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Tales from practice about austerity sought for study

Social workers are being urged to contribute their experiences of practising in an age of austerity for a new study.

The research by University of Wolverhampton and supported by BASW aims to gain a deeper understanding of how reduced funding has impacted on the work of front line practitioners.

Similar studies have been carried out in other countries such as Greece and Portugal, said Graeme Simpson, a senior social work academic at the university who is leading the project.

“I want people to give their experiences good, bad or indifferent. I am particularly interested in the experience of people who have been a social worker for a long time because they have something to compare against.”

Mr Simpson said he wanted to hear from people across all areas of social work. As well as written submissions, the study will include face-to-face interviews with individuals and in group settings.

Simpson added: “I don’t know what I will find, but I suspect there may be stories about the reduction of resources and what social workers are having to do because certain resources aren’t available.

“Having said that, research looking into social workers’ experiences often come up with some findings that surprise the authors.”

The research will be launched at the BASW Black Country branch meeting at Wolverhampton University’s Millennium City Building between 6.30-8.30pm on 3 October.

The meeting will also talk by Professor Kate Morris about inequality in children’s intervention.

Prof Morris will talk about research she was recently involved in looking at why children in deprived areas are more likely to be on a child protection plan or in state care. It is hoped its findings, which are yet to be published, will also shed light on why children in affluent areas are more likely to get help from social services.


To take part in the research email Graeme at