The Education Network for Waltham Forest
Supported by Waltham Forest

Early Help Student Social Work in Schools

About our service

The Early Help (EH) Division, in conjunction with eight different universities, co-ordinates and deploys student social workers in school placement settings. Students will be undertaking either a MA or BA in Social Work and are required to undertake 70 or 80 day placements. They are able to undertake direct work with children, young people and their families and support the delivery of early intervention within schools including the Early Help Assessment (EHA), formerly the Common Assessment Framework (CAF).

This service is all funded by the Council and the universities involved.

What we offer

The EH Division undertakes all the liaison and arrangements with universities and leads on the selection process. All potential students undergo a stringent interview process conducted by qualified social workers within the EH Division and are carefully matched to schools taking into account their skills mix. The EH Division will manage any difficulties that may arise either with the student, university or practice support and will offer support and guidance to schools in conducting the line management role and offering appropriate work to the student. The EH Division supports students throughout the placement and also offers a monthly student support group. There are currently 60 student social workers deployed across various schools and Children's Centres within the Borough.

Benefits of using our service

The students are able to improve the delivery of early intervention, support the school's pastoral offer by working with children, young people and their families who may be experiencing difficulties and positively impact on their academic potential or emotional wellbeing. Students will all be EHA-trained and can complete EHAs. During the initial part of their placement they will receive safeguarding training. They can also undertake special projects within school, group work and do individual work. They can improve schools' understanding of social work and, equally, student social workers can gain a good understanding of schools and how they support vulnerable pupils.


If you are interested in taking a student social worker please contact Carol Frederick, Early Help Interim Group Manager.

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Last updated: 05 April 2016 by Barry Fong