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Social work diary: ‘He survived a nightmarish childhood we cannot imagine’

A challenging week prompts a social worker who works with refugees to reflect on life, loss and what makes the perfect team meeting Monday I get non-stop phone calls from various people involved with an isolated, elderly tenant. Not wanting to spend his money nor to accept any grants, he has minimum care twice a […]

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‘Social work is a noble and vital calling,’ says prime minister in speech to Tory party

David Cameron raised an unexpected cheer for social workers in his speech at the Conservative party conference today. However, typically, Cameron’s references to social work seemed to include only those working with children. Nestled in between references to adoption and the welfare system, the prime minister said: “Social work is a noble and vital calling. […]

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The social work assistant who helps families deal with a cancer diagnosis

Lara Perkins, a social work assistant for children and young people’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent, describes a challenging case during which she helped a terminally ill woman get married. When I took a call from a concerned nurse at The Royal Marsden Hospital in London about a newly-admitted patient back in May, there was nothing […]

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Audio slideshow: Social work on the set of 24 Hours in A&E

Fans of Channel 4′s 24 Hours in A&E will be familiar with the emotional rollercoaster experienced by the patients, nurses and doctors on a daily basis in King’s College Hospital’s emergency department, south London. But one person who never appears on camera is the department’s only on-site social worker, Karl Mason. Many of the patients he deals […]

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The books social workers recommend as good reads for students

In recent weeks  Andrew Ellery and I asked social workers to send us recommendations of books that would be good reads for social work students, both academic texts and fiction. As you’ll see from the list below, the response was pretty overwhelming. We had a huge variety of suggestions sent to us via Twitter and […]

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Social work diary: ‘Independent social work offers freedom but building business is tough’

My new role as an independent social worker is a long way from my previous posts in local authorities, writes an anonymous social worker. Monday It’s Monday morning and my partner goes to work. The house is mine to clean and tidy before he gets home. In-between the hoovering and dusting I’m going to meet […]

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‘A great resource for social workers carrying out research alongside frontline work’

Social worker Brid Joy, who is currently completing her PhD in mental health, is impressed by a guide to research for busy practitioners…  ‘Research and evaluation for busy practitioners’ by Helen Kara aims to help practitioners within public services who find themselves carrying out research as part of their role. The book certainly meets this […]

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What books do you recommend for trainee social workers?

What books – fiction, non-fiction or academic – would you recommend to students about to take their first steps into the world of social work? Social worker Andrew Ellery and I are going to work together to publish a list of top tips for books social workers should read (we both did separate lists last […]

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Top resources for students about to start a social work degree

I’ve noticed some Tweets and forum posts this week from students looking for some advice ahead of them starting their social work courses in August/September. Here are some of the top resources from our archives that me and my colleague Dominic Schneider thought might help when gearing up for the degree. Before you start This is […]

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How we’re asserting social work’s distinct role in our NHS trust

Gail Dearing, principal social worker at South Essex Partnership mental health trust, explains how her organisation has sought to define and support social work’s distinct role in an NHS setting. “I’m too busy”. “Supervision is just about ticking boxes”. “I’m not even sure what social work is any more, nurses are doing all the same […]

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