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March 2015

Applications open for hosting Think Ahead participants

Think Ahead has issued an invitation to Local Authorities and NHS Mental Health Trusts to become host organisations for its participants.

In a joint letter to councils and trusts, Think Ahead’s Chair, Prof Dame Carol Black, and Chief Executive, Ella Joseph, say:

“We want to partner with people who share our passion for transforming the lives of service users. We will work with forward-looking NHS Mental Health Trusts and Local Authorities to pioneer new models for training social workers and maximising their contributions to mental health services.”

They say that employers that partner with Think Ahead will host “some of the country’s most talented and dedicated individuals”, and that the programme will train its participants intensively to master’s degree level in internationally-recognised social work best practice.

The scheme will also provide a new way for existing talented social workers in host organisations to progress their careers, by leading Think Ahead units as Consultant Social Workers. This new role comes with specialist training and an increased salary, both funded by Think Ahead.

To be selected, organisations must commit to host at least four Think Ahead participants for the duration of their two-year programme, which includes employing them as newly qualified social workers in their second year. Black and Joseph also say that trusts and councils will need to demonstrate their “desire and capability to implement the Think Ahead model, and provide the challenging and supportive environment needed to create superb social workers with a mental health focus”.

The deadline for applications is midnight on Monday 6 April 2015. To receive the full Invitation to Partner document, or to ask any questions, contact Think Ahead’s Programme Director Kate O’Regan (k.o’, or Programme Associate Rebecca Hall (