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Social Work's Place in Emergencies and Disasters

BASW's "Social Work's Place in Emergencies and Disasters" Special Interest Group, Chaired by Professor Lena Dominelli, is looking for Scottish members. ...

The British Association of Social Workers (BASW) has endorsed the formation of a Special Interest Group chaired by Professor Lena Dominelli, called Claiming Social Work’s Place in Emergencies and Disasters (SPEDI).

Social workers play important roles in disasters, and it is crucial that they receive appropriate training and support.

As part of this group we want to recruit members from each of the nations in the UK to participate. We are looking for interest from the following:

  • Person with lived experience
  • Academic


SPEDI Objectives:

This special interest group, SPEDI, aims to:

  1. Facilitate the sharing of social work academics’, practitioners’ and service users’ experiences of emergencies and disasters across the UK.
  2. Revisit theories, issues, concepts such as risk and resilience, skills, policies and practices prevailing in social work undertaken during emergencies and disasters.
  3. Consider and develop the infrastructures necessary to enhance social work practice in supporting victim-survivors before, during and after disasters at UK-wide, nation-specific and local levels.
  4. Discuss appropriate forms of support, supervision and self-care necessary for social workers in emergency and disaster situations.
  5. Identify training needs (qualifying; specialist post-qualifying and CDP levels).
  6. Influence policy-making and legislation concerning disasters.
  7. Promote understanding of social workers’ roles in disasters by engaging in disseminating materials about social workers’ roles in emergencies and disasters.


SPEDI Composition

SPEDI will be composed of Lena Dominelli (Founding Chair) and Maris Stratulis (BASW England Strategic Lead and England Round Table Representative) and members from each of the BASW’s staff four nations – Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England. In addition, we want each nation to identify one academic, one practitioner, one social work student and one service user who preferably has had past experience of an emergency and/or disaster.


If you would like to be considered for membership for this group, please send your details to:

Karin Heber, Professional Officer by 13th September 2020.