Social Work Student Placement
Empowerment has a long history of working with students from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and Lancaster University.
We provide placements to student social workers completing a degree or masters in social work, offering short practice placements of 30 days, or longer placements of 80 to 100 days.
We strive to create a valuable learning experience for students who have a placement with us and aim to offer an excellent, safe and supportive environment where there is plenty of opportunity to develop ideas, learn new skills and further your knowledge.
What areas could I be working in?
- Health and Social Care Advocacy
- Self Advocacy for people with learning disabilities
- The Den (Children’s IDVA)
What will my placement involve?
Working with Empowerment will involve working 1:1 with vulnerable adults or children, performing home visits, supporting service users to a range of health and social care appointments (including GP, mental health, care planning, best interests meetings) or assisting people through NHS complaints processes You will be invited to take part in relevant training in safeguarding and advocacy.
How do I secure a placement with Empowerment?
Empowerment hosts Social Work student placements regularly with The Den and Blackpool Advocacy Hub. We offer great opportunities to gain insight and expertise that will strengthen your skills for a career in social work. All placements are arranged via the university. Should you want to express an interest in a particular area or service within Empowerment please contact your placement co-ordinator within the school of Social Work department.
Unfortunately we do not have capacity to offer placements for any other university courses or have the capacity to offer volunteer opportunities within The Den or Blackpool Advocacy Hub. due to the complexities of the roles.
Social Work Student Quote
“My final placement was in Empowerment, a charity focused on the advocacy and empowerment of people based in Blackpool. This placement experience helped me build my understanding of the role advocacy and empowerment in front line practice within children services and the community. I built on my strengths and my weaknesses and committed to myself to advocating for service users and ensuring that their voice, wishes, concerns and feeling were heard by the professionals involved with their interventions. Being a part of the Empowerment team taught the importance of advocacy, empowerment, anti-oppressive practice, human rights and mental well-being in society today. I built my confidence by being able to manage a caseload and a project independently, that was focused on advocating for the parents of children undergoing child protection proceedings, who are often ignored and stigmatised. This placement opportunity was very rewarding because I built great professional relationships and rapport with the people who use the service engaging in the project. Each service had different advocacy needs, and I had the privilege of gaining their views, and putting them forth on their behalf or being there as means of support; liaising with practitioners on their behalf. As well as that, I advanced my understanding of the role of an independent advocate within social work practice and how to effectively mirror this key value within my practice in the future. I also developed my knowledge of the complaint procedure, organisational safeguarding policies and procedures; and key sections of the Care Act 2014 legislation (i.e. S1, S67, S68, S42). Furthermore, I built my knowledge of the legal care orders involving children Children’s Act 1989 (i.e. S1, S44, S31, S25).
The team at hub were very supportive, resourceful, insightful and understanding and encouraging. This was advantageous because it helped me highlight the remits of my practice and make positive adjustments. I increased my awareness of the impact of inequality, disadvantage, stigma and discrimination has on individuals within society. I have also deepened my understanding of the importance of social justice, anti-oppressive practice, anti-discriminatory practice, social pedagogy and the strengths-based approach. Though advocacy is an underpinning principle of practice, this is not always applied in practice. This insight was crucial for my practice. I am privileged to support people and promote social justice. “
Social Work Student Quote
My placement at Blackpool advocacy service has been a really positive learning experience.
I have gained experience of the Blackpool social services system while working with parents whose children were looked after children under several sections of the children act. This has helped me expand my knowledge base of legislation and better understand parental rights in the process.
I have also gained experience working with people who are sectioned under section 2 and 3 of the mental act or are informal patients at The Harbour, working closely with Imhas and imcas in this setting has given me an interest for mental health social work, this is a career path I had not considered previously.
Putting the theories I studied at university into practice throughout my placement has been an amazing learning experience. I have not only become more confident with my existing knowledge base, I have begun to explore more theories to implement in future practice.
The support I have received not just from my supervisor and practice educator but from my colleagues has been fantastic, I have felt supported and part of the team throughout my journey. My confidence has grown massively in the last 13 weeks, I now feel I have a much better working understanding of legislation such as the mental capacity act, the mental health act and The care act, I also have a better understanding of parental rights under different sections of the children’s act.
The work I have carried out on placement with Empowerment has helped me understand the value of advocacy in different settings. I will feel confident in future practice referring the people I am working with for this support knowing what a positive difference an advocate can make.
The experience I have gained at Empowerment charity has been invaluable, I will carry with me the companies values of justice, kindness and equality in my future practice.