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.

Developing Service User Involvement in Social Work Education at the University of Sunderland

By Greg Houghton | May 1, 2019

We are trying to increase and improve the involvement of service users, carers, and people with lived experience in social work education. There are lots of opportunities for you to be involved in: • Student recruitment and interviews • Teaching student social workers • Assessment processes • Programme management We would welcome you to attend…

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By Greg Houghton | April 24, 2019

“Promoting Practice Educators as Co-Educators” 22nd March 2019 – The Dryden Centre, Gateshead Presentations – Morning Presentations – Afternoon Handouts Speaker Lilian Adani – Practice Educator Lilian is a social worker in an adult learning disabilities team. Originally from Zimbabwe, Lilian will offer a perspective about the needs of BME students on placement.

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By Greg Houghton | March 29, 2019

It’s my last day on the teaching partnership today but it is also the start of the next phase and I would like to wish you well in all of your endeavours and share some of my reflections.  In social work, we often say the biggest indicator of future behaviour is what has gone on…

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Managing the development of a regional Teaching Partnership

By Greg Houghton | March 29, 2019

In May 2017 I took up my new post as Project Manager for NESWA with excitement, nervousness and huge ambition for the project. My 2 colleagues Helen Woolley and Glenn Dunnett had already been appointed as Regional Placement Co-Ordinator and Project Administrator respectively and had started a couple of weeks ahead of me. We had…

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Take Part in a Study!

By Greg Houghton | March 26, 2019

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Mandatory Training for Health and Social Care Professionals Survey

By Greg Houghton | March 25, 2019

BASW England is compiling a response to the government consultation regarding mandatory training for health and social care professionals working with adults who have learning disability and/or autism. In order to contribute to the response please complete the online survey available at:

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CareKnowledge Give Away

By Greg Houghton | March 20, 2019

To celebrate World Social Work Day 2019, CareKnowledge are giving away 4 prizes of £25 Amazon vouchers as well as 6 months of unlimited access to CareKnowledge and MyCPD to 4 extraordinary social workers in the UK. “Celebrate World Social Work Day with CareKnowledge by nominating your colleague or peer! ! The theme of this…

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Social work’s role in tackling knife crime

By Greg Houghton | March 19, 2019

The government may have announced an extra £100 million police funding to tackle knife crime but the real solution lies in social responses, says Wayne Reid, a BASW England professional officer with experience of working in criminal and youth justice Read full story >

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Confirmation of Sustainability funding for NESWA

By Greg Houghton | March 15, 2019

The outgoing NESWA Team is delighted to be able to confirm that we have secured an additional £280K funding from the DfE to support the development of a Sustainability Plan. Priorities over the coming weeks will include: the review of governance and structures, including greater alignment with existing forums and networks, and consideration of sub-regional…

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World Social Work Day 2019

By Greg Houghton | March 14, 2019

The 2019 world social work day highlights ‘Promoting the Importance of Human Relationships’. World Social Work Day is on the 19th March 2019. It is the key day in the year that social workers worldwide stand together to celebrate the achievements of the profession and take the theme message into their communities, workplaces and to…

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New edition of Writing Analytical Assessments in Social Work by Chris Dyke

By Greg Houghton | March 13, 2019

New edition of our best-selling title for social workers coming soon! Writing Analytical Assessments in Social Work by Chris Dyke 176pp  2nd ed March 2019  ISBN 9781912508327  £21.99 Guides you through the principles of good writing and methodically shows you: how to analyse how to structure the process of writing an assessment (researching, chronologising, informed…

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March is ovarian cancer month

By Helen Woolley | March 4, 2019

In 2013, I was feeling a bit unwell, tired, bloaty, disinterested in some food, losing weight – it was easy to put this down to stress, busy lifestyle, food intolerances and no time to get to a GP or bother someone about it.  It took being hit by a car – literally (car accident) for…

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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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