Are you undertaking or did you qualify as a social worker on a specialist social work programme in England - Frontline, Step Up or Think Ahead?
Are you considering applying to join the NI Social Care Council register for social work?
Generic Social Work Degrees:
There is a Memorandum of Understanding between the four countries of the UK to allow movement of social workers between the different parts of the UK. This applies to social work degree holders from all generic social work programmes.
Specialist Social Work Degrees:
It is Government policy in Northern Ireland for social workers to have a generic social work qualification. Specialist social work programmes do not meet the generic requirements, as required by the Northern Ireland Framework Specification for the Degree in Social Work.
Each of the four countries has different arrangements regarding registration in place for the graduates of specialist programmes. In Northern Ireland if you wish to join the social work part of the register apply as directed on the Council web site. Your application will be assessed and you may be requested to provide some additional information. To date, deficits have been identified with the Frontline programme in relation to social work with adults.
The Social Care Council has endorsed a recommendation that applicants can be registered with restrictions on their practice to their initial specialist area of training. A compensation measure, as directed by the Council should be undertaken and completed within the first three years on the Council’s register. The measure will depend on the social work programme completed and the outcome of the assessment.
An example for a recent Frontline graduate was the completion of an Individual Professional Development module at Ulster University focused on an adult service user group. Initially the graduate registered with a restriction on practice to working with children and families. They worked as a social worker with children and families while completing the required module and are now on the register with no restrictions.
A Professional Advisor from the Social Care Council will advise you what is needed and how to access the training required.