Career and Qualification Pathway

The pathway for social workers in Cornwall starts with a leading edge Trainee Social Worker Scheme. 

Trainees (G/H Grade) are drawn from a wide range of previous roles, including our own Family Workers and Targeted Youth Support Workers as well teachers and nurses.  Trainees are full employed, spending up to a year in team based learning before being supported to undertake an approved social work course.

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Newly Qualified Social Workers (I Grade) undertake a comprehensive programme of supported learning in their Assessed and Supported Year in Employment, starting under the auspices of our Foundation for Social Work Practice.  They have increased supervision and a reduced caseload in their base teams.  Following a portfolio submission aligned to the Professional Capability Framework and Knowledge and Skills Statement for Children and Family Social Workers, and threshold panel they are confirmed in post and progression on the PQ pathway.

Experienced social workers (J Grade) can progress on the basis of undertaking approved post-qualifying awards, demonstrating learning in practice and helping children to achieve improved outcomes.  They progress through a threshold panel to the status of Senior Social Worker (K Grade).

Senior Social Workers can progress on the basis of undertaking a higher specialist award, demonstrating learning in practice and helping children to achieve improved outcomes.  There are regular opportunities to apply to  progress to the status of Advanced Practitioner (L Grade). 

We have two Advanced Practitioner roles:

  • The Consultant Social Worker is required to develop a specialism in an area of child development, risk to children or area of practice and then share that knowledge and skill with colleagues through mentoring, coaching and informal supervision. 
  • The Principal Social Worker is directly involved in practice, holding a small caseload, supervises practitioners, facilitates team-based learning and deputises for the Team Manager.

Team Managers (L Grade) are responsible for supporting and supervising a small multi-disciplinary team with the aim of consistently achieving practice quality standards and performance targets as the basis for improving outcomes for children and young people.  Team Managers have access to specialist management training, including high quality training in supervision and coaching.

Service Managers (M/N Grade) are the lead service for areas and are accountable for the performance of a number of teams and for the quality of practice and effectiveness of services in key areas of practice, such as child sexual exploitation, fostering and adoption.  Service Managers deputise for Heads of Service.

Heads of Service (Grade O/P) are responsible for the performance and effectiveness of either area of functional services.

The Service Director (Grade S) is the lead for safeguarding children and is responsible for the performance and effectiveness of all Children and Family Services in Cornwall.

The Director for Children’s Services (Grade C/D) holds statutory responsible for all children’s services.