Shaping the Future: Making a successful transition from student to social worker

What’s it like for a social work student leaving university and making the transition into the world of work as a newly qualified social worker (NQSW)?

B78rbTuCYAAO65hGlasgow Caledonian University, in partnership with the SSSC, Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services (IRISS), the Scottish Association of Social Workers (SASW), Social Work Scotland and the Scottish Government,  recently hosted a conference for final year social work students and NQSWs from across Scotland.  As well as providing an opportunity to network and engage in discussion about this important transition, the conference provided an opportunity to inform the review of the social work degree.

The purpose of the conference was to:

  • provide an opportunity for students and NQSWs to debate and inform the future direction of social work
  • increase knowledge of what supports a successful transition from student to practitioner
  • increase understanding of what type of learning culture supports social work practitioners.

Over 150 final year students as well as NQSWs from across Scotland gathered to share information and experience with the aim of helping to shape the future direction of social work.

A diverse range of workshops enabled participants to hear about a range of approaches to supporting NQSWs, and created a space to think about their developing professional  identity.

sw1Leading figures in social work presented on some of  the opportunities and challenges facing newly qualified social workers, including:

  • Alison Petch , Director, IRISS
  • Alan Baird Scottish Government Chief Social Work Adviser
  • Martin Kettle, Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Mairi-Anne Macdonald, SSSC Director of Sector Development
  • Harry Stevenson, President, Social Work Scotland.

Participants evaluated the conference positively and their feedback will shape the future. Find out more about the day here:

Along with our partners, we will continue to support future conferences for final year social work students and NQSW and are planning further regional conferences in north, east and west Scotland later in the year.

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