Foundation Durham has been working closely with New College Durham over several years to provide placements for Level 5 students on their Social Work course. Due to the success of these placements, the Durham Team increased their offer this year and are providing placements for Social Work students from Levels 4, 5 and 6.

A placement at Foundation provides a wide range of shadowing and case work opportunities. Our services support people who are vulnerable and who have complex needs. The placement provides students with real-life experience of working in a service delivering supported accommodation, group work and triage services to those with complex needs across County Durham. The placement provides the opportunity for the student to provide tailored support to address the client’s individual needs, to work with them to maximise independence, working towards successful move-on to independent living and reducing social isolation.

The placement at Foundation Durham affords the Social Work Students the opportunity to put the theory they learn at New College into practice. They develop their front-line skills and broaden their knowledge of local services.

What do staff say?
“It is exciting to be part of the training of our future Social Workers and to be able to support their development by providing excellent placement opportunities at Foundation Durham. I have been lucky to see students progress throughout their placement; to see them build upon their classroom skills and really help to make a difference in the lives of some of the most vulnerable members of our community.” – Jill Thorpe, Project Manager

“Students get a real insight into people with complex needs and how best to support them to make better lifestyle choices. The placement gives the students practical skills which will be invaluable in the future’ – Caroline Matthews, Housing Support Worker

‘Being able to facilitate student placements means that organisations like ours are able to give real life experience of the daily struggles our clients face to those who one day we will be working alongside to improve people’s lives.” – Melissa Moseby, Housing Support Worker

What do students say?
“My placement at Foundation Durham has provided me with a lot of experience that I will be able to take into my Social Work career. All of the staff are very open to questions and want to help you gain as much from being there as possible. I have been able to contribute to a charity, help service users and gain skills and experience I didn’t expect at level 4. I will be forever grateful for what I’ve learnt here.” – Kate Leeman, Social Work student

“I’m really enjoying my placement at Foundation. I have had plenty of opportunities to shadow other workers and do some of my own work too. I have also had plenty of opportunities to work with a wide variety of service users. All of the staff are really supportive, and help you if you need any advice. Foundation is an insightful and enjoyable placement.” – Mia Cooper, Social Work student

“My placement at Foundation is providing so much experience, which will prove invaluable towards my social work degree. I love that every day is different, the clients that Foundation work with have not only helped to build my resilience, which was one of my main goals, but opened up the idea of working with adults, when prior to placement my passion was only towards working with children. I have found the team to be very welcoming, approachable, down to earth and friendly, all of them willing to do whatever they can to help with not only the tasks within the placement role, but the work set towards my portfolio, I have felt comfortable from day one and made to feel part of the team. The placement is providing me with opportunity to observe and complete needs and risk assessments, and experience how a non-statutory organisation works in partnership with the local authority, the police, the National Probation Service and many other services. I would highly recommend this placement to any student and encourage them to remember that the more you put into it the more you will get out.” – Kate Spence, Social Work student