Tuesday 30 November 2010

Training Social Workers

In the past the voluntary sector has often been perceived as an amateur if benign resource to which statutory services may throw scraps of funding to undertake peripheral, non-vital work. However, Hafal has made great progress in developing mutually respectful partnerships with statutory health and social care providers and commissioners and in the vanguard of this modern relationship are our Social Work Practice Facilitators providing future social workers with skills, experience and (most important) a work ethos based on equality and respect for clients - nothing really could be more effective in achieving long-term change in mental health services.

Over the last four years and from a very humble operation we now have 17 Facilitators. That alone is a tribute to all involved but in addition there is compelling evidence of the very high quality of the training provided and there are significant waiting lists of students wanting to learn from us. We have excellent feedback from both the students and the staff who place them that the placements are especially successful and more broadly they like how we operate and the methodical, progressive models of work which we employ with both clients and carers.

All this makes a big difference and contributes significantly to Hafal’s mission. The Facilitators are assisting in ensuring that there are well-informed professionals going forward to work in Wales and beyond; they are demonstrating in practice how a relationship of equals between statutory organisations and a user-led organisation can bring benefits to all; and they are ensuring that our local services not only continue to employ best practice but are also beacons of such practice from which others can learn.