The University of Wolverhampton has an ongoing commitment to the SWEET Project, and we work closely with SWEET to bring about the best outcomes for our students. We rely on SWEET who will often accept students outside of our immediate catchment area as well as working with students who have not done particularly well in previous placement interviews or a former placement. SWEET works well with a diverse range of students including those who are less confident in their understanding of social work and their practice with vulnerable individuals. SWEET has given students the belief to learn and develop social work practice; students have been supported and mentored to achieve capability. Practice placements are often stressful for students but SWEET has a strong ethos of paying attention to a student’s wellbeing.
Social work students on the whole speak highly of their ability to learn social work practice whilst on placement. Students on a ‘first’ placement have the advantage of developing capability by working under the direct guidance of social workers so they are able to hone their social work skills and knowledge. Work opportunities typically comprises work with children who may have emotional and behavioural difficulties. The referrals may come from a parent/parents who are not coping or from schools where a child is not managing in the school setting. A student on a first placement has explained that the placement helped him to develop his communication and assessment skills with parents and younger children which stood him in good place for his last placement.
I would recommend SWEET as a last placement to students who wish to develop their skills, knowledge and values on direct practice with service users; you will do so as you carry out assessments on referrals where there is a safeguarding concern. Many students who have completed their last placement have gone on to find work in a range of social work settings.