Voices and Visions: Hearing from 3rd Sector Organisations

Along with our project partner, People Know How, we are beginning to look at social work student placements in the third sector; how they are now, and building a vision for the future. From our own work, we know about the challenges in the social work context; for example how leadership, and leadership development in social work, is impacted by squeezed time and a lack of resources. And, Setting the Bar has highlighted the challenges presented by increasing workloads for social workers; the resulting stress and even moral injury this can cause practitioners.

From the 2024 findings from the Social Work Placement Experience report, we can see that there are challenges. Some students feel that third sector social work placements aren’t preparing them for the social work role, as not enough social work specific tasks are included; or because there were no other social workers employed by the organisation, for them to learn from. There is evidence in the report that some students were not able to pass their third sector placement, as they could not meet the required Standards in Social Work Education.

People Know How approached Iriss as they are interested in collaborative work on how the student placement experience could be improved. They want students to feel supported in their placements, and to get the experiences they need to prepare them to practice social work. To kick off our work in this area, we want to begin to bring in the third sector to this project.

So, we’re asking organisations to join us for a one hour, online session on Wednesday 26th June 2024 at 10am. To receive the meeting link, you can sign up here: https://forms.gle/2GbVeqHhcGhjinkK6

We will build on this work throughout the project. So, if you support social work student placements, but you’re not a third sector organisation, we’re still interested in hearing from you! At this stage, get in touch with us directly at hannah.martin@iriss.org.uk