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  4. Working with social care providers

Working with social care providers

We work with over 400 employers across the UK to provide education and training to develop the social work and social care workforce. Our partners come from the public and independent sector – ranging from Local Authorities and Councils to small independent voluntary organisations and major national charities – and those working in adult and children’s services.

The one thing our partners have in common is the need to develop staff flexibly and cost-effectively to improve services. Employers turn to us and stay with us year after year on account of the benefits OU education brings to:

  • recruit and retain staff
  • develop the local workforce
  • offer high quality professional development without sending staff off-site for training.

Programme approval and endorsement

Our social work degree is approved as a qualifying programme by the Care Council for Wales and the Scottish Social Services Council. In England we are approved by the Health and Care Professions Council and endorsed by The College of Social Work.

Student feedback – and student success

The OU is in the top ten places for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the UK for student satisfaction, maintaining its position at the forefront of the National Student Survey ratings since they began in 2005.

Not just social work – whole workforce development

Our social care education and training spans adult and children’s services – introductory courses for support staff; professional programmes in social work and continuing professional development at undergraduate and post qualifying level.

We recognise that reorganisation and budget cuts pose major challenges for employers – more and more is expected of staff as leaders; support staff are doing more to deliver services for adults and children and families including youth justice.

Education and training partnerships encompass learning and development across the whole workforce:

  • Access type courses for support workers.
  • Certificate and diploma in social care for social work assistants and other support workers.
  • CPD modules in leadership, management, mental health, children and families, youth work , long term conditions.
  • Continuing Professional Development.

I believe the OU social work route leads to ‘well-rounded’ and ‘well-grounded’ qualified social workers because they generally have more experience when they start the programme and seem more able to cope with the additional demands of a statutory social work organisation such as Angus Council.

Read more Karen O’Donnell, Workforce Development Officer, Angus Council

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