Establishing and running a group of self-employed social workers locally
BASW Independents Local Networks provide an excellent opportunity to make professional links with other self-employed social workers in your area. These informal meetings are member-led and supported centrally by BASW with the opportunity to collaborate on wider activities.
Virtual networks during the Covid-19 pandemic
The current pandemic has introduced new challenges in connecting with other self-employed social workers. In direct response, BASW Independents hosted a series of virtual support space meetings for self-employed members based on their specialism welcoming attendees from across the UK. Local networks in Cymru, Northern Ireland and Scotland continued to meet virtually during this time.
Moving forward, we're keen to establish groups in England more regionally to support the transition into meeting in person when members feel confident to do so. Find upcoming meetings here.
Establishing an Independents Local Network
Independents often have very busy diaries so BASW is keen for motivated members keen to establish and/or join a Local Network to do so simply. We suggest:
- First, check to see if there are any meetings in your area.
- Update your location preferences .
- Contact BASW Independents.
- Choose a date and time for the initial meeting.
- Find a venue such as a quiet café. Some establishments may even have a free private room available providing attendees make a purchase. Consider potential access requirements of colleagues joining.
- Confirm details with BASW.
How BASW will support Local Networks
Once a meeting is confirmed, BASW will:
- Publish details on the events listing of the website with online registration.
- Promote it through the BASW Independents LinkedIn and Facebook groups
- Email members in the area.
Members may then confirm their attendance in advance or show up on the day. If a list of those who attended is returned to BASW, we can note this within the individual records as professional development (members may also do this through Member Services).
Tips for running a Local Network meeting
Keep the meetings and running of the group simple. Suggestions:
- Plan ahead and agree dates of the next meetings 6-12 months in advance
- Add themes. Invite guest speakers and/ or welcome volunteers from within the Network to discuss/ present on areas of expertise
- Hold meetings at the same location & times
- Alternate the meeting chair
Local Networks and BASW - continued collaboration
BASW is committed to supporting Independents connecting with other self-employed colleagues and collaborating with regional groups. With the development of the BASW Independents Action Group, we anticipate that the activities of this group will be directly informed by Networks. We also aim for there to be regular communications between the Local networks and BASW to disseminate developments within the profession and sharing of other Independents specific information.