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.  

The Eastern Region Social Work Area Network (SWAN) met in January and a range of topics were discussed. Student placements remains a priority area for discussion with network members sharing the many challenges linked with making and maintaining placements during the pandemic and they also discussed the impact on day-to-day learning and practice. Some of the leads from the local authorities and HEIs have agreed to hold a separate meeting to further discuss student placements.

Jan Williams from Essex County Council provided an update on the NAAS and discussed the work that Essex are doing in relation to a Therapeutic Fostering Qualification and the Level 4 Child and Family Support Worker Apprenticeship, inviting others to become involved in the work. 

Ioana Roberts provided an update from Social Work England and shared details about the upcoming events that they are hosting. Lee Mummery provided an update from Skills for Care and shared updates and details about the events being hosted by Skills for Care. 

Heidi Dix from the University of Suffolk gave a presentation on ‘Do we practice (or teach) what we preach? The presentation was developed from the Black Perspective Research that the UOS undertook and Heidi shared the context and the findings and discussed some of the work taking place following the research. This topic of discussion will be taken forward at the next SWAN meeting. 

The dates for the next SWAN meetings are:

  • Wednesday 21 April, 13.30–16.00
  • Thursday 15 July, 13.30–16.00
  • Thursday 4 November, 13.30–16.00 

During the network meeting a number of members discussed that they are developing an occupational therapy (OT) programme and there was a request to hold OT forums for the region going forward. The first of these is arranged for 17 March, 14.00–16.00 and will be hosted via Microsoft Teams. The forum will likely have a different membership to the SWAN and will be open to OT leads.

If you wish to join the SWAN, the SWAN meetings or the new OT forum, please contact Lee Mummery at

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 


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 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 most recent ASYE best practice forum took place on Thursday 4 February and was very well attended. The minutes are available to download.  

    If you’d like to added to the invite list for the next forum, 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:

  • 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 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 

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

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 4 May
  • Tuesday 27 July
  • Tuesday 5 October
  • Tuesday 11 January 2022
  • Tuesday 22 March 2022

2. Yorkshire and Humber Social Work Network

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

  • Wednesday 5 May
  • Wednesday 28 July
  • Wednesday 20 October
  • Wednesday 12 January 2022
  • Wednesday 23 March 2022

For more information about this network or any of the meetings please contact

Our social work coordinator for this area is Jeremy Ashdown, Locality Manager

North West social work forum

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

  • next meeting date to be confirmed.

Race equality and social work practice – at the forum we’ll hear from Rachael Rooke and George Dake, both lecturers in social work from MMU, who will lead a session to stimulate our thinking about social work and race equality. This will be an opportunity to share learning and look at how our organisations are responding to the challenge both as employers and as an essential support to communities. We’ll also hear from Social Work England on how they are supporting equality and inclusion. As usual there will time to share what is happening in your organisations and catch-up on ASYE developments.

If you'd like more information about the forum or would like to contribute to the agenda, please email

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

Our social work coordinator for the South West area is Lindsey Thomas