Student Placements

Shap offers placements to Social Work Students as part of their degree course. Students are placed at our supported housing Schemes in Liverpool, Halton, St Helens and Knowsley. Our placements give student social workers first-hand experience of working with vulnerable people, bridging the gap between social care theory and practice.


What you could learn

Our placements offer a challenging, varied and interesting introduction to housing, support and social care and students can expect to:

  • Conduct needs and risk assessments
  • Create person-centred support plans
  • Understand the balance of personal and professional boundaries in ‘the real world’
  • Develop professional working relationships with service users and clients in one-to-one and group settings
  • Participate in multi-agency meetings
  • Support service users with needs around their emotional wellbeing, domestic abuse, housing, anti-social behaviour, use / misuse of alcohol or substances, offending behaviour, debt
  • Signpost service users and clients to specialist agencies as appropriate – understanding when this is needed
  • Share their skills, knowledge and learning with colleagues within and external to Shap
  • Develop interpersonal and communication skills in a supportive environment
  • Manage their own caseload of service users and clients in a variety of settings such as:
  • Domestic abuse
  • Offenders
  • Young people
  • Care leavers
  • Complex needs


What we offer

All Students receive a comprehensive induction and our in-house Practice Educator, Shelly Cayton supports them throughout their placement, by:

  • Working with students and Scheme Managers to ensure placements are suitable, arranged safely and meet the needs of the service.
  • Assigning students to a suitable work-based supervisor
  • Providing placement reviews
  • Offering fortnightly supervision meetings
  • Completing direct observations, portfolio support and final assessments.
  • Offering student workshops
  • Ensuring students have access to Shap in-house training when delivered
  • Ensuring all social work placements offer suitable learning opportunities and that all 9 domains within the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF) can be met by the student
  • Offering student focussed resources and training materials

In addition, Shelly works closely with local colleges and universities, attends reading days, guest speaking and networking events and arranges and hosts networking events and workshops for Shap Social Work Students and Volunteers.

We understand that many students have constraints and pressures from outside their placement. To help, we offer a flexible approach that enables students to complete their placement in a way which suits them best, with flexible placement hours and paid travel expenses.

Interested ?

If you are currently undertaking a social work degree, at undergraduate or masters level and are interested in carrying out a placement at Shap, please contact  your University and ask them to make contact with us. We currently work with:

  • Chester University
  • Liverpool John Moores University
  • Liverpool Hope University
  • Edge Hill University
  • St Helens College University Centre

but are always keen to expand.

Please email or for more information.


‘I have learnt more here on placement than I have in my paid job and I feel like I have actively made a difference.’


Placement Student

‘This is the perfect organisation to have a placement and it meets all the PCF’s for the portfolio.’


Placement Student

‘My experience here has been life changing!’


Placement Student

‘I had a supportive placement which gave me an opportunity to grow in confidence and provided an opportunity to gain new knowledge.’


Placement Student

‘I really enjoyed my placement; I was made to feel welcome and part of the team.’


Placement Student

‘All the staff at Shap are helpful and always willing to help.’


Placement Student

Help us tackle homelessness in Merseyside