This paper describes research commissioned by Skills for Care South West to identify and track the learning and development needs of newly qualified social workers through their first year of employment. The perceptions of 22 newly qualified social workers based in statutory settings are reported concerning the effectiveness of the social work degree (England), their induction and probationary periods and their progress towards post-qualifying social work education as part of their continuing professional development. The perspectives of line managers, people who use services and carers are also discussed. Findings from the research suggest that the social work degree has been well received by most newly qualified social workers and highlights the perceived importance of a statutory placement for social work degree students. Key social work practice skills that require further development are identified and a rationale is presented for greater investment in the induction and probationary periods of newly qualified social workers
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