The ‘adult social work’ equivalent of Frontline, Think Ahead started training social workers to work in adult mental health services in July 2016. The programme also targets "high performing" graduates:
- Minimum entry requirement is a 2:1 degree qualification not in social work.
- In the first year trainees undertake a six week summer intensive course followed by a placement in a local authority or NHS Trust.
- At the end of the first year trainees receive a postgraduate diploma in social work, enabling them to register with the HCPC.
- In the second year they work as a qualified social worker in a mental health setting, alongside completing academic study towards a Master’s degree in social work.
- Like Frontline, trainees on Think Ahead also receive leadership training.
- In the first year trainees receive a bursary (approx. £16,000 + London weighting). In the second year they receive a social worker salary (typically £21,000 + London weighting).
- The curriculum and training is designed by the University of York, which successfully bid to become Think Ahead’s academic partner.
A Community Care overview of the new fast-track schemes is available here.