Welsh Government boosts financial support package for social work students
Social work students in Wales will receive greater financial support from the Welsh Government from September.
The Deputy Minister for Social Services, Julie Morgan has announced an extra £3.5 million package of funding, will be available for both undergraduate and postgraduate students via the Social Work Bursary.
Eligible undergraduates studying for the social work degree will be able to access up to £3,750 per year over the three-year course in addition to the funding available to them through Student Finance Wales.
Postgraduate students will be able to access £12,715 per year of their two-year course, reducing the loan element students will need to repay after their studies.
“This announcement will provide much needed additional financial support for social work students,” the deputy minister said.
“It will help more people train as social workers, help them remain on and complete their course and build capacity within the system.
“By supporting our future social workers as they take their first steps into the sector, we can better recruit and retain staff in the sector.
“Our overall ambition for the health and social care workforce is for parity of esteem between the professions. Social workers carry out a vital role within our communities, supporting people to take charge of their own lives.
“They are at the core of our social care system and key to the delivery of effective care, which makes a real difference to individuals and to the communities in which they live.”
The new funding will provide almost £10 million over the next three years, representing an increase of over 50% increase on the current bursary for both undergraduates and postgraduates.
The increase to the bursary is the first element of a new strategy being developed to increase recruitment to the social work sector, with Social Care Wales due to publish a social work workforce plan later this summer.
“We recognise and appreciate the invaluable work carried out by social workers across Wales and look forward to seeing more students joining the profession,” Chief Executive of Social Care Wales, Sue Evans, said.
We will shortly be publishing a workforce plan for social work that identifies the range of actions we need to take with partners to support the development and support for social workers in Wales who are working in every community of our country.
“Improving the bursary offer is a key element of this plan.”
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