Preparing the future generation of Children Social Workers

The Children’s Social Work Academy has officially launched on Tuesday, 31 January.

The Academy offers newly qualified social workers a positive and confident start in their careers, providing them with support and guidance to ensure social workers are skilled in supporting children and families.

The newly qualified workers will spend 8-10 months within the Academy, being supervised and supported, then progressing into a social work team, with additional mentoring support from advanced practitioners for a further 2 months.

Through a revolutionary approach to learning, the team will help the new recruits to mature from students into safe, skilful and knowledgeable social workers, who will feel confident to support the children and families they work with.

The team already has three new recruits progressing under their supervision. Simone, 29, graduate of New College Durham, and Beth, 22, graduate of Teesside University, have joined the Academy at the beginning of December 2022. They have now started to work with children and their families, with support from the team. Beth, 22, who also graduated from Teesside University, has started in January 2023 and is fast progressing in her learning.

Simone wanted to work in safeguarding but had no working experience so she knew the academy will be the right place to start her career. “The team has been really supportive and eased me into my role,” said Simone. “They broke the process down for us and now we are fully prepared to take on our own cases. I’m excited to see different aspects of what we do as social workers.”

Simone Handley Newly Qualified Social Worker


Beth Weatherall has also found the Academy informative and supportive. She said: “The workshops are really great and I’m looking forward to taking part in new ones, and continue to work on my own case load. At the beginning I was a bit nervous to take my own case, but now I am confident in my skills, and I know the team is here to help me.”

Beth Weatherall Newly Qualified Social Worker


Cabinet Member for Children, Cllr Alison Barnes said: “The Children’s Social Work Academy will make a great difference to our newly qualified recruits who will have the support of our experienced staff to help them prepare for their new roles within the service. Our children and families will also benefit from contact with social workers who have acquired additional knowledge and skills.”

For further information and to request an application form, please email