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Out of the Shadows: The role of Social Workers in Disasters

Ruth Allen and Gerry Nosowska reflect on the release of Out of the Shadows, the first book to be published focusing on the role of UK social workers in disasters

Last week, the contributors to the new BASW England/Critical Publishing book Out of the Shadows, The Role of Social Workers in Disasters gathered for a private launch and celebration of being involved.

The book was edited by Angie Bartoli (ex-England Committee Vice Chair), Maris Stratulis (England National Director) and Rebekah Pierre (England Professional Officer) in a very successful partnership with Critical Publishing.

BASW is hugely grateful for their work on this sensitive topic, including through the difficult circumstances of the pandemic.

This thanks extends in equal measure to all who have contributed their time, hearts and minds to creating the book. This is a phenomenal gift from all involved.  Many contributors shared personal experiences of loss, traumas and support. 

Without the voice of such lived and living experiences, social workers and other professionals cannot learn and improve what we do. Hearing about experiences and what can be learnt after loss, tragedy and disaster is particularly moving and precious.

BASW will build on all contributors’ efforts and honour their contributions, promoting this book and learning from it - helping to create better social work support for people facing disasters in the future. 

Social work also has a key role in actions and campaigns for justice, learning and change to reduce preventable risks and promoting the right to safety and respect in all aspects of life.  So many UK disasters in recent times have themes of social injustice and inequality lying within their causes and in the frequent inadequacy of response and resources afterwards.

When disasters do occur, this book will help social workers and others respond more personally and effectively. 

With our thanks,

Ruth Allen (BASW CEO), Gerry Nosowska (BASW chair)