More places are needed for social work students in care homes, according to the English Community Care Association (ECCA).
The largest representative body for community care in England, is working with the Practice Learning Taskforce (PLT) to encourage more care home work placements.
The two organisations have now established a baseline against which improvement can be judged and have released a short report detailing responses to a joint ECCA/Practice Learning Taskforce questionnaire on social work student work placements.
Ann Mackay, director of community care at ECCA, said: “Only a small number of members of ECCA have taken social work students on a work placement but there was a great deal of interest from other respondents in offering such placement opportunities in the future.
"This is very encouraging and if we can give providers the necessary information and support it is likely that social work students will have a greater range of choices in terms of placements from now on.
"Independent care services form a vital part of the care and support system in this country and the social workers of the future need to know what such services can offer. The report highlights the benefits of student social work placements for providers and residents of independent care homes. It also picks up on some difficulties reported during the placements and information that will assist future improvements."
The study was conducted in May and responses to the questionnaire were received from 112 care homes.
The report is available from ECCA and can be found at www.ecca.org.uk