Helping to support and grow Our Social Work Students in the North East

Here at NESWA we are keen to help to develop the next generation of social workers in the North East.

We want to showcase why people should be encouraged to become a social worker, what this entails and what support is available. We also want to promote inclusivity in terms of admissions and programme support as well as next steps once a student completes their studies.

As we're based in the North East, we want to promote the region as a place to live, work and play. The region is home to fantastic opportunities for social work, whether you are studying to become a social worker, you have just qualified or even if you're simply thinking about which course to enrol on.

Please take the time to have a look at the information on offer and make sure to ask plenty of questions - There's no such thing as a stupid question. You can even ask us here at NESWA at or find us on Twitter.

Social work student Dawn Atkinson Borrow talks about her experiences working within a PVI placement.

Pre-Course Checklist

Make sure to take your time reading up on the different routes into social work that are available.

Ensure that you have consulted the course reading list.

Make sure you are aware of any course requirements before you start, for example, information on portable DBS Checks (find out more here)

If possible, speak to fellow students that are enrolled on courses as well as qualified practitioners for realistic advice and guidance.

Ensure you have all the necessary equipment in order to complete the course or that there is available access to required resources.

Keep up to date with legislative changes and key pieces of documentation such as the Professional Capabilities Framework and Key Skills Statements.

Research about the admissions process for your course and also practice placements which form a substantial part of the SW course.

Become accustomed to the language used within the profession (see our Jargon Buster for examples).

Speak to qualified practitioners or even take on some voluntary work as this will supplement your knowledge and experience.

Keep up to date with recent news articles that are relevant to national legislation or the area in which you live/study.

Research key organisations in the Social Work field i.e. BASW, HCPC and Social Work England (Links to all can be found here)

Research available student support to you, both from the institution you are attending and national/regional organisations.


By Greg Houghton | January 17, 2019

#valuinginvolvement The Experts by Experience Group are currently working on a film which is aimed at tutors working in social work education. The film will share key messages about the value and importance of involving people with lived experience in social work education, as well as top tips for how to do this well. If…

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By Greg Houghton | January 16, 2019

#valuinginvolvement We are delighted to announce the upcoming NESWA EXPERTS BY EXPERIENCE CONFERENCE which will take place on the 27th March, 2019. Please save the date! More details to follow soon… If you are interested in being involved in the conference planning committee then please contact: Sarah Lonbay ( 01912156771) Northumbria University NEWCASTLE Download flier

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Social Worker Job vacancy

By Greg Houghton | January 10, 2019

Family Support Team – Adult Inpatient Unit30 hours per week to be worked over 4 days £ per annum pro rata Due to retirement we wish to appoint an experienced social worker to work within the existing multidisciplinary team. The successful candidate will work directly with patients with life limiting conditions as part of the…

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Prison: No Place for Old Men

By Felicity Shenton | December 13, 2018

This week I took part in one of the NESWA Masterclasses. Delivered by Dr Norman McClelland from Northumbria University and with input from Helen Casey at the Open University who talked about the Inside Out Programme at HMP Durham ( and Lynne Dolphin (Senior Practice Development Officer / Principal Social Worker (Adults) Durham County Council)…

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Social Work England Consultation on Appointment Rules

By Glenn Dunnett | December 11, 2018

In the new year (subject to the clearance of this appointment rules consultation), Social Work England will be advertising for a range of roles for social workers and other professionals including fitness to practise investigators, specialist advisers, case examiners and hearing panellists. Do watch out for those going live and share with your networks. Under the…

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Keep your Calendar Up to Date!!

By Glenn Dunnett | December 6, 2018

Here at NESWA, we continue to try and develop as many opportunities for social workers in the North East to learn and develop their skills, participate in discussion and share best practice. A lot of social workers have already took advantage of some of these opportunities such as the ongoing KSS Briefing Sessions which we…

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Results of a Survey of Practitioners Understanding of Mental Capacity

By Felicity Shenton | November 30, 2018

The purpose of this research paper is to present the findings of a study considering the application of the Mental Capacity Act and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards. Practitioners from a range of professions were recruited to provide their views of how to respond to a variety of scenarios. This included GPs, nurses, social workers, physio/occupational therapists and care…

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“It’s Hitting People That Can Least Afford It The Hardest”

By Glenn Dunnett | November 23, 2018

A social study into the impact of Universal Credit in the North East has been published in partnership by a number of North East Organisations, including Teesside University and Gateshead Council, who are formal partners of NESWA. The report goes into detail regarding the process of Universal Credit, which was introduced by government in April 2013…

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The Impact of Austerity: UN Rapporteur

By Felicity Shenton | November 23, 2018

On Friday 16th November the United Nations rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Professor Philp Alston,  published a report on his 2 week fact finding mission to the UK. He concludes that ‘despite being the world’s fifth largest economy, levels of child poverty are not just a disgrace but a social calamity and an…

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Every Day is Different…

By Glenn Dunnett | November 20, 2018

The Department of Health and Social Care have partnered with Skills for Care to launch a new campaign around recruitment into Adult Social Work. In adult social care, no two days are the same because supporting people of different ages, with different abilities and needs, means making a difference in all sorts of roles. You…

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UK Social Workers Working Conditions and Well-being

By Felicity Shenton | November 20, 2018

This week I read the report that was published over the summer about a piece of research carried out by Bath Spa University with support from the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) and Social Work Union (SWU). Ravalier, J. and Boichat, G. (2018) UK Social Workers: Working Conditions and Well-Being. Bath Spa University. The…

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Middlesbrough Council Social Work Practice Conference – Friday 23rd November

By Glenn Dunnett | November 19, 2018

Middlesbrough Council invites you to join them at their Social Work Practice Conference to celebrate social work in Middlesbrough. The conference will consist of 2 half day sessions beginning at 9am and 1pm at Acklam Green Centre, Middlesbrough TS5 4JS and includes: • Key note speaker Paul Nixon (Chief Social Worker, New Zealand) • Presentations…

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Recommended Reading

Professor David Croisdale-Appleby - Revisioning Social Work Education: An Independent Review

Sir Martin Narey - Residential Care in England Report

Neil Thompson - Understanding Social Work (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015)

Pete Feldon - The Social Worker's Guide to the Care Act 2014 (Critical Publishing, 2017)

Melanie Parris - An Introduction to Social Work Practice (MH Education, 2012)

Barbra Teater - Contemporary Social Work Practice: A Handbook for Students (MH Education, 2014)

Liz Davies & Evelyn Kerrigan Lebloch - Communicating with Children and their Familes: Responding to Need and Protection (MH Education, 2013)

Vivienne Cree - Becoming a Social Worker (Routledge, 2013)

Useful Web Links

British Association of Social Work (BASW) -

Social Work England -

Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) -

International Federation of Social Work (IFSW) -

Community Care -

One Stop Social -

Skills For Care -

Critical Publishing -

National Institute for Health & Care Excellence (NICE) -

Guardian Social Care Network -


Handy advice for Student Admissions

  1. Admissions consists of three components: A Group Discussion, An Individual interview and written test
  2. Be aware of key legislation and documentation for the profession i.e. the Professional Capabilities Framework and Key Skills Statements
  3. During the group discussion element, be mindful of others but be positive in expressing your own views and contributing to the conversation
  4. The individual interview panel will consist of a member of university/college staff and either a service user/carer or practitioner
  5. Be mindful of your own strengths and weaknesses
  6. Be prepared to talk about personal or professional experiences you have faced. Perhaps develop a few examples either in your mind or written down before the Admissions process.
  7. Be yourself! - It's important that whilst you demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the subject matter, staff want to see you as a person and how your natural reaction affects discussions. Your personality is vital to your social work practice.
  8. Don't be disheartened if you are unsuccessful on the first attempt, for some candidates, having that experience helps build resilience which is a key component of social work life.

For further guidance and advice, make sure to undertake your own research online as there are lots of fantastic blogs and articles on this subject area such as this handy guide at One Stop Social.

wanting to know about a specific course or place of on one of the below and explore!

Money Matters

Aside from all the studying that you'll be doing as a student and information to take on board in relation to your courses, the issue of money is also a big concern for students.
On this page, we have tried to provide handy links to useful information and guidance all things regarding cash, student loans, grants and everything else to do with pounds and pennies!
It is important to recognise that student finance is the responsibility of the student so it is in YOUR best interest to take the time to read up on these things. Of course, your university/college will be there to offer support in these things and we've included some handy advice specifically from them too!


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