The SWEET Project provides the following services to universities.
All students are assessed using HCPC criteria, incorporating individual university proformas. All assessments are evidence-based with clear areas of progress and professional development.
Where a student is deemed to be at risk of failing, we will discuss the problem with the student at the earliest opportunity. Action Plans are used as a method of identifying areas of additional support.
All assessments are carried out in an open, honest and transparent way and universities are kept fully informed throughout.
All of our Practice Educators are qualified Senior Social Workers who either hold or are working towards their "Enabling Others 2" qualification.
"The University of Wolverhampton has placed final year students at The SWEET Project in the last two academic years after a recommendation from a colleague on the social work course. I did have some unease about how a number of students would all have access to good learning and work opportunities but these fears were unfounded. Jayne Cresswell and Jayne Hulbert have been two of the most enthusiastic practice placement managers that I have worked with; they have demonstrated a passion and commitment for social work education and the student journey. Their passion stems from a commitment to working with a diverse range of people in need, primarily in the South Birmingham area. Students have carried out work which reflects their level of training.
Student feedback received to date has been very positive. The practice placement at SWEET has been described as "excellent" due to the complexity of work that has been undertaken, which enabled one student "to learn and develop confidence". The other area that students have commented on is the support available e.g. "the amount of support offered has been overwhelming and really helped me to improve my practice, knowledge and skills" and "I felt able to deal with difficult situations as I knew the support was available". Students would highly recommend this placement to other students.
There is a need for high quality practice placements in the West Midlands and The SWEET Project continues to develop the resources that will be available to students. To date, this has included employing further practice educators who are based on site and are on hand to support students. The Project is well placed to respond to the SWRB recommendations, so the future looks bright for student practice placements."
The University of Birmingham has been placing students with the SWEET Project for four years. During this time we have placed 230 students, and I conducted an evaluation into students’ experiences of the project. The overwhelming majority of our students said that they learnt an exceptional amount and benefitted from being placed at SWEET. They have been able to work directly with service users across the age ranges and so develop their communication skills. They have worked with professionals from education, health, police and local authorities, which has helped them build both knowledge and confidence in multi-agency approaches. Many students have worked on complex cases involving safeguarding children and adults and say that they have gained invaluable experience to take forward into the workplace with them. I have been impressed by the learning opportunities available and the level of expertise, guidance and support which staff at the project have imparted to our students.
New College is impressed by the level and variety of supervision offered and by the level of creativity the project encourages in students’ practice. A good learning experience for students.
The SWEET Project offers a supportive environment with a range of learning opportunities tailored to meet the individual learning needs of particular students, e.g. providing experience of working with groups or working with adults as well as the core business of working with children and families.