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Collaboration project to embed skills for employability

Hesk, GCO, Stanley, AM, Coleman, AR, McCaughan, S, Shahin, M and Davies, C 2016, Collaboration project to embed skills for employability , in: Annual Health and Social Care Conference 2016 Inspire to succeed: Transforming teaching and learning in Health and Social Care, 24–25 February 2016, 200 St Vincent Street, Glasgow. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

By listening to the voices of employers and students, a unique collaboration between The Social Work Directorate at the University of Salford, and Social Care Network Solutions Ltd (SCN) aims to address skill development needed to enhance employability. A ‘core skill’ identified is the use of electronic management information systems. Students need to develop recording skills in order that they can deliver and evidence 'high quality person centred care and support' in practice. Skills for Care, (2014:3) Enhancement is required to enable students to improve their ability to reflect, self-manage, gain understanding of key policies i.e. Data protection, Bridgstock, (2009), whilst gaining confidence in understanding organisational expectations of this skill Knight and Yorke, (2004). This paper explores how we have introduced students to SCN’s electronic recording methods, used by Health and Social Care agencies, and our aim to embed this in future teaching and learning. Research questions the ability of social work students to write and record effectively Alter and Adkins, (2001), Skills for Care, (2014). The demands of recording have evolved with an emphasis on electronic systems. There are numerous changes in the objective of our writing. Rai (2014:9) discusses the 'function' of recording as a tool to produce 'increased emphasis on audit and accountability' and 'evaluate a social worker's competence' Rai and Lillis, (2011:7). In line with the Government's vision to ensure that students are adequately prepared HEFCE (2011:5), the Practice Learning Team (PLT) intend to further embed employability skills within their teaching in a creative and practical way. We will be making use of a computer web based system which is in daily use in the social care sector, as part of students’ learning experience throughout their social work studies. The PLT and social care agencies, Perpetual Fostering and Social Care Network Solutions Limited have joined together to engage in meaningful collaboration which will aid us in preparing students for the transition from supported placement environments to employment in practice. It is important to develop students who are able to engage in a 'flexible framework that they can apply which provides a process for discussion, reflection, action and evaluation', Cole and Tibby, (2013:5). Resources are stretched in social work practice; high caseloads determine the need for excellent recording skills which ensure that service users are protected and that the professionals working with them are kept updated of their needs. It is difficult for employers to embed these skills within the limited timescales available on placement and the transition to practice. Employers and academics together need to develop methods of embedding these skills within the university setting. Drawing on a range of practice and academic knowledge and experience in the development of electronic management information systems (EMIS), it is our intention within this paper to discuss the emerging findings of our collaboration. Student comments: “Having a knowledge of an electronic system and being able to practice this at placement will make us more resourceful practitioners in social work” “As this is a growing area, knowledge of EMIS is an advantage when gaining employment, gives you the edge” “More appealing to employers if we have knowledge of EMIS”

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Contributors: Moores, Jim (Author), Sharples, Joanne (Author) and Moses, Phil (Author)
Additional Information: The research team involves a unique collaboration between the Practice Learning Team within the Social Work Directorate at The University of Salford and Social Care Network Solutions Ltd (SCN). The Practice Learning Team consists of lecturers in Social Work who are all qualified and registered social workers with the Health Care Professional Council (HCPC). The team reflects a range of practice backgrounds including, Adults, Probation, Mental Health, Fostering and Adoption, Children and Families and Disability. Our role is to provide high quality placements which will prepare students for employment within the professional body of social work. SCN provides the ‘CHARMS’ electronic recording and management information system to more than 200 independent, statutory and charitable adults’ children’s services providers in the UK and Ireland. CHARMS is the most widely used such system in adoption, fostering and residential children’s services as well as mental health, outreach, supported living, shared lives, residential care and others for adults. Perpetual Fostering is a ‘leading independent Fostering Agency which will always put the needs of the child first. The team consists of specialist health and social workers, who provide a wide range of services which includes intensive support for foster carers within their service. Their knowledge and experience of the fostering landscape allows them to work in close proximity with Local Authorities throughout the areas the service covers’.
Schools: Schools > School of Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work & Social Sciences > Centre for Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work & Social Sciences Research
Funders: The School of Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work and Social Sciences, The University of Salford International Fund
Depositing User: Ms Gabrielle Hesk
Date Deposited: 29 Feb 2016 14:33
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2016 14:33
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/38021

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