Book News: January 15th, 2009

Grow your own initiatives, where local authorities and the independent sector support their employees, or potential employees, to qualify as social workers are becoming more popular. This report from the General Social Care Council analyses the benefits, costs and challenges of different types of Grow Your Own schemes and their impact on higher education course provision, student progression, and recruitment and retention.

GYO activity can involve secondments or traineeships. Employers may run schemes in parallel or select elements from each model in order to better target different organisational priorities.

The report examines what works well when there are close relationships between employers and Higher Education Institutions, which are essential to achieving better outcomes in social work education.

Employers value the acquisition of staff members familiar with the realities of social work practice and loyal to the organisation, and also value the wider potential benefits of GYO for organisational culture and workforce planning. Students are grateful for the opportunity to qualify while employed and to receive additional support and mentoring, often where financial and caring commitments would otherwise have precluded this career development.

Higher Education Institutions value GYO for bringing additional students with guaranteed placements, increased progression rates and higher levels of social care experience to share in classroom settings, and an overall strengthening of relationships with employer organizations.

Grow Your Own is available from the Council.