View Lincolnshire SCB Procedures View Lincolnshire SCB Procedures

1.3.10 Case Holding Procedures for Student Social Workers


This chapter outlines the case holding procedures for Student Social Workers who are employed by Children's Services and are placed within the FAST Teams while they train to become qualified Social Workers or if appointed as an ASYE and awaiting HCPC registration.

Also see Allocation Record Checklist.


This chapter was updated in February 2018 to reflect the replacement of Child in Need Plans and Reviews with Child and Family Progress Plans and Meetings. Section 7, Child and Family Progress Meetings of the procedure has been updated accordingly.


  1. Introduction
  2. Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF)
  3. Allocation of Work
  4. Supervisor
  5. Assessment and Plan
  6. Joint Visits
  7. Child and Family Progress Meetings
  8. Case Loads

    Appendix 1: Allocation Record Checklist

1. Introduction

Within Lincolnshire, Student Social Workers who are employed by Children's Services are placed with the Family, Assessment and Support Teams (FAST) while they train to become qualified Social Workers. It is important that student social workers are supported throughout their training and are able to meet the required capabilities. This procedure outlines the case holding procedures for Student Social Workers.

2. Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF)

The introduction of the social work Professional Capability Framework devised by the College of Social Work identifies nine capabilities to which Student Social Workers will be assessed against throughout their training.

The PCF:

  • Sets out consistent expectations of social workers at every stage in their career;
  • Provides a backdrop to both initial social work education and continuing professional development after qualification;
  • Informs the design and implementation of the national career structure;
  • Gives social workers a framework around which to plan their careers and professional development.

For further information and details of the PCF please see The professional capabilities framework.

2.1 Capability Levels for Student Social Workers

There are nine levels within the Professional Capability Framework. The first four levels relate to Student Social Workers. These represent the 'level' of capability a social work student should be demonstrating at different points in their social work training.

It is important that Student Social Workers understand the key purpose and 'levels' of professional capabilities as set out in the PCF:

  • By the end of the first placement students should demonstrate effective use of knowledge, skills and commitment to core values in Social Work in a given setting in predominantly less complex situations, with supervision and support. They will have demonstrated capacity to work with people and situations where there may not be simple clear-cut solutions;
  • By the end of the last placement/the completion of qualifying programmes newly qualified social workers should have demonstrated the Key Skills and Values to work with a range of user groups, and the ability to undertake a range of tasks at a foundation level, the capacity to work with more complex situations; they should be able to work more autonomously, whilst recognising that the final decision will rest with their supervisor; they will seek appropriate support and supervision.

3. Allocation of Work

There should be an allocation record detailing clear actions. This is recorded on MOSAIC by the allocating Practice Supervisor. Best practice is that the worker who has been allocated the case is spoken to directly by the duty allocation Practice Supervisor, but if this is not possible, the case record must give clear direction. The case will be allocated to the Student Social Worker. See checklist detailing what should be included in an allocation record (see Allocation Record Checklist ).

4. Supervisor

The Student Social Worker posts in the FAST teams will be supervised by Practice Supervisors. When they complete their placement within the team they will also be supported by a Practice Educator but the Practice Supervisor retains their responsibility for case work, supervision and allocation. In some instances the Practice Supervisor is also the Practice Educator.

Supervision should be a minimum of monthly for Student Social Workers who are employed in the FAST teams while they train to be qualified. Students, who are on Social Work Placements from an affiliated University, will have their placement supervised on a weekly basis in line with the Universities' requirements.

5. Assessment and Plan

All Assessments will be authorised by a Practice Supervisor and plans will be overseen and agreed by a Practice Supervisor.

6. Joint Visits

Supervision of the Student Social Workers employed in FAST teams will include joint visits by their Practice Supervisor. These will include assessment visits and Child In Need visits.

These visits will be part of the quality assurance process. At least one joint visit should be undertaken within the first 6 weeks of a case being allocated.

During placement periods the student's Practice Educator will also carry out direct observations of them in practice as per the University's guidelines.

7. Child and Family Progress Meetings

The first Child and Family Progress Meeting (CIN cases) and every other subsequent meeting  will be chaired by a Practice Supervisor or Advanced Practitioner. After the initial Child and Family Progress meeting the Practice Supervisor will assess the professional competency of the Student Social Worker and their ability to chair future meetings. Capability will be assessed using the Professional Capability Framework and the assessment of their professional competency will be held on the worker’s Human Resources (HR) file for reference.

Please refer to the Child and Family Progress Plans and Meetings Procedure for reference.

8. Case Loads

Student Social Workers should case hold Child In Need cases only, in no circumstances should they be the Keyworker for Child Protection or Looked After Children. However, they may undertake tasks on such cases under the direct supervision of the Keyworker and Practice Supervisor if they have the appropriate competencies.

Caseloads will need to be determined by the experience, competency and University commitments of the student social worker. These need to be clearly recorded on the students' case supervision notes.

Appendix 1: Allocation Record Checklist

Click here to view Appendix 1: Allocation Record Checklist