High profile child sexual exploitation campaigner Sarah Champion has visited Sheffield Hallam University to help mark the launch of a new social work course which looks at how social workers' practice and performance impacts on permanent placements for young people.
In conjunction with the British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF), the University has launched the Postgraduate Diploma in 'Advanced Practice in Family Placement and Looked After Children' which is aimed at experienced social workers across the UK.
It provides a unique opportunity for professionals specialising in adoption and fostering to improve the outcomes for looked after children and young people, helping them to stay safe.
As the MP for Rotherham Sarah Champion she set up her own Parliamentary inquiry into the issue, helped to change the law on grooming and employed a child sexual exploitation worker to support victims in Rotherham.
Sarah, who also took a tour of Sheffield Hallam's healthcare training facilities, said "It's vital that looked after children receive the best possible care so that they can go on to lead fulfilling and happy lives. One of the best ways to deliver this is through adoption or fostering, so I was delighted to meet students and learn how the new course delivered by Sheffield Hallam specialises in this area. Anything that helps to improve outcomes for children and young people who haven't had the best start in life should be welcomed."
Dr Anne Hollows, principal lecturer in social work at Sheffield Hallam University, said “It was a real pleasure to host Sarah and talk about how our unique new course will help social workers with adoption and fostering for looked after children. Our social work students really appreciated the chance to speak to Sarah about her work as a key campaigner on child sexual exploitation.
Professor Karen Bryan, Pro Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing at Sheffield Hallam University, said "Sheffield Hallam University is a leading provider of social work education and is one of the UK’s largest providers of health and social care education. Every year students graduate and begin professional careers in providing support, guidance and protection for vulnerable children and adults."