World Social Work Day is an opportunity to celebrate the work of the profession by bringing common messages to national and regional bodies and to wider communities. This year the theme is promoting the importance of human relationships.
Some people think of social workers as working with children and families but recently local MP Stephen Twigg visited student social workers on placement with Mersey Care’s adult mental health teams. He came to gain an understanding of the value of social work in mental health.
Mr Twigg said: "It's really heartening to see students, graduates and career changers becoming actively involved in this initiative with the hope of becoming social workers that can make a real difference to people with mental health issues.
"As a city Liverpool has often led the way in how it cares for mental health patients and this partnership can only help with that. I'm delighted the next generation of social workers will be given the skills required to provide a better standard of healthcare for those who need it most."
In the first year, the trainee social workers are supervised while working towards qualification and gaining experience. During the second year they are employed by a trust or local authority while working towards a Masters degree.
Robert McLean, associate director of social care at Mersey Care, said: “Leadership from social workers is vital to meet the mental health challenges of our patients. Through talking therapy, support, and advocacy, mental health social workers can empower people to manage the social factors in their lives - like relationships, housing, and employment - that enable them to get well and stay well.”
“I’m delighted our first cohort of students has been asked to speak to the World Social Work Day event being held in Liverpool today (19 March).”
Ivan Wise, recruitment director for Think Ahead said: “Our mission at Think Ahead is to promote social approaches to mental health by recruiting talented people, giving them the tools they need to become excellent mental health social workers and supporting services to unlock the potential of social work. So it was a pleasure to work with Mersey Care to show Stephen Twigg the fantastic work our trainee social workers are doing in the trust.
“The Think Ahead graduate programme is currently open for applications for its fourth cohort, who will begin training as mental health social workers this July. If you’re interested in applying or would like to find out more about the programme, please visit thinkahead.org.”