Psychology graduate lands job through award-winning Social Work Academy

A University graduate has taken up a role at Hertfordshire County Council as a social worker after securing a place through the prestigious Social Work Academy.

The Social Work Academy was created specifically for newly qualified social workers, and is designed to develop the important skills and confidence needed to improve and protect the lives of Hertfordshire’s most vulnerable children and families. The Academy offers six months' intensive training, guidance and support, and successful applicants receive innovative peer support and mentoring throughout.

Social work is a challenging but thoroughly rewarding job, and Hertfordshire County Council is offering newly-qualified social workers the very best start to their career. The council’s nationally recognised award-winning Social Work Academy recruits new graduates twice a year, and is now encouraging newly qualified social workers to register their interest.

Hemali Gangani (pictured), who graduated from the Department of Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour, said: “The role of a social worker has always appealed to me. I like the idea of working closely with families and being involved with early intervention to prevent some of the long-term difficulties I had seen in children I had worked with previously. Working with children who had suffered abuse and who had suffered extremely traumatic events was in fact the thing that motivated me to become a social worker.

“I graduated from the University of Leicester with a Psychology degree and then went on to complete my social work qualification through the Government initiative called Step up to Social Work.

“After I gained my social work qualification, I was then awarded a place at the Social Work Academy at Hertfordshire County Council. I found the Academy extremely beneficial. Social work is one of the most challenging jobs out there, and unfortunately many workers burn out before they have had the opportunity to experience the rewarding side of the job.

“As somebody who was not from Hertfordshire, the Academy enabled me to get to know the area, have knowledge of the services available and have a firm foundation before supporting families. The training in the Academy is really helpful and you are given the time and opportunity to really understand things before you have a full caseload.

“Initially I felt like a student again, but I quickly learnt to appreciate the time and guidance that you receive and I’m definitely grateful for the time that I had. The Academy was a safe place to learn good quality practice and I would really recommend it to newly qualified social workers.”

Hertfordshire was the first authority in the country to launch an academy for children’s social workers. Since then it has helped over 200 social workers embark on their careers, and its national reputation for excellence has continued to grow.