Social work in your area

Lady with glasses sat in classroom

Join your local social work network

Our social work area forums are held across the country to keep you up to date with local and national social work activity.

The forums play an important role in local collaboration and partnerships.

Information about forthcoming meetings is included in our monthly social work briefing

During the COVID-19 pandemic, as per government guidance, planned face to face meetings will not take place until safe to do so again. However, where possible webinars will be arranged to give updates and allow presentations from speakers.  

In the Eastern region, COVID-19 and the restrictions it brings continue to have an impact on the delivery of the ASYE and SW programmes but the regions leads are working together to continue to deliver the programmes and provide the essential support and development opportunities needed for social workers and NQSWs. 

In October, representatives of the Eastern Region Social Work Area Network (SWAN) met with representatives from Social Work England to discuss the professional standards and other frameworks relating to social work. This was to enhance understanding of the requirements that social workers must meet in relation to the professional standards. The group talked through the challenges they have experienced and the discussion was beneficial to all involved with Social Work England taking away a number of points for consideration in their future development work. 

The Eastern region SWAN also met in October and discussed a range of topics. This was Mark Dimes from Suffolk County Council first meeting as the new chairperson and Mark opened the meeting with a commitment to review the terms of reference for the network to ensure they are still current and appropriate. Ioana Roberts from Social Work England provided an update relating to CPD requirements and the group also reflected on the meeting that had taken place with Social Work England. 

The group continue to have a focus on planning for student placements and there was a lengthy discussion about the challenges relating to placements and some members discussed how they are managing these challenges. Matt Johnson form Peterborough City Council provided an update on the regional approach for moderation and Lee Mummery provided a national moderation update from Skills for Care. Lee also provided a more general update from Skills for Care, including updates on some of the work taking place around the development of the ASYE programmes. 

Jan Williams from Essex County Council provided an update relating to the NAAS and also discussed a Therapeutic Fostering Qualification and the Level 4 Child and Family Support Worker Apprenticeship. 

The meeting finished with a discussion on student experiences during the pandemic, particularly for those from a BAME background. There is a desire to understand students experiences and to understand the work taking place in different areas in relation to this. To increase this understanding, this item will be taken forward on the next agenda. 

The next Eastern Region Social Work Area Network meeting is on Thursday 21 January 2021, 13.30-16.00. The meeting will be held online through Microsoft Teams. If you wish to attend the meeting, or would like further information, please email lee.mummery@skillsforcare.org.uk 

Our social work coordinators for London and the South East are Selena Docherty and Ali Rusbridge. If you have any questions or would like further information about things happening in your area, please contact Selena or Ali via londonsocialwork@skillsforcare.org.uk. 

 

To attend the ASYE best practice forum or the Pan London social work education network (SWEN) you need to be on the forum mailing list. To request to be added to this list please email londonsocialwork@skillsforcare.org.uk giving your name, organisation and role.

Key resources:

  • Practice learning documentation - These documents for the 2020-21 academic year have been developed by a group of universities in London and South East England.

Joint forums

The ASYE best practice forum

The ASYE best practice forum is currently meeting via webinar. 

Dates for forums in 2020:

  • the next forum via webinar will be held in early 2021 (date to be confirmed). If you wish to be added to the invite list, please email us

London forums

Our London forums are is divided into five local areas which hold regular social work education meetings. The forums provide an opportunity for you to work collaboratively with Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to support your strategic planning.

  1. North West London social work partnership
  2. North Central London ASYE, CPD and PE social work group
  3. North East London social work partnership
  4. South East London Social Work Reform Partnership
  5. South West London and Surrey Social Work Alliance

Pan London social work education network (SWEN)

SWEN meetings are currently being held virtually.

Forthcoming meetings:

  • There won’t now be a forum in November 2020. We will update you on plans for the next forum in future social work briefings and on this webpage.

South East forums

Our South East forums are is divided into four local areas which hold regular social work education meetings.

The forums provide an opportunity for you to work collaboratively with Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to support your strategic planning.

  1. Southampton, Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Portsmouth (SHIP) social work education group 
  2. Sussex and Surrey social work education group
  3. Milton Keynes, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire social work education group.

 

We have two social work education networks in the Midlands. For more information please email lucy.mcdonald@skillsforcare.org.uk who is our social work coordinator for this area.

1. East Midlands social work network

Forthcoming meetings:

  • dates of future network meetings are to be confirmed.

If you have any questions, please email lucy.mcdonald@skillsforcare.org.uk 

Please send any agenda items to Ian Mathews, chair of the network.

2. West Midlands social work development group  

Forthcoming meetings: 

  • dates of future network meetings are to be confirmed.

Key resources

We have two social work education networks in the North East, Yorkshire and Humber. Both networks address topics such as, post qualifying training for social workers, social work qualifying education, the PCF, the ASYE, principal social worker developments, practice education and continuing professional development.

We also use the meetings to contribute to consultations and address the concerns of local stakeholders.

The networks are attended by a range of social work professionals across child and family and adults social work.

Our social work coordinator for this area is Peter Northrop. For more information please email Peter.Northrop@skillsforcare.org.uk

1. North East Social Work Network

The North East Social Work Network meets 13.00-15.30. Listed below are the dates for each meeting. The next meeting will be held online.

  • Tuesday 2 March 2021

2. Yorkshire and Humber Social Work Network

These meetings are held 10.00–12.30. The next meeting will be held online.

  • Wednesday 6 January 2021
  • Wednesday 3 March 2021

For more information about this network or any of the meetings please contact Peter.Northrop@skillsforcare.org.uk.

Our social work coordinator for this area is Jeremy Ashdown, Locality Manager Jeremy.Ashdown@skillsforcare.org.uk

North West social work forum

The dates for the North West Social Work Partnerships meetings are as follows:

  • dates of future network meetings are to be confirmed.

Jez would like to hear from anyone who would like to support him in planning the content and agenda(s). The commitment would be limited with contact via telephone and email. Jez would welcome any suggestions for content of the meetings so that we can start to identify themes, speakers and content which reflect issues which are important to members of the North West network. If you are interested, please email jeremy.ashdown@skillsforcare.org.uk

Dates of future network meetings are to be confirmed.

Following on from a meeting on 25 September 2019, a second meeting was held on 29 January for employers to consider the apprenticeship route to the social work degree. If you’re an employer and couldn’t attend the meeting but would like to see the notes, please contact Lindsey Thomas Lindsey.Thomas@skillsforcare.org.uk

Our social work coordinator for the South West area is Lindsey Thomas Lindsey.thomas@skillsforcare.org.uk