expecting to achieve. Do you by any chance know if I can still apply?
Thanks
Hello,

I’m not 100% sure on the answer to that but I have strong feeling that you do need the qualification already because on the very first assessment day we had to show all our certificates that made us eligible and once we had done that we were allowed to continue. I know there’s nobody on my cohort that came straight from doing a degree, they had all worked since studying. It might be worth you contacting Capita as they were the people who ran the recruitment when I did it.
Good luck!
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Lgm84
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(Original post by Daisybat29)
Could you please tell me what the application process entails? From the course opening for applications online, to the assessment centre and anything inbetween? Wondering how to prepare for Jan 2020 applications 😊 Also do you get breaks/leave/half term? Thanks
Hi,

i cant remember the application form itself very much as that’s a distant memory but I remember it being not one of the hardest applications I’ve done and not the easiest. Think there’s a few questions where you give examples of a time when you’ve done certain things.
Once the application was done there were three different stages (3 different days) that I had to get through before being offered the place. I do think all this differs according to the area of the country you’re in though. I’m sure not everywhere is the same.
Each region has its a partnership of local authorities that have all signed up to take on the students and I think they decide as a partnership what they assessment process is going to look like.
I think everyone quite enjoys it though and there were no tasks that anyone couldn’t do I would say. It’s just that in each one you’ll be able to show off your skills and knowledge really!

You don’t really get any proper breaks apart from a little bit in the summer which actually seemed fine. Some people have taken time off because they already had things booked and then if this took days out of their placement then they just had to make them up so they completed the 70 or 100 days. You get bank holidays off and you negotiate with your placement how much time you want off over Xmas, bearing in mind you’ll have to make up for it! Somehow it all works out fine in the end.
Good luck!
Last edited by Lgm84; 1 year ago
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cee33dee
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I was part of the Cohort 3 Step Up programme (completed in 2015), and was part of the West London Alliance cohort. I thought I'd respond to a few of the questions as I know I used Student Room when i was applying.

ASSESSMENT DAY: In terms of assessment day that i took part in, it was one-day assessment with four parts: written task, group task, role play and interview. After each task, you were given a sheet to reflect on how you approached the task, what you did well in and how you could improve. Social Work training and practice is very reflective-focused and so you need to demonstrate that you can reflect meaningfully on yourself and your actions.

MAKE-UP OF THE COURSE: there was big variety in people's background, and we did have some on my course who came straight form university (whether BA or MA), but the majority had some level of work experience.

BREAKS ON THE COURSE: When I did the course, we did have weeks here and there to have time off - usually around easter, christmas and before and after placements. I was able to move a couple weeks together and go to Asia for a couple weeks in the summer which was needed as the course is intense.

PLACEMENTS: the course is mainly geared toward Children's Services work, but there were many on my course who went on to work in adults after a couple of years in Childrens Services. We had three placements: a 30 day child-focused placement (mine was in a school), a 70 day adult focused placement (mine was in a community based drug and alcohol center) and a 100 day children's services placement (mine in an assessment team).

I'll try check this thread again if people have any other questions
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Jamul
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Can I just ask about the assessment centre. Where is it? Are there multiple centres around the country? Thanks for the answers to the questions too.
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Lgm84
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(Original post by Jamul)
Can I just ask about the assessment centre. Where is it? Are there multiple centres around the country? Thanks for the answers to the questions too.
Each area has a group of local authorities who are all signed up to take students and everyone who applies to one of the LA’s in that area goes to an assessment centre somewhere fairly central in the area. So you won’t have to travel far. I travelled about an hour and I would say I was the furthest away.
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Jamul
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Thanks for that. Looking really forward to it.
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come-as-you-are
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Could you outline the roughly the weekly commitment,
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neelab
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I’m so glad I’ve seen this post! I’m a mum of two primary aged children and am wondering whether anyone else was a mum and completed this course? Was it doable? What were the hours like? I’m concerned about pick up and drop offs. Thanks!

(Original post by Lgm84)
Hello,

I’m on Step up now, the 2018 Cohort and am just a few weeks off finishing the course!
The course does guide you in the direction of children’s social work - the academic content is mainly around the Children Act (touching on adults and mental health very briefly) and both placements are in children’s (there wasn’t a choice with this) however the qualification is a PGDip in Social Work so it can be used in any of the fields. It’s just difficult to apply for adults and mental really! But you never know your luck! I think people on my course who want to do something different are planning to stick it out in children’s for a while and then move once they’ve “done they’re time”.
It’s been a great course though, it’s absolutely flown by. Feels like yesterday I was at the assessment centre and that was around 18 months ago!
People should definitely go for it!
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Sunflowerbrain
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Hi, to those who have been on the programme and/or currently on. Do you know if you were able to apply for any other grants, bursaries or loans whilst on the programme? I’ve just got a mortgage and I know living on the amount divided by the 14 months will be hard. Also do you continue to learn for the whole 14 months? I heard the two extra months after the year is used for registering with the hcpc

also how many days are spent studying at university vs in your local authority ?

Thanks !
Last edited by Sunflowerbrain; 11 months ago
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