Chair's Blog


A week of PSW

Travelling to south west London on my day job (off this morning to run the second day of a training course in solution-focused practice to a team of substance misuse practitioners), and as Holborn tube station was closed for some reason I’ve had to spend a large part of my journey on the trundling District Line. But every cloud has a silver lining and, in this case, I’ve been able to read the November issue of Professional Social Work from cover to cover.

And, really, what a fantastic read it is.

The highlights of PSW for me have included – for a long time now, Steve Rogowski’s Time Out column, so I feel sad to have read his last one. It seems that I have been reading Steve’s columns and articles in Community Care and Professional Social Work for my whole career, and as someone who has remained a dedicated practitioner for his whole career, what he writes is always essential reading for me. Please do write that book about your career, Steve, there will be much for us to learn.

I was sad to miss the BASW Cymru social work awards last month due to trains being cancelled from Paddington station, so I was glad to be able to read the coverage of them on a two-page spread. Congratulations to all the winners. And I wish I’d heard Mark Drakeford speak too. Have a read of what he said (on page 19) about the key characteristics of social work – as a former social worker Wales’s Minister for Health and Social Services knows what he’s talking about – he’s absolutely spot on.

I wrote about mental health in my last blog post and recommended a book written for psychology students in particular, by Dave Harper et al. This book is indeed a tour de force and social workers and students would do well to get a copy, but I was drawn to the review (by the ubiquitous Steve Rogowski) of Mental Health, edited by Jeremy Weinstein for the Critical and Radical Debates in Social Work series (p25). I shall order this from the Policy Press as soon as I get home tonight. I’m looking forward in particular to reading the contributions from a newly qualified social worker and one calling for alliances between practitioners and service users.

There were other references to mental health work in this PSW too. I attended BASW England committee on Monday, and got a flavour of the breadth of the work the England team is engaged in, though there was clearly lots that I didn’t get to hear about. So it was good to read, in Bridget Robb’s column and on the news pages, about the work being done exploring what’s happening in mental health social work, co-ordinated by Joe Godden and the BASW England team through its mental health reference group.

Quite a PSW week for me all round, as I attended a meeting of the Editorial Advisory Board on Tuesday. It was good to witness the stimulating discussions that take place there – they clearly have the required impact, given the quality of our in-house journal.

Back home now, on the so-much-faster Piccadilly Line!


Tim Parkinson on 11/11/2014 11:49:59

"PSW Scotland" was quite good too! It has six different pages of specifically Scottish content.

Guy Shennan on 28/12/2014 09:32:05

It was indeed! And I have just enjoyed reading your viewpoint article in the latest PSW Scotland issue, Tim, focusing on our need to develop our professional identity. I'd also like to point people to the excellent article on the Signs of Safety approach in October's PSW Scotland. Happy Hogmanay all!

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