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Social Workers of the Future

HomeOur StoriesStudent Social Workers

We run a Student Social Worker Placement Programme and it’s open to local Universities in Manchester.

Standards are high, and our practice-learning programme is popular as a result.  The students bring us diversity and their time; we give them knowledge and experience for the future.
In 2023, 28 student placements received first-hand work experience in Carers, Therapy and Advocacy services, putting them in such a good place for their future careers.

Some of our 2023 cohort are pictured above, and a few have kindly shared their stories  here.


Gaining Confidence to be a Social Worker – Ethel’s Story

Ethel completed her placement at Gaddum in July 2022. In this short video she shares her story of how it helped her.

Riya found her passion through her placement with us

Riya is an International Student studying Social Work at The University of Manchester. This is an extract of her personal experience of her placement at Gaddum, working with young carers.

“It was during my placement interview that I came across the term ‘young carer’ for the first time. Little did I know at that moment that this placement would lead to such a profound learning experience, giving me a new perspective on the caring role.

One of the most important lessons I learned at Gaddum was the importance of listening to young carers and valuing their experiences. Learning about young carers evoked a range of emotions, such as empathy, compassion, and concern.

Another crucial lesson I learned was the importance of self-care for social workers, especially when working with vulnerable people like young carers. Recognising the emotional challenges involved, I have implemented several practices to prioritise my well-being.

Frequent supervision sessions helped me to understand the importance of identifying and assessing the needs of young carers and developing strategies to support them effectively. Additionally, it gave me the opportunity to reflect on my practice, challenge my decision-making skills, and develop critical thinking skills.

As part of our induction programme, group training sessions provided a supportive environment where I could connect with other students and develop a sense of shared purpose and identity. It also improved my teamwork skills through group projects and building my confidence to participate in group discussions.

Additionally, leading the team meetings on a weekly basis provided an opportunity to hone leadership skills, including effective planning, organisation, and the introduction of fresh ideas.

My experience in social work includes working with adults, and it was always something I looked forward to in my career, until I joined Gaddum. My experience during placement has prompted me to reflect on the experience of working with children to ignite their minds and make an impact on their lives.

It emphasizes the importance of early intervention and prevention in addressing social issues to focus on working with youth, rather than waiting until adulthood to address social problems. Working with young carers has inspired me for empowering young people and promoting their rights.

My counsellor was very gifted. She didn’t give solutions, but she guided me to find my own. She was very empathetic and very professional.

Counselling client

I have struggled for many years with anxiety and depression. It felt safe to speak to Gaddum about what was troubling me and talk through my emotions. I had never done that before.

Client accessing therapy

I hate forms, I feel sure I'm going to do it wrong and so fail. My support worker filled in the application for me like it was an ordinary thing to do.


For more information on student placements, email or you can speak to one of my team by calling 0161 834 6069.