Newcastle has been fully engaged with North East Social Work Alliance (NESWA) from the outset. As a local authority we have longstanding working relationships with the universities involved in the partnership, therefore it was a natural progression for us to join. We view NESWA as being an excellent opportunity for partnership working and a way of strengthening our commitment to social work development. We have taken a pivotal role in the partnership by committing our time to all areas of the alliance.

In Newcastle we value social workers from the outset, offering good quality social work placements to a number of universities, as we see this brings quality and diversity to the workforce. We have a successful ASYE scheme, offering support and development time and opportunities to our Newly Qualified Social Workers. Our commitment to social work development is clear to see, we invest funding in our social workers’ development via post-qualifying academic study. Social workers are encouraged to start on this pathway at local universities right from the ASYE stage. We have invested in a social work resource package subscription so that social workers can evidence their practice and expand their knowledge

We are fully committed to the social work profession, all our managers are social work qualified all the way up to the director. We are an outward looking local authority, keen to learn from others and their experiences. We have taken part in the new fast-track qualifying routes, whilst maintaining our commitment to the traditional qualifying routes. We are aware that social work is enriched through new knowledge and research and we have systems in place to work with researchers. Our social work staff are involved in developing the regional social work programmes, contributing to teaching and sitting on interview panels.

Back in the workplace when things are not working, we have social work forums for practitioners where social workers and can raise issues and discuss practice issues with managers.

We see our workforce as a reflection of the vibrant, exciting city we work in but our ultimate commitment to NESWA and social work development is our commitment to improving our service delivery for service users and their families. We look to the partnership to help us to train, recruit and develop the ethical, knowledgeable, value-driven, motivated and committed social workers we need, knowing that in doing this we keep service users, carers and their families central to our social work practice.

Ewen Weir, Director for People at Newcastle City Council, is the Chair of NESWA on behalf of local authority Regional Directors of Adults and Children’s Services.


Suzie Cooper
Principal Social Worker (Adult Services)

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Jayne Forsdike
Principal Social Worker (Children’s Services)

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Newcastle City Council
Civic Centre
Barras Bridge
Newcastle upon Tyne

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