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Major new event for social work calendar announced

Announcing Social Work Week, taking place from 8-12 March 2021, which will encourage social workers and those with an interest in social work to reflect on the profession in 2020.

Major new event launched for social work calendar

9/4/2020 10:34:33 AM

Social Work England, the specialist regulator for over 100,000 social workers in England, has today launched a major new event on the social work sector calendar.

Social Work Week, which will take place from 8-12 March 2021, will encourage social workers and those with an interest in social work, including people with lived experience, to reflect on the significant events, challenges and successes of the profession in 2020. It will also provide an opportunity to look back at Social Work England’s first year of regulation and the collective ambition across the sector to enable positive change for the benefit of the millions of people who need social work support.

As a specialist regulator Social Work England has a unique view across the social work profession. It is committed to shining a light on both positive practice and discussing key issues affecting the sector in order to deliver high standards of professional practice. Social Work Week is being announced to coincide with Social Work England’s publication of its very first research reports. In January it commissioned YouGov to study the perceptions of social work in England and Cragg Ross Dawson to conduct a programme of research exploring knowledge, attitudes and experience around social work.

Colum Conway, Chief Executive of Social Work England, said, “While we are not a lobbying organisation, we seek to collaborate, learn and influence policy and practice through active engagement with all those who have an interest in social work, including those with lived experience. Central to our approach is collaboration to raise standards and increase professionalism so that the public have confidence in a trusted and skilled workforce that is recognised for the contribution it makes to the wellbeing of individuals, families and communities.

“The thousands of conversations we’ve had and now the results of our first independent research projects don’t bring many surprises. The perception of social workers is that they are undervalued by society in comparison to other key workers, confounded by public misconceptions of their role. Add to this the challenge of this unique role and the impact on wellbeing, recruitment and retention.

“We believe the key to addressing these long-standing issues needs to be collectively owned and Social Work Week is our attempt at doing just that. We know that the answers are firmly rooted in the commitment to social work values, including co-production and dialogue with the people who receive and deliver services. We will publish an extensive analysis of our findings so far in an interim Social Work in England annual report later this year ahead of Social Work Week. We hope the profession, and those served by it, will join us to share their successes, debate their difficulties and design solutions together.”

Social Work Week is being co-produced with a working group including Social Work England staff and members of the National Advisory Forum, who bring a range of lived and learned experience of social work.

Registration will open for Social Work Week events later this year when further details are shared. People are encouraged to put the date in their diaries now. It aims to complement the annual World Social Work Day which takes place on 16 March 2021.



Notes to editors

Social Work England is committed to learning about social work and to gathering data and intelligence about the profession and people’s experiences. By talking to social workers, people with lived experience of social work, stakeholder organisations and members of the public we aim to gain a detailed picture of social work in England to inform our work as a specialist regulator.

We commissioned YouGov in January 2020 to conduct a quantitative and qualitative research study on perceptions of social work in England.

We also commissioned Cragg Ross Dawson (CRD) to conduct a programme of research exploring knowledge, attitudes and experience around social work. This looked in depth at what people understand and believe about social work, and at the experiences and feelings of those who have received social work support.

View research reports.

Social Work England

Social Work England is a specialist body taking a new approach to regulating social workers in their vital roles. We believe in the power of collaboration and share a common goal with those we regulate - to protect the public, enable positive change and ultimately improve people’s lives. 

For more information please contact:  

Jonathan Smith, External Relations Manager: [email protected] 

Catherine Elphee, External Relations Officer: [email protected] 


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