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This is social work

Tickets are now available for Social Work Week 2021, the first national event of its kind, which will highlight how good social work practice improves millions of people’s lives every day in England.

This is social work - Social Work Week programme now live

1/13/2021 12:00:00 PM

Social Work England, the specialist regulator for over 100,000 social workers in England, has unveiled its programme for Social Work Week 2021 - ‘This is social work’. The new, online event takes place from 8 to 12 March and will feature a unique mix of renowned speakers, panel discussions, workshops, artistic contributions, wellbeing activities, networking lunches and reflective practice.

Tickets are now available for this first national event of its kind, which will highlight how good social work practice improves millions of people’s lives every day in England. Places are limited, so visit the Social Work Week 2021 website at www.socialworkweek.org.uk to select from over 70 sessions and book your free tickets.

About Social Work Week 2021

Co-produced by people with lived experience of social work and professionals, Social Work Week 2021 is aimed at anyone with an interest in effective social work practice, including social workers, people with lived experience of social work, students, employers, education providers and policymakers. The week will debate why social work matters, stimulate collaboration for long-term change, reflect on the many challenges and successes of 2020 and review Social Work England’s first year as a specialist regulator.

Local authorities, NHS trusts, people with lived experience of social work, universities, principal social workers and many different organisations will be hosting sessions. They will reflect the rich diversity and impact of social work practice with topics including co-production, COVID-19, Black Lives Matter, care leavers, mental health, anti-Semitism, neurodiversity, homelessness and practice education. 

All sessions will take place online and last a maximum of an hour. They can be booked as separate tickets to enable attendees to tailor their experience to suit their availability and interests. There will also be opportunities for attendees to get involved, network and put questions to the contributors.

As the regulator, Social Work England has a specific and important role within the wider social work landscape in England. Through our specialist remit, in time we will be able to provide a unique view of social work that reflects the breadth of social work in all settings. 

Social Work Week 2021 will allow us to listen and better inform our specialist regulation and to offer up reliable and insightful intelligence about the sector, ultimately helping to drive improving standards of professional practice to enable positive change.

Among the sessions, Social Work England is delighted to welcome thought-provoking keynote speakers:

  • Professor Lena Dominelli, Director of the Master of Science (MSc)in disaster interventions and humanitarian aid at the University of Stirling.
  • Ifeanyi Nwokoro, a disability awareness spokesperson and blogger who works in the higher education sector as an expert by experience.
  • Dr Prospera Tedam, Professor in social work at United Arab Emirates University.
  • Peter Beresford OBE, visiting professor at the University of East Anglia and emeritus professor at Brunel University London and Essex University. 
  • Luke Rodgers BEM, founder and strategy director at The Care Leaders, a social enterprise created and run by care experienced people.

They will be joined by the chief social workers for adults and children and families, plus Social Work England’s chair of the board, Lord Patel of Bradford OBE, chief executive Colum Conway, and fellow executive directors and regional engagement leads.

Colum Conway, chief executive of Social Work England, said:

“Social Work Week 2021 will explore the impact of social work on society which is more important than ever during the current pandemic. As a specialist regulator, Social Work England is in a unique position to bring people together to learn, connect, and engage on the values and principles which form the backbone of excellent social work practice. We’re committed to hearing and sharing as many views as we can from across one social work workforce. This new event, bringing people with different experiences of social work together, will allow us to do just that for the benefit of millions of people who rely on social work as a lifeline.

“We want people to discuss what’s next for social work, explore perspectives on equality, diversity and inclusion and how great social work practice enriches people's lives. Social Work Week 2021 is a chance to take part in a virtual programme of positive activity and examine the growing importance placed on social work by society as a regulated profession.

"We’ve been overwhelmed by the number of people wanting to share their stories, research, projects and talents and thank everyone who has offered to be involved. We hope people will support them by signing up to attend what is set to be a significant new event on the social work calendar.”

Social Work Week 2021 was intentionally scheduled to complement World Social Work Day on 16 March, which recognises the hard work and dedication of social workers on an international stage. The first day of Social Work Week will also recognise International Women’s Day with a series of female speakers.

The week will include opportunities for social workers to reflect on shared experiences and find out how their counterparts in other parts of the country are tackling some of the challenges they’re currently facing. Social Work England is encouraging them to reflect on their learning and how it will impact on their practise by recording continuing professional development (CPD).

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