Each project aims to support and improve professional practice, professional development and social work education across the Partnership.
Academics Alix Walton, Frank Keating, Karl Mason, Stefan Brown and Louise O’Connor are developing these projects for delivery with practitioners and students during 2021-2022. This work addresses diverse areas of social work education and practice including supporting carers in the context of Covid-19, working with LBGTQ+ issues in practice education, developing poverty aware practice in child protection and developing expert practitioner mentors for social work students.
Additional Practice and Research Group – Supporting and Assessing Carers
PI: Karl Mason
This practice and research group brings together practitioners who want to:
- Identify and discuss key professional challenges in supporting and assessing carers, with particular reference to the COVID-19 pandemic
- Learn about the existing and emerging research base relating to carer strain and consider how COVID interacts or changes the dynamics of the pre-COVID knowledge base
- Share good practice examples
- Contribute to a report that will provide a resource for agencies in the Teaching Partnership
This group is directly focussing on the impact of Covid & Covid recovery and will involve a carer representative.
Working with LGBTQ+ issues in Practice Education: A Communities of Practice Approach to developing digital learning resources for Practice Education
PI: Karl Mason
This project aims to develop Practice Educator (PE) knowledge of LGBTQ+ issues and to develop resources that will support PEs and students beyond the duration of the Teaching Partnership funding. It aims to bring a group of interested PEs from across the partnership (Children’s And Adult Services), student representatives, an academic and a service user representative together to exchange knowledge, skills and experience re: working with LGBTQ+ issues in social work education. This will be facilitated through a series of four ‘Community of Practice’ (CoP) groups.
Proposed topics include preparing students to work with LGBTQ+ individuals and families; working with LGBTQ+ students; a focus on trans issues; effectively working with strong religious values which may be homo/trans-phobic; LGBTQ+ practice educators’ experiences.
The knowledge developed from these will be used to develop video (and other supporting – e.g. brief guide, suggested reading, supervision activities etc.) resources to support future practice. This will provide a digital resource – useful in the event of future lockdown episodes – and accompanying practice resources.
Poverty-Aware Practice in the Child Protection system: From theory to practice. An Action Learning Project
PI: Prof Anna Gupta
The project aims to develop practitioners’ familiarity with the paradigm of poverty-aware social work and to explore the links between this theoretical framework and their own everyday experiences in practice. Three workshops would introduce the key concepts of the approach and explore them with practitioners, drawing on their own experiences in practice. The final workshop would include reflections on how to take learning forward and disseminate findings.
Resources linked to poverty-aware social work are already being developed as part of the current Learning Resources project. This action learning project will utilize and build on these materials with an aim of supporting practitioners to utilize and disseminate the resources effectively.
Mentoring project: Supporting students to smoothly transition through their Social Work qualification
This project aims to establish a mentoring scheme in which experienced social work practice educators from the WLTP act as mentors for a group of 20 selected MSc Social Work students across two cohorts. The mentoring scheme will have a strong emphasis on:
- preparing students for the demands of professional and organisational life
- supporting transitions into first and second placement
- enabling mentors to support students as they join the profession and develop skills which can be utilised with newly qualified practitioners & other staff.
This project builds on one of the areas of learning arising from the evaluation of the ASYE carried out in Stage 1 of the WLTP funding which found that ‘working in organisations’ was the area of transition which participants felt less prepared for and more challenging than any other. As an inclusive mentoring scheme, it will reinforce the potential for both student participants and practitioner mentor is as desirable employees with a commitment to professional development & wellbeing.
We look forward to reporting updates on these projects as they develop.