§ Mrs. Mahon
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what information he has on the shortages of placements for trainee social workers; and what assessment he has made of the implication for social work education.
§ Mr. Newton
National data on practice placements are not collected either by the Department or the Central Council for Education and Training in Social Work, the statutory independent council responsible for promoting and validating social work training. Reports to CCETSW from social worker training courses however do confirm that shortages exist in some regions. Further information on the position is expected to be available from a survey recently carried out by the Association of Directors of Social Services.
In correspondence earlier this year between the chairman of CCETSW and myself about the council's reforms to social work training, emphasis was placed on the immediate improvements which could be made to current training. As a result, and through a grant of £250,000 from the Department, CCETSW will be addressing with social services departments ways of increasing the quantity and improving the quality of practice placements.