Social Work England, the specialist regulator for child and family and adult social workers in England, has unveiled its programme for Social Work Week 2021, featuring a unique mix of activities that includes renowned speakers, panel discussions, workshops and wellbeing activities.
The new, online event takes place from 8 to 12 March and complements World Social Work Day on Tuesday 16 March, which recognises the hard work and dedication of social workers on an international stage.
Here, Isabelle Trowler, Chief Social Worker for Children and Families, and Colum Conway, Chief Executive of Social Work England, discuss the importance of Social Work Week 2021 in bringing people together
Reflecting the rich diversity and impact of social work practice
Colum Conway, Chief Executive of Social Work England:
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 are 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.
The virtual programme of events reflects the rich diversity and impact of social work practice with topics including co-production, coronavirus (COVID-19), Black Lives Matter, care leavers, mental health, anti-Semitism, neurodiversity, homelessness and practice education.
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 positive activity and examine the growing importance placed on social work by society as a regulated profession.
Recognising the profession's major contribution to public service
Isabelle Trowler, Chief Social Worker for Children and Families:
World Social Work Day is one of the most important dates in my calendar. It’s a chance for us to shine the spotlight on the profession and give thanks to each and every social worker for your ongoing commitment to supporting children and families.
This year, the week before World Social Work Day, Social Work Week 2021, which has been designed for the sector by Social Work England, will provide an excellent and inspiring opportunity to recognise the profession's major contribution to public service. Firstly, by recognising the invaluable work social workers have done throughout the pandemic and beyond, providing a platform to recognise the impact you as social workers have on society today. And secondly, to debate why social work matters, reflecting on the profession's many challenges and successes to stimulate collaboration for long-term change.
Through our dedicated regulator, Social Work England, we as a profession can use this platform to create a space to cultivate new relationships for long-term change; sharing examples of innovative practice, trends and solutions adopted in social work to work together to achieve higher standards of practice. I encourage all social workers to register for Social Work Week 2021 and take advantage of this rich, diverse programme of events.
A platform for reflection and collaboration
The first day of the week-long event, Monday 8 March, will also recognise International Women’s Day with a series of female speakers, including Dr Prospera Tedam, who focuses on culturally sensitive social work and anti-oppressive practice and Chief Social Worker for Children and Families, Isabelle Trowler.
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 all social workers to reflect on their learning and how it will impact on their practice by recording continuing professional development (CPD).
To book free tickets and for a full breakdown of the programme, visit: www.socialworkweek.org.uk