BASW England National Standing Committee is pleased to announce the following members have been elected to the three vacant positions on committee
I work in an out of hour’s emergency duty team, spanning all areas of social work across the spectrum. I am a qualified AMHP and BIA. I am a Director of a company providing training, supervision and independent assessments, as well as a specialist advisor for the CQC. I have recently contributed to the Children in Custody Concordat with the Home Office which will soon be published. Qualifying in 2008, I have experience of working with substance misuse service users, female offenders, inpatients in an acute mental health hospital, early intervention services, a referral and assessment service working with children and families and more recently, responding to out of hours emergencies in an out of hours emergency duty team. My company, Supporting Acts Ltd was registered in 2015 and I have built a clientele including the CQC, two training companies and a private mental health hospital where I provide Social Work supervision.
With the South London Teaching Partnership I facilitated group supervision to Social Work students at Goldsmiths. I have developed a supervision framework for social workers based around the professional capabilities framework to enable practitioners to build on their strengths and to identify areas for them to grow as a professional. I have recently been elected as the co-chair for London Borough of Lewisham’s LGBT Staff Forum where I have been charged with ensuring that the council abide by their commitment to offer an anti-oppressive and anti-discriminatory service to their LGBT staff and residents of the borough and complying with the Equality Act.
I have a good working knowledge of The Children Act, The Care Act, The Mental Health Act, The Mental Capacity Act and the associated guidance and codes of practice amongst other legislation. Central to my practice is the Human Rights Act and the European Convention of Human Rights and I am interested in how Social Work can uphold individual human rights.
My work across the social work spectrum and in many areas of social work practice has meant I have developed my knowledge of all aspects of social work and I have the skills to see social work systemically and I am particularly interested in how areas of Social Work interact with each other. The interface between mental health and children’s services as an example.
My Social Work values form an important part of my identity and I am passionate about improving services for service users and for professionals working within the service; both by reflecting on my own practice and basing this in a strong evidence base. I continually think and act strategically to ensure improvements can be made across the service. My work in improving access to mental health assessments in A&E locally is an example of this.
My experience, skills, knowledge, values and ethics, combined with my passion, enthusiasm and drive, enable me to speak out and stand up for social work. I am excited by the opportunity to continue to make BASW a strong independent voice for social work and social workers.
I want social work to be the most effective profession that it can be for the benefit of people who need it. I believe social workers can make more of a difference when we have a strong voice to speak up for the importance of our work. We should own our identity and ethics, as part of a global profession, and set our own standards for excellence. We should use our experience and expertise to influence policy and the way in which we work. To do this, we need to join together and work alongside people who use services.
I used to be the chair of the adults faculty at the College of Social Work. I did this in order to help social workers influence policy that affects us and to show the value of social work. I saw the college as a way to increase recognition and build excellent practice.
When the college closed, I worked with other former members to secure its legacy for social workers. I was really pleased when BASW took on the college’s resources, and have been struck by the support of BASW in helping the former faculties finish off work, such as the resource for Social Work in Palliative, End of Life and Bereavement Care.
I joined BASW when the college closed. Over the last few years of involvement in the college, I realised how essential it is to have a strong professional body and a strong voice. I learned from the experience of the college that this body needs to be independent, rooted in practice, promote social work and support social workers, and work alongside service users. The BASW 2020 vision is the vision for how BASW will do this and I fully support it.
I believe I have useful knowledge and skills to offer. I became a social worker in 2002 and have worked as a front-line practitioner, team manager and locality manager in adult community and hospital teams. More recently I have worked for Research in Practice for Adults, and (since 2013) freelance, to support practitioners to use evidence and increase their confidence and expertise. Through the college, and now the BASW Adults Reference Group, I have been involved in work to develop and co-produce practice resources. I have contributed to consultations and responses to policy. Although I don’t work on the front-line, I am fortunate in working with practitioners, managers and leaders around the country, so I can listen to their experience and learn from them. I am used to speaking and writing publicly about the importance of social work.
I would apply my knowledge and what I have learned from others in the interests of people who need social work and of social workers. I would uphold the values of BASW. I have time and energy to offer, and am determined to do what I can to strengthen social work, maintain its integrity, and ensure that social workers are supported to do excellent work.
As a Senior Lecturer with 8 years of experience in academia, coupled with over 15 years of practice in social work, I have had the opportunity to work within a variety of settings. My experience has taught me to work in a sensitive manner across a wide range of issues which require sound judgements. At times this required me to be cognisant of competing obligations that presented both moral and ethical challenges. From these experiences, I have gained skills and metacognitive abilities in processing information that enables me to arrive at succinct and justifiable decisions which I believe willold me in good stead in my contribution to shaping and influencing the BASW England Committee objectives. I have also been an external examiner at a number of higher education institutes where I have had to make critical decisions around the progression of qualifying social work programmes. I have found this very beneficial in gaining alternative perspectives that have assisted in my own decision making abilities. Moreover I am acutely aware that judgements should be made on a strong evidence base so that equity and parity prevail.
I am aware of the changing nature of health and social care within the sector and how the profession has to respond to a fast changing climate i.e. responding to the new Children and Social Work Bill 2016, education providers have to respond to new curriculum and delivery initiatives established by the government since 2014 i.e. Knowledge and Skills Statements (KSS) from the Chief Social Workers, Teaching Partnerships ‘Step Up to Social Work’, ‘Frontline’, etc. From this I believe I have now developed a strong and robust knowledge base around the principles and practice of social work. I also have a wide and varied experience of teaching, supervising and assessing learning within the university sector and in other settings and I have also worked within a number of complex and challenging situations as a practitioner. With this experience I feel I will be able to work effectively at promoting the mission and aspiration of BASW. Moreover I recognise the importance of representing the broad views of social work in a coherent and succinct manner so that changes to the national agenda and policy frameworks have been influenced by the people within the profession. I believe I demonstrate an unwavering commitment to anti-discriminatory and anti-oppressive practice. These are also important ideologies that I factor into my current role and the support I offer both peers and students are stable features within my professional identity. To this end, I actively encourage debate and discussion where required and necessary so that the principle of respecting and appreciating diversity prevails.
In conclusion, I have been a member of BASW for over 10 years and have always been passionate and committed regarding the progression and development of social work. I feel I now have the skills and attributes to effectively contribute to the shaping of BASW policy as well as the ability to work with external and internal groups. I am also extremely keen to work with BASW members offering guidance and leadership where necessary.
BASW England Committee and BASW England would like to thank every member who applied for a position on the England Committee and we look forward to working with you all now and in the future.