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 emergency, 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.  

Since the outbreak of coronavirus, the Eastern Region SWAN has been meeting virtually using Microsoft Teams (MST) as a platform to connect. The first of the online meetings was in April where we were joined by Ioana Roberts, the regional lead from Social Work England (SWE). During the meeting it was felt that it would be beneficial to connect as a group on a monthly basis.  

The meeting in April included discussion on a range of topics; Clearly the C19 pandemic had an immediate impact on the delivery of the ASYE programmes and on students looking to become newly qualified social workers and the region was swift to respond to this and moved towards virtual learning and practice approaches very quickly. The different members discussed progress and shared ideas.  

Ioana discussed the current work of SWE and there were a number of questions about the professional standards and use of the PCF and KSS. These discussions have since been ongoing and the group feel there is a need for greater clarity about the standards that are to be met and the evidence base(s) to be used. 

Since that time there has been a further two SWAN meetings. The group wished to discuss Social Work CPD requirements and for the May and June meetings we have been joined by Matthew Byng, Policy Manager (Education & Training) for SWE. 

Over the last two months the group has been discussing and clarifying CPD requirements with SWE, discussing how they have managed during the pandemic and there has been a strong focus on planning for student placements, both for the current cohorts and the future cohorts. This is seen as a key issue and there has even been a separate MST meeting to focus on that one topic. The LA social work leads and the leads from the HEIs will be working together on this going forward so that solutions can be identified and placements can be planned. 

We’ve also had discussions about the NAAS and members have also shared their experiences about the Return to Social Work programme. 

As a group, we will be meeting again on 23 July and we will likely move to meeting every two to three months after that. This is entirely dependent on the situation at that time and if needed, we will continue with monthly meetings. 

We will also continue to use MST as a means of hosting some of the meetings in the future, so we have a blend of face-to-face and virtual meetings. 

If you would like further information about the meetings or would like to become involved, please contact Lee.Mummery@skillsforcare.org.uk

Our social work coordinator for London is Ali Rusbridge and for the South East area is Rachel Reid.

For more information about any of the London and South East forums please email 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 meets 10.00-13.00 at the Skills for Care London office followed by a networking bring your own lunch. At 13.30-15.00 there is a session for child and family leads.

Dates for forums in 2020:

  • The next forum via webinar will be on 30 September at 10:30. Details will be circulated nearer the time.

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)

The SWEN usually meets 10.00-13.30 at the Skills for Care London office. This is followed by an optional afternoon session from 13.45-15.15. You can bring lunch to the meeting.

Forthcoming meetings:

  • dates for future SWENs will be agreed once things have returned to normal.

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:

  • Wednesday 14 October 2020 - details 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.

Presentation from the joint East and West Midlands social work event

If you are interested in downloading the presentation that was given at the joint social work event that was held in July 2018, you can do so via this link.

2. West Midlands social work development group  

Forthcoming meetings: 

  • the date of the next meeting is to be confirmed.

Presentation from the joint East and West Midlands social work event

If you are interested in downloading the presentation that was given at the joint social work event that was held in July 2018, you can do so via this link.

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 14 July 2020 
  • Monday 21 September 2020 
  • Tuesday 1 December 2020 
  • 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 22 July 2020
  • Wednesday 21 October 2020
  • 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

All meetings are 13.15-15.30 at Preston Grasshoppers Rugby Club, Lightfoot Green Lane, Preston, PR4 0AP.

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

  • next meeting date to be confirmed.

Please email CorporateResources@skillsforcare.org.uk to confirm your attendance. 

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 summer meeting 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