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Sharing experiences of social work with the Social Work England board

We welcomed Stacy Walker, a children’s workforce practice supervisor from North Lincolnshire, to our June board meeting to share experiences of social work during COVID-19.

Sharing experiences of social work with the Social Work England board

7/16/2020 11:00:00 AM

We welcomed Stacy Walker, a children’s workforce practice supervisor from North Lincolnshire, to our June board meeting to share experiences of working as a social worker during COVID-19. In this guest blog, Stacy shares her experience.

Recently I was invited to attend the Social Work England board meeting to share North Lincolnshire Children’s Services experiences of working on the frontline during COVID-19. I attended with North Lincolnshire’s Children’s Principal Social Worker, Rachel Smith.

I felt privileged at the request as it was an opportunity to share with the board members the realities of managing an extraordinary time where the social work system has been put under pressure. It allowed me to showcase how we had collectively come together through hard work, commitment and dedication to our profession to overcome some of these challenges and navigate our way through these stormy waters.

I reflected upon how we have responded and adapted practice to ensure our children and families are safeguarded, whilst also prioritising the health and welfare of our staff and supporting our ASYE’s and students throughout their period of training and development.

The board members made both me and Rachel feel very welcomed and relaxed, and appeared very interested in what we had to say, taking on board our experiences and thinking about this strategically. This gave me a sense that they were keen to keep up to date with what is happening for the social work profession in terms of practice, education and training and children and families experiences. There was a genuine interest in considering the regional differences during this time and learning from this, particularly in relation to education and training.

As well as presenting, we were given the opportunity to observe the whole meeting. I felt this echoed Social Work England’s standards around openness and transparency. Since Social Work England has taken over the responsibility for regulating the social work profession, I honestly feel much more connected and involved. The regional engagement team have been instrumental in making this happen. It was nice the see how the regional engagement work then fed into the board meeting and how they utilised the information to inform their planning. It felt so much more personal having the opportunity to meet the board members.

Would you like to attend a future board meeting?

We are committed to openness and transparency and welcome people to attend and observe board meetings, where possible. Please note that our board meetings will be virtual until further notice. Members of the public are able to attend board meetings via a video conferencing link.

If you would like to attend and observe an upcoming board meeting, please email [email protected] to register your interest at least 7 days in advance. Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.