Each CSW is responsible for four participants who are undertaking their Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work. CSWs work with participants using a unit model approach – a systemic practice model for working with families, with cases managed through weekly unit meetings. These meetings provide a dynamic learning environment and a reflective space to think systemically about the cases in your unit.
The role offers those who wish to remain in practice the opportunity to do so alongside the chance to take on supervisory and management responsibility for a small team. The CSW role involves three core elements.
PRACTITIONER AND PRACTICE EXPERT IN THE UNIT
As a CSW you will be involved in working directly with children and families allocated to your unit. A key way in which the participants will learn will be through observing your practice with these families. Over the course of the year you will ensure your participants are exposed to a wide range of different cases, gradually increasing the complexity of their work as they take on more responsibility.
You will be the practice educator for each participant. At Frontline we place an emphasis on direct observation of practice, and over the year you will observe and grade seven direct observations of each participants’ practice. You will be responsible for their overall assessment, and will recommend if they should qualify as social workers at the end of the year. You don’t need to have previously been a practice educator, as during your training you will work towards achieving the stage two of the Practice Educator Professional Standards.
MANAGING AND LEADING THE UNIT
You will have overall management and oversight of the unit and sit with the first line management structure in your local authority. You will be responsible for day-to-day decision making on cases in the unit, and will manage and supervise your participants. By leading this innovative unit you will be in a unique position to influence and shape practice across the local authority.
The role is challenging, but immensely rewarding as CSWs help their participants develop their professional practice over the course of the year.