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SASW Conference 2021: Session 2 - Poverty: The Wallpaper of Social Work Practice

Sponsored by the Scottish Social Services Council

Join us for an interactive session looking at the theme of poverty which cuts across many areas of social work. With guest speakers Darren McGarvey (author of Poverty Safari), Prof Kate Morris (University of Sheffield) and Prof Brid Featherstone (University of Huddersfield) 

This session looks to aid understanding of how it feels to live in poverty, often as a reaction to circumstances. How this interacts with social justice and how social workers can contribute to alleviating the effects of poverty and provide thoughtful and constructive support for people who need them.

Our guest speakers

Darren McGarvey is better known by the stage name Loki, is a writer, columnist and hip hop recording artist, who has made regular media appearances as a social commentator.

Darren grew up in Pollok on the south side of Glasgow, and has lived through extreme poverty, addiction and homelessness. Between 2004 and 2006 he wrote and presented eight programmes on social deprivation for BBC Radio Scotland. Since then he has been a regular contributor to the BBC, STV and other national media, and currently has a weekly column in The Scotsman. McGarvey has a certificate of excellence for his voluntary work with young people. In 2009, he founded Volition Scotland, an organisation that was designed and run by the young people who used it. He was part of the Poverty Truth Commission that was hosted in Glasgow in the same year. McGarvey became the Violence Reduction Unit’s first ever ‘Rapper-in Residence’ in 2015 and continues to work across Scotland in some of its most challenged communities.

In November 2017 his first book Poverty Safari was published, and was an instant bestseller and critical hit, making the Sunday Times top ten bestseller lists and receiving plaudits from national newspapers and magazines. He won the prestigious ‘Orwell Book Prize’ in June 2018 leading to an upsurge in media requests and appearances. He has performed at the Edinburgh fringe to rave reviews.

In 2021 Darren’s new four part BBC documentary series is set to air ‘Darren McGarvey’s Class wars’ where he delves into the British class system and how social class shapes a person’s identity.

Professor Kate Morris Kate is a qualified social worker and has substantial experience in practice, management, advocacy and policy development. She joined the University of Sheffield in 2015 and throughout her academic career has remained closely connected to practice through her research and her involvement in national and international social work developments. With Professor Featherstone she has researched the impact of inequalities on the ways in which we intervene in care and protection, and they have argued for the need to radically rethink current approaches. Most recently they have been working with LAs and non-statutory organisations to think about the responses to Domestic Abuse in the context of Child Protection.

Professor Brid Featherstone joined the University of Huddersfield in October 2015 as Professor of Social Work. She qualified as a social worker and worked in the field of social work from 1982-1992 and has been involved in social work education and research since then, working at universities in Ireland, England and Germany.

Brid has an international reputation in the areas of gender, fathers and child protection. Her recent co-authored book (with Sue White and Kate Morris) 'Re-imagining Child Protection: towards humane social work with families' has been highly influential and led to invitations to speak and advise on reforming child protection nationally and internationally. An article with White and Morris 'A marriage made in hell: early intervention meets child protection’, British Journal of Social Work, 44, 1735-1749 won the Kay McDougall prize for article of the year in 2015.


The session will be held on MS Teams to allow for discussion with the speakers and between delegates.

SASW members please register for your discounted place via this link (log-in required)


Non members please register by clicking the 'book now'  button below, or register here for a full week pass which allows entry to all 5 conference sessions