Positive Social Work: An Essential Toolkit for NQSWs

This week’s Book of the Week is Positive Social Work: The Essential Toolkit for NQSWs by Julie Adams and Angie Sheard. Leaving university and entering the world of social work can be daunting. This book will help you as a newly qualified social worker understand your role within the context of a newly emerging and developing social work service and will help ensure that you are equipped with the knowledge and skills to do the job as best you can. In this post Angie explains their motivation for writing the book.

After many negative years, social work has undergone significant change over the last 12 to 18 months including the change in regulator to the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), the development of the College of Social Work and the introduction of the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF), all of which it is anticipated will help raise the standards in Social Work and give it the professional recognition and image that it deserves.  This means that there is no more exciting time to be entering the field of social work as a Newly Qualified Social Worker (NQSW) and starting out on a new career.

When we began in social work (many years ago!), we often felt that we had been thrown into the lion’s den but we managed to survive and eventually we were able to call ourselves fully fledged social workers!!  Thank goodness things have changed……NQWS’s are now given more support, respect, time to settle in and become the professionals that they have so trained hard to be. We wanted to shout about the changes and the good things that are happening and bring ‘Positive Social Work’ and our ‘Toolkit’ to all NQSW’s, and to help them along their journey through their first and crucial year. Our aim, in writing the book was to assist NQSW’s to achieve their full potential, to have a solid grounding in their supported and protected first year and also, through the Toolkit to help demonstrate their capability through the domains that make up the Professional Capabilities Framework.

We have learned a lot between us, along the way and we encourage NQSW’s to develop new habits from the outset that will help and support progression. When we considered about how it was for us, entering social work that first day, we wanted to give some hints and some answers to those questions we all thought about but didn’t dare ask.  In our book we shared our experiences and gave tips about supervision and time management, dealing with stress and that all important work life balance. We maintain that one of the most important things any NQSW does is to regularly ‘press the pause button’ and reflect upon your practice, see where you are and take stock of what is happening for you  – do this early and regularly and you will reap the rewards.

In writing our book directly to the reader we hope given NQSW’s food for thought about how to stay positive and get the best from their new careers, and in our own small way we hope that that we have helped raise standards in our profession too.

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