Committee member candidates

Dr. Jenni Burton

Senior Lecturer and Author

I am already involved in BASW and would like to become more actively engaged in promoting value-based social work practice and policy which can inform and contribute to the fast pace of change in contemporary social work practice. I have had a varied and exciting career in front-line operational social work, both within the voluntary and statutory sectors of social care and social work practice, and also the experience of higher education social work teaching and management. I am also an external examiner for Oxford Brookes University and enjoy contributing to quality assurance processes to ensure that assessment and moderating processes are fair and equitable.

In addition to my substantive post, I also work as an assessor consultant for the Open University, which ensures that I retain currency and experience of front-line health and social care service delivery. I am very interested in social work research, and this is an area that I would be very keen to build on as I very recently gained by doctorate award.

In conclusion, I am very committed to high standards of social work practice and contributing to anti-oppressive, ethical practice and initiatives, where like-minded people can collaborate together to help shape the future for the profession. I hope that I will be considered for one of the posts as a committee member for BASW England.

Areas of practice/interest: I have recently been awarded a Professional Doctorate in Social Work Studies at Coventry University, and am very interested in social work research, particularly in extending research within the field of social work practice education.

I have been employed as a university academic for 10 years at Buckinghamshire New University, and prior to this I was a team manager for several years, specialising in adult disability support services. I am very interested in personalised support for both service users and their families and one of the highlights of my career has been the opportunity to design, develop and deliver community based services for learning disabled adults, based on the principles of respect, dignity and choice.

I have been a practice educator for many years and very much enjoy the process of supporting and enabling social work students to develop skills and knowledge through practice-based learning. As the Practice Lead at Bucks New University, I am able to develop new placement opportunities for students and provide an infrastructure of support and training for practice educators and placement supervisors.

I enjoy writing and have collaborated in writing several social work texts and have published two books, one based on Personalisation for Social Work (2012) and Practice Learning in Social Work (2016).

As part of my course lead responsibilities at Buckinghamshire New University I have enjoyed putting into practice an integrated and versatile programme of learning for students which encourages widening diversity and a student centred approach to valuing each student and their individual learning styles and needs.

I am already actively involved in BASW as a member of the PPEG working groups for PCF and PEPS.

Jane Calverley

Advanced Practitioner

My name is Jane Calverley and I am passionate about the development and promotion of Social Work. I feel that I have a wide experience base that can support the England Committee with innovation and continuity.

I am 51 years old and a mother of 3 children, a dog and grandmother to 2 granddaughters. I qualified as a Social Worker later in life and as a very mature student of 44 years old. Prior to studying for my BA Social Work degree at University of Birmingham, I was the Director of a children’s day nursery that I started in 1999.

Being the Director of a childcare setting has afforded me a strong understanding of the necessity of Health and Safety to ensure that everyone including service users and employees are protected. Furthermore, I have experience of service development and managing change; the nursery I opened has progressed over the 18+ years and required regular development and change.

As a Social Worker I have 7 years post qualifying experience, with approximately 3 ½ years in a Statutory Social Care Setting including Assessment for a Children and Families Team and Adult Social Care in an Acute Hospital Setting. Outside of the statutory experience I have worked as a bereavement social worker supporting people in complex bereavement situations. Furthermore, I have worked for a Sexual Assault Referral Centre whereby I have supported clients in a crisis.

I believe that I am empathic and caring and have worked in the care sector for over 18 years. The roles I have undertaken have helped develop my interpersonal abilities and improved my organisational skills and feel I demonstrate these on a daily basis. I have established my own business, which required the self-discipline and motivation to be successful. It has also required resilience during difficult times and a pragmatic approach to ensure that difficult decisions have been made.

I see my future as developing and enhancing my Social Work skills by undertaking further study for a Masters Degree in Forensic Psycholigical Studies and becoming more involved in supporting Social Workers by hopefully becoming a Committee Member for British Association of Social Workers.

Areas of practice/interest: I have diverse areas of interest including; safeguarding adults, dementia, facilitating safe and personalised hospital discharges and crisis support for people affected by sudden bereavement and sexual assault.

Stephen Cardy

Social Worker, Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Trust

I started my career as a trainee in Leicester City Welfare Department in August 1970 and obtained a diploma in Social Work (CQSW) from Leicester University in 1974. After a short spell in a community team I moved to hospital social work with the Leicester area geriatric service, first as a social worker and then first line manager.

From late 1980 to the end of 1986 I worked as Cambridgeshire County Council’s adviser on all aspects of care of and services to elderly people. This involved service development and monitoring, supporting all relevant staff within the Department and liaising with partner agencies. I also had the opportunity to increase my knowledge and skill base within a wide area.

In 1987 I decided to take the plunge into the independent sector.  It took 3 years and most of my work coming from Local Authorities for me to realise that I was not cut out to be an entrepreneur, and I returned to fieldwork and again as first line manager in adult teams in Cambridgeshire.

Re-organisation in 1998 saw a return to Hospital Social Work as first line manager where I remained until my 60th birthday in 2008. At that time, I decided to take my Local Government pension and reduce my hours and took a half time Social Work position at Papworth (now Royal Papworth) Hospital. I have remained there ever since pending my retirement in July coming up.

During the past 10 years I have maintained my Independent Social Worker status (I belong to BASW Independents Group), and I regularly sit on Continuing Health Care Independent Review Panels as Independent Social Services representative.

With over 40 years of working in the social care field I have amassed a considerable and wide range of knowledge and experience in respect of my chosen client group. I like to think that I have a considerable and wide range of expertise, but I leave confirmation of this to the judgement of others.

I work well with people at all levels – service users, their relatives and representatives, colleagues of all descriptions, outside agencies and the public in general.  I think through situations before acting but consider that I am able to do this quickly so that important decisions are not delayed.

Above all I have a keen sense of humour (sometimes black) without which I do not think that anyone can survive in what can be a very stressful profession. I am particularly interested in the way in which social care and health service personnel work together, and how the excellent relationships that exist within specialist services like Royal Papworth Hospital could be replicated in the more general situations of both Health and Social Care. I am a member of BASW and support its aims. This is the first time that I have put myself forward for any sort of position within its organisation, and I leave the membership to decide if it wishes me to be successful.

Areas of practice/interest: Services to elderly and physically disabled adults. Joint working with Health services and health colleagues in all aspects of care for adults.

This is based on my work in community social work teams and residential care (mainly with elderly clients) and, in particular, 24 years as Social Worker and first line manager in Hospital Social Work Teams. Plus 6 years in a Social Services Department central office as an advisor on services to elderly people.

Carl Chandra

Senior Lecturer

As a Senior Lecturer with over 10 years of experience in academia, coupled with over 15 years of practice in social work, I have had the opportunity to work within a variety of settings. My experience has taught me to work in a sensitive manner across a wide range of issues which require sound judgements. At times this required me to be cognisant of competing obligations that presented both moral and ethical challenges. From these experiences, I have gained skills and metacognitive abilities in processing information that enables me to arrive at succinct and justifiable decisions which I believe will hold me in good stead in my contribution to shaping and influencing the BASW England Committee objectives.  I have also been an external examiner at a number of higher education institutes where I have had to make critical decisions around the progression of qualifying social work programmes. I have found this very beneficial in gaining alternative perspectives that have assisted in my own decision making abilities. Moreover I am acutely aware that judgements should be made on a strong evidence base so that equity and parity prevail.

I am aware of the changing nature of health and social care within the sector and how the profession has to respond to a fast changing climate i.e. The National Accreditation Scheme for children social workers. Also education providers are now required to respond to new curriculum and delivery initiatives established by the government since 2014 i.e. Knowledge and Skills Statements (KSS) from the Chief Social Workers, Teaching Partnerships, Fast Track programmes such as ‘Step Up to Social Work’, ‘Frontline’, etc. From this I believe I have now developed a strong and robust knowledge base around the principles and practice of social work. I also have a wide and varied experience of teaching, supervising and assessing learning within the university sector and in other settings and I have also worked within a number of complex and challenging situations as a practitioner. With this experience I feel I will be able to work effectively at promoting the mission and aspiration of BASW. Moreover I recognise the importance of representing the broad views of social work in a coherent and succinct manner so that changes to the national agenda and policy frameworks have been influenced by the people within the profession.

I believe I demonstrate an unwavering commitment to anti-discriminatory and anti-oppressive practice. These are also important ideologies that I factor into my current role and the support I offer both peers and students are stable features within my professional identity. To this end, I actively encourage debate and discussion where required and necessary so that the principle of respecting and appreciating diversity prevails.

In conclusion, I have been a member of BASW for over 12 years and have always been passionate and committed regarding the progression and development of social work. I feel I now have the skills and attributes to effectively contribute to the shaping of BASW policy as well as the ability to work with external and internal groups. I am also extremely keen to work with BASW members offering guidance and leadership where necessary.

Area of practice/interest: My areas of interest include research and development in the psychosocial discourse related to dementia. I am currently engaged in a study related to this field focused on effective social work responses in this burgeoning population. I am also involved in exploring areas around equality, diversity, intersectionality and difference. My previous experiences have exposed me to working with People with LD and those from the LGBT sector therefore I have a passion around the progression of these often overlooked communities. I am hugely inspired around writing and keeping abreast of how contemporary social work is progressing from political and practice based angles.

Edith Dei-Anane

Social Worker

I work as a Hospital Social Worker for a Local Authority in the North West of England. I work for the Local Authority within a hospital discharge team. I have previously worked for a local Authority within the hospital discharge team in the South of England.

I have been a qualified social worker for the past 3 years graduating with a Master’s Degree in Social Work. Prior to my first social work post, I was employed by the NHS in a number of roles including a non-clinical support worker and in the Breast Screening Service. This has given me a great insight into the working of the NHS, as well as how people respond in difficult circumstances.

In my current role, I liaise effectively with other agencies to ensure that services users are safely discharged to their destinations and that their support packages arranged, meet assessed need and desired outcomes. I do this by responding to referrals, gathering information from different sources including nurses, service users, their relatives and carers regarding the support they would require upon discharge. This information is gathered with the aim of analysing and investigating service user need, risk and the outcomes they would like to achieve upon discharge. Consequently, a critical and reflective assessment is written. I have therefore further developed good communication skills both verbal and non-verbal in a range of situations working with service users, their carers other agencies and health colleagues.

In my day to day activities within the hospital discharge team, I am always working effectively as part of a team contributing to work planning. I actively participate in multi-disciplinary team meetings, Continuing Health Care assessments and chair Best Interests meetings, ensuring mental capacity assessments have been undertaken. I have developed the ability to discuss relevant information in regards to social care input with service users using appropriate terminology at appropriate levels with members of the multidisciplinary team. In my current and previous roles, I have worked with service users from diverse backgrounds and cultures. I have demonstrated the ability to communicate with them effectively using both verbal and non-verbal communication skills. I have used interpreter services to convey both simple and complex information using appropriate language and to gather relevant information. For example, I have used interpreter services appropriately to communicate with service users to complete assessments on the ward.

I am always willing to learn new things and improve upon my knowledge. I improve my knowledge and practise through continuous professional development by attending formal training courses, use of supervision and personal reading.

Overall, I am a hardworking, flexible and trustworthy individual. I also seek to make a positive difference in people’s lives in any environment I find myself. I believe what sets me apart is that I am self-driven, willing to learn and always keen to develop new experiences.

Area of practice/interest: I am a hospital Social Worker based within a hospital discharge team at Lancashire County Council. I have worked here since August 2016. Prior to this I worked as a hospital Social Worker at Hertfordshire County Council from September 2015. I qualified with a Master’s degree in July 2015 at Lancaster University. Throughout my degree I completed 2 placements; for the first placement, I was based at a voluntary support service which provided advocacy and welfare support. This gave me a full understanding of the difficulties faced by those in society and the disadvantages caused by poverty and disability. For my final placement, I was based in a hospital discharge team, which gave me a very good grounding for my first Social Work post within the Hospital Team at Hertfordshire County Council.

Prior to completing my Master’s qualification, I completed an undergraduate degree in Social work with psychology in Ghana. Following this, I was employed by the NHS in a number of roles including a non-clinical support worker and in the Breast Screening Service. This has given me a great insight into the working of the NHS, as well as how people respond in difficult circumstances.

Selina Grant

Social Worker

My experiences spans over twenty years. My earlier transferable skills begin within Birmingham City Council social services Department as a home-care assistant, supporting client within their home and at times being their advocate for additional care hours.

I am also able to draw from skills gained parenting my three children. At present I am employed within a social work team and currently my role is completing generic adults and young people social work duties. Completing social work assessments, carrying out face to face reviews/assessments, telephone reviews and arranging package of care for short and long-term stay, emergency respite, adult protection work, joint working on children safeguarding work and emergency placements.

Managing complex cases loads such as: Older Adults with complex needs health and social care needs, young people who suffer mental health problems, alcoholic issues, drug concerns signposting to external / internal agencies. In conjunction with the care manager, recognise actual and potential safeguarding concerns and take action as detailed in the Birmingham city council safeguarding procedures. To work holistically in the development of an assessment, using formal and informal support.

Areas of practice/interest: I have had 22 years’ experience in working in social care agencies of which 10 years have been spent working directly with children, young people families. The remaining 10 years were constructively spent in adult services care management. The experience has furnished me with holistic perspective in terms of timescale, resources management/availability as well as delivering service in a need led manner. My main area of interest is safeguarding, children in need and children in care as well as adult care management and adult safeguarding work.

My life experience training and professional experiences enable me to be sensitive, empathic whilst at the same time being objective, accountable and aware of the need to deliver the best possible service professionally and within the confines of available resources. To me the experience I have gained whilst working as a support worker throughout my employment years I am able to draw on and transfer these skills within my new team. I am mature, open minded and adaptable to new environment. I can employ my own initiative to ensure tasks are completed whilst remaining a friendly and approachable member of the work force.

Thought out my employment and university I have embraced an anti- oppressive style of working, this I am able to transfer into my practice as a social worker. As a woman thriving for success and be recognise as a good practitioner when completing assessment’s, I must be ever mindful people are individuals, with rights and choices, services are meant to be tailored to meet needs.

Sophie Greenchester

Senior Social Worker

I work in an out of hours emergency duty team, spanning all areas of social work.  I am a qualified AMHP and BIA. I am a Director of a company providing training, supervision and independent assessments.  I have recently presented my experience of Social Work in this time of Austerity to the All Party Parliamentary Group for Social Work and I really valued this opportunity. I have been an elected member of the BASW England Committee for the past two years and I have used the opportunity to share my first-hand experience as a front-line practitioner and I would like to be able to continue in this role. I have recently contributed to the BASW Equality and Diversity offer and I am excited with the potential to continue to work in this area, particularly as a Feminist and as someone who identifies as Queer.

Qualifying in 2008, I have experience of working with substance misuse service users, female offenders, inpatients in an acute mental health hospital, early intervention services, a referral and assessment service working with children and families and more recently, responding to out of hours emergencies in an out of hours emergency duty team. My company, Supporting Acts Ltd was registered in 2015 and I have built a clientele including two training companies and a private mental health hospital where I have provided Social Work supervision.

With the South London Teaching Partnership I have facilitated group supervision to Social Work students at Goldsmiths. I have developed a supervision framework for social workers based around the professional capabilities framework to enable practitioners to build on their strengths and to identify areas for them to grow as a professional.

I have a good working knowledge of The Children Act, The Care Act, The Mental Health Act, The Mental Capacity Act and the associated guidance and codes of practice amongst other legislation. Central to my practice is the Human Rights Act and the European Convention of Human Rights and I am interested in how Social Work can uphold individual human rights.

My work across the social work spectrum and in many areas of social work practice has meant I have developed my knowledge of all aspects of social work and I have the skills to see social work systemically and I am particularly interested in how areas of Social Work interact with each other. The interface between mental health and children’s services as an example.

My Social Work values form an important part of my identity and I am passionate about improving services for service users and for professionals working within the service; both by reflecting on my own practice and basing this in a strong evidence base.

I am interested in a Social Work narrative and I am reflexive in identifying where my own motivation for social work comes from: my experiences as a carer for example. I have experienced first hand the web of power that exists between service users and their social workers and I actively strive to ensure that I work in trying to empower service users.

We are always learning, particularly from the people we serve and work with as well as students we teach and I believe I have a good link to current practice to ensure that my contribution to BASW England Committee reflects the experience of front-line practitioners.

My experience, skills, knowledge, values and ethics, combined with my passion, enthusiasm and drive, enable me to speak out and stand up for social work.  I am excited by the opportunity to continue to make BASW a strong independent voice for social work and social workers.

Area of practice/interest: Generic Social Work in an out of hours, emergency duty team.  I work in mental health services, adults services and children’s services.  I am an Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) and a Best Interests Assessor (BIA).

Kuldip Kaur Kang

Adult Mental Health Social Worker

I am a passionate Adult Mental Health Social Worker. Throughout my career I have been driven by anti-oppressive and anti-discriminatory values. I went from behind a desk reading and writing about social and economic issues in policy to wanting to do something tangible about it by working with people experiencing the reality. I am a firm advocate of working collaboratively with service users to promote their recovery and the knock-on outcomes to communities. My practice is underpinned by expertise in legislation, social work interventions and an evidence base of research and theory.

I have experience of working with service users who experience a range of mental health conditions in the community and in acute settings. I am a champion of the social model in a health and social care environment. I have also worked in a Children and Families Duty team giving me direct experiences of children’s social care. I believe in the unique contribution the Social Worker identity can make in an era where our identity is, at times, misunderstood and people’s needs are increasing whilst limited resources are battling continued pressures.

In my earlier career I worked for disability voluntary sector organisations. I undertook a MA in Community Development to develop my knowledge of working with communities in partnership with them to utilise assets to strengthen their resilience and capabilities. I quickly became aware that such an ambition requires consideration of the structural barriers people experience. I worked for national grant giving organisations supporting grassroot and local voluntary sector organisations to access funding. I directly witnessed the impact cuts were (and still are) having on these organisations. I then worked in national policy for The Big Lottery Fund. One achievement was working with young people I recruited from across England who were of a range of backgrounds and experiences such as homelessness to Youth Parliament Members. I worked with the young people to co-produce the design and delivery of multi-million-pound grant programmes. An example of practice and people informing policy.

I have four years of strategic experience as a member of the Children in Need Central Committee. In this role I worked as a team with other members of the Committee to decide which large grant applications were funded. In addition, I raised challenges and opportunities to be explored at a strategic level informed by my experiences as well as that of my colleagues and service users.

My view is that practice of Social Workers and the lived experiences of people should inform policy from a grassroots up approach rather than the other way around. I believe my frontline experience of Social Work, working in the voluntary sector and in policy would enable me to add value to the committee. I feel being a Social Worker is a vocation and not just a career which excites me about the prospect of being more involved in the work of BASW as a community of Social Workers.

Area of practice/interest: Mental Health, Health and Social Care, Inequalities, Children and Families, Domestic abuse, Funding, Voluntary Sector, Policy

Jacqueline Mahoney

Interim Deputy Manager

I have worked in a Local Authority setting for 20 years, I have had several job roles within that time working my way from Admin Assistant to current position of Deputy Manager.

I have had extensive experience of all aspects of Adult Social Care including assessment, deprivation of liberty, court of protection, supervision and managing cases.

I have experience and knowledge of the current Adult legislation including Care Act 2014; MCA 2005 and MHA 2007 (although not an AMHP).

I have just completed my BIA to be a Best Interest Assessor.

I have also been part of the OOH service experiencing situations with Children’s and Families.

I am passionate about Social Work in general, outside of my substantive role I have attended BASW events, recently I have shared my knowledge and experiences with students current attending on the course, I have also attended a conference on behalf of BASW (Named Social Worker) Conference.

I have presented to students regarding BASW as an organisation representative of the interests of Social Worker and advocated for membership.

I have also been part of the Boot out Austerity walk in April 2017 completing the first part from Birmingham to Wolverhampton. I have had extensive experience of all aspects of Adult Social Care including assessment, deprivation of liberty, court of protection, supervision and managing cases.

Areas of practice/interest: Adults which would include; Mental Health, ABI, Learning Disability, Physical Disability, Older Persons, Dementia, Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, Mental Capacity Act 2005.

 

Mark Monaghan

Senior Social Work Practitioner

I have been a social worker for over 15 years. Within my social work career, I have gained a range of skills and experiences having worked in both the statutory and voluntary sectors. The majority of my social work has been in the statutory sector providing services at the frontline with children and families. I am outgoing and believe that I bring my ability to network and enthusiasm into my work with others. I am very keen to progress my colleagues around me on their career pathway. I am aware of my responsibilities as a social worker and am keen to promote the work of BASW.

In my practice, I have represented children and Local Authorities at all levels of court hearing from local magistrates up to matters that have been heard at the Royal Court of Justice. I have produced evidence and brought matters in front of the court to safeguard children.

As part of my professional interests, I have undertaken training of the PREVENT agenda and extremism, in order to be better equipped at identifying issues and offering the most appropriate support. I also work within both a strengthening families and signs of safety model; that enables all parties to see where strengths and safeguarding factors may be present.

I have also worked with CAFCASS as a Guardian Ad Litem, this has given me the opportunity to gain a unique insight into the court processes in private law matters.

I feel I am able to communicate in both verbal and written forms to a very high standard. I have a set of transferable skills that I continue to develop in order to give the best service that I can to those I work with and for. I have previously wrote briefing notes and case synopsis’s for a range of stakeholders. I have also worked with social workers in training as both a practice educator and providing plenary sessions to social workers in training.

I have kept up to date with my training as required by the HCPC, and am an active branch member in my local BASW branch. I believe that as a frontline practitioner with consider experience, having worked in a range of settings I have the necessary skills to be able to discuss what frontline practice looks like to a wider audience.

Outside of my role as a social worker, I sit on the board of a charity organisation, this has been immeasurable in developing my skills in relation to learning about communicating with the press, structural and strategic thinking, management of budgets, staffing, and a range of areas that I did not previously have.

Areas of practice/interest: I work in frontline child protection services, presently as a Senior Social Work Practitioner in a busy duty and assessment team. I undertake assessments, progressing matters to both safeguarding and court teams as required in order to protect children in a timely manner.

My areas of professional interest include working with children with learning difficulties, children and young people that may be exposed to threats of sexual exploitation and extremism. I am completing my stage one practice educator course and have had a student recently. I also have undertaken work with BASW in mentoring new social workers into their practice. I will be changing my role within a month’s or so time and this will give me the chance to progress further around the development of social workers, their training and how best to improve practice which in turn will ensure that better services are offered to children and families.

As my social work career progresses I would like to move more into practice development and assisting to build resilience within the next generation or generations of social workers. I am active within my local BASW branch and have recently started to write articles that are published within PSW the magazine for BASW members. These articles are practice based to share the social work journey to a wider audience.

Olive Onwualu

Advanced Social Work Practitioner

My experiences have come from various professional fields such as social care, management/leadership, project development and start-up, health, law and humanities.  I am a ‘can do personality’ and my trademarks are: Quality and Excellence’. I have contributed to policyimplementation in UK. I was consulted by Senate Committee on Sports and social development in Nigeria when there was deliberation on Elderly Care Bill in Nigeria.

I impacted on the lives of many people by attending several Health and Social Care Missions abroad to ensure that the people are provided with knowledge, skills and sensitisation about health and social care matters. I am still comitted to such mission visits.

I am involved in promotion of good governance in African countries.

Area of practice/interest: I have done every aspect of social work. I am an advanced social work practitioner and approved mental health professional in a community mental health team. I am also a practice educator and lecture at university too.

Apart from my fulltime job, I am a motivational speaker and involved in work in my community. I organise youth empowerment programmes in African countries.

I am involved in a lot of leadership activities in my community. I am very passionate about social work. I am a mentor, a coach, public speaker and really love and enjoy it because I watch and see my mentees and coachees grow and became the best they be.

I was instrumental in putting together a Certificate Course on mental health, culture and diagnosis for a London National Health Service department I work for and I taught on the course.

I am a member of Cygnet hospitals Mental Health Review Tribunal. I spoke at a conference organised by BASW at White Hall about Children whose parents mental health struggles.

I was the second Vice President of Social Workers’ Union. I am a regular guest speaker for one of SKY Television channels – Ben TV in London.

I am co- founder of Global Transformation Tour (GTT) – an organisation that is geared to helping to recreate the world, to encourage young people, children, men, and women to be well rounded individuals and to nurture self-development in their lives.

I was described in a magazine as: ‘the lady who has the Olive factor, intelligent, hardworking, caring, dependable, disciplined, kind, reliable, resilient and articulate.

Lewis Roberts

Social Worker

I am currently the BASW North East Branch Chair and work locally to promote the interests of social work. I am passionate about social work and about its role in tacking wider social and structural issues such as poverty and inequality.

I believe in social work as a relational process and am enthused by moves to embed services within communities. I have a range of professional experiences that help shape my social work such as several years working within education, supporting young people who struggled to engage in education or employment, as well as several years working in professional regulation, inspecting universities and hospitals.

I am currently working within a therapeutic fostering service, supporting young people to move from residential settings into specialist fostering settings. I have experience of working within front-line child protection teams, as well as working within more therapeutic services.

I am a passionate trade-unionist and anti-austerity campaigner and have worked locally to form links with a range of organisations and professionals who are able to discuss the impact of austerity on our most vulnerable. I have organised a range of workshops for social work colleagues within the region, ensuring social work colleagues have access to this important narrative.

I would like to work with BASW in a national context to ensure that the social work profession stands up against centrally prescribed policies that disproportionately impact our most vulnerable communities. I am someone who will fight for what I believe in and fight for what is right.

Area of practice/interest: I am a passionate social worker and activist. Working with children and families, my practice is rooted in relational and therapeutic social work. I care deeply about working with our most vulnerable families and ensuring their voice is heard within the system. I am a trade unionist and anti-austerity practitioner.

Tia Sibanda

Social Worker

I have a firm commitment to child-focused practice and to social work values. My warmth and sensitivity has enabled me to achieve effective working relationships with both professionals and service users, qualities which auger well for the committee member role.

Am a hardworking and enthusiastic person, who thoroughly enjoys taking on professional challenges and responsibilities. Furthermore, I am more than just a task orientated individual, I can work effectively as part of a team or independently. Drawing on my substantial knowledge of social work theories, practice and procedures, I consistently provide high quality service and deliver positive outcomes.

Although I am adept at utilising the ‘system’ and exceptional skills for the benefit of children and their families, I typically do not blindly follow frameworks and procedures to ensure work is done and deadlines are adhered to. I will challenge the system and flag opportunities for improvements where appropriate. This, an indication of my confidence and ability to negotiate politics, budgets and bureaucracy consistently, to secure consistent positive outcomes.  

Aside from my social work practice, aspects of my personal interests have honed important skills that make me suitable for the position of BASW Committee member. In particular, my work as a national secretary in a political organisation, has given me pertinent, transferable skills, including perseverance, discretion, diplomacy, attention to detail and the ability to work under pressure and multitask.

My experiences of working with children and families in different settings has enabled me to develop strong analytical, assessment, report writing and negotiating skills, as well as the ability to remain good humoured under pressure.

As an effective communicator, both face to face with a variety of people effortlessly and build good rapport with others. Significantly, I have the resilience and skills to be able to work in a crisis oriented and unpredictable environment.

My emotionally intelligence and effective organising skills will add value to the BASW committee team, whose remit I am passionate about. Having always been keen to make a difference, I will I take pride in undertaking meaningful roles, which will edify the professional work of BASW members. In my Specialist Lead Practitioner role, I primarily work with hard to reach or disengaged children, young people and families who require intensive intervention and services, knowledge which will benefit the work of the Committee.

Importantly, I am cognisant of the importance of critically reflection and analysis in practice and committee work. In addition, I am able to develop and sustain multi-agency networks and partner relationships, within a range of environmental contexts.

Area of practice/interest: I have had a keen interest in working with hard to reach or disengaged children, young people and their families who require an intensive level of intervention.

For four years 2012-2016, I worked as a Specialist Lead Practitioner in an Edge of Care, Reunification and Rehabilitation Team, work which involved working with families and young people leading challenging lives. These experiences have also given me comprehensive and systemic understanding of the various challenges vulnerable people face, enhancing my professional expertise.

There are many reasons why young people and their families lead challenging lives, including the influence of individual and structural factors. In many cases, the contributory factors combine to influence the choices young people make, shaping their behaviour and degree of resilience to the risks they encounter over their lifetimes.

It is my personal conviction and passion to stand in between these experiences and their potential ramifications, deploying my wide range of skills to mitigate against their impact. In particular, on the impact of these on young people’s sense of self-efficacy, which is the belief in one’s capacity to exercise influence over events or situation which affect their lives. Achieving a balance between securing their physical /mental health wellbeing and positively stimulating family/living conditions, is my key motivational driver.

In the past, I have been privileged to work for a Local Authority that invested in its practitioners in terms of upskilling, eliciting areas of interest and providing the relevant platform to practice and specialise in that field. Additionally, I benefited from the provision of robust supervision, training and development pathways. My positive experiences have in turn become a real driver in my passion for social work training, support and seeking to make mentor and encourage others to the profession.

I am a qualified Practice Educator and passionate about supporting individuals joining the profession, so that they further develop their skills to competently practice and most importantly find their experiences rewarding.

Tom Savory

Social Work Consultant

My social care career started working with the elderly and vulnerable adults. My professional social work experience is in Children and Families Social Work, with extensive experience of practice leadership of regulated services with responsibility for Child Protection and Looked After Children’s Services.

I have also been responsible for engagement with children and young people, user led organisations and the wider third sector.

Throughout my career I have kept my professional knowledge current through my membership of BASW and professional registration as Social Worker.

Area of practice/interest: I have a strong personal commitment to social justice and improving outcomes for people, and my area of interest is in social work and leadership.

My work has benefitted from the strong roots developed from my experiences as a social work practitioner. I am a registered social worker and member of BASW with substantial practice and leadership experience.

A few years ago, I attended a Leadership workshop with Marty Linsky, a Harvard Professor and a great talker who said there are ‘technical challenges’ which might be complicated but can be solved by expertise and information (if your boiler breaks down you call a registered heating engineer), and there are ‘adaptive challenges’ that are complex and require change at the core of what people are doing, feeling and thinking, and they require an approach beyond calling in an expert.

He described adaptive leadership as being specifically about change that enables the capacity to thrive, and as a social worker this was a ‘breakthrough’ day for me as this is exactly the territory we are working in. I realised that if being a social work leader is about anything, it’s about providing adaptive leadership, at all the different levels of the complex work we do with individuals and families, organisations and whole communities. Adaptive leadership is specifically about change that enables the capacity to thrive, and that is also as good a description of great social work, and social work leadership, as I’ve yet to come across.

I have also listened to an adult carer talk about the role his family’s social worker plays in providing leadership for himself his family and the team of professionals working with them. As the main carer for his partner and their children, who have multiple and complex needs, he spoke with passion about how the social worker works with emotional intelligence, motivates them, brings focus when there is a lack of clarity, and lifts their spirits when they are feeling overwhelmed. Basically, great social work providing great leadership.

I was inspired, and it reinforced my belief that social work at its best and great leadership skills are fundamentally bound together. That’s why I want to play my part through BASW in the leadership of this important profession.

Student Commitee member vacancy

Aaron Davies

Student Social Worker

I would like to influence and shape the BASW England Committee by being an effective student voice of current social work education. I am currently undertaking my Master of Arts in Social Work at the University of Chester.

Prior to commencing my training, I have worked within the health and social care sector for over 10 years; working in a diverse range of settings including hospitals, outpatient clinics, supported accommodation, community care and now within the voluntary sector. Throughout my career, I have undertaken several vocational qualifications before completing my Bachelor of Arts and subsequently a Graduate Certificate in Public Health.   

I have a keen interest in improving public health policy outcomes, which I feel are crucial to the betterment of the wider community. I believe that broader health and social care policy is an indication of how healthy our community is and how society views health and social issues. Positive programmes can reveal how our society reflects individuality as part of the collective and how these policy initiatives can contribute to a healthier society overall.

I envision that social work education will allow students to consolidate their knowledge through previous employment and educational endeavours with a specific focus on the importance of direct practice. I feel that this will also help structure current social work principles and how these can be applied within a broader policy-based framework.

In addition, social work education will allow us to be directly involved in service delivery aimed at improving individual and collective outcomes with the goal of enhancing well-being and this is what I would champion if elected to the BASW England Committee.

Areas of practice/interest: Integrated Health and Social Care - Community Development Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol, LGBT Issues, Public Health, Politics, Austerity, Regional Devolution