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Social Work Week 2024

Between 18 and 22 March we hosted events and shared inspiring messages to celebrate social work week.

Social Work Week - 18 to 22 March 2024

Social Work Week took place from Monday 18 to Friday 22 March. It brought people together to celebrate social work.

During the week, we hosted a series of events focusing on collaboration, well-being and areas of practice improvement.

And on Tuesday 19 March we celebrated World Social Work Day by sharing inspiring video messages from social work leaders.

Our events

Take a look at our programme of events below, covering a range of topics, from well-being to neurodiversity.

Monday 18 March, 10am to 12pm

Well-being in Social Care: What works and what doesn’t


This session was led by Rebecca Cicero, Improvement and Development Manager, at Social Care Wales and Dr Giles P Croft, a psychology graduate and former NHS surgeon who runs a heart-centred coaching practice.

‘Well-being in the workplace’ is all the rage, but some solutions leave individuals feeling blamed and overburdened. When resources are so stretched, what difference can wellness initiatives really make?

In this light-hearted, insightful session, we covered the surprising reason why most approaches fail, and in doing so, unlocked the secret to navigating your own workplace with much greater ease.

Monday 18 March, 1.30pm to 3.30pm

Unpaid carers workshop


This workshop about unpaid carers covered training, resources and good practice.

We were joined by Jake Smith, Senior Policy and Public Affairs Officer at Carers Wales who talked about:

  • the Carer Aware project and social worker training
  • the Carer Aware good practice principles for social workers, co-produced with carers and social workers
  • the good practice social workers have seen in terms of interacting with carers, and the obstacles and challenges they face
  • advice and resources to help social workers who also have unpaid caring responsibilities of their own.

Cerian Twinberrow from Social Care Wales explained:

  • how our resources and learning can support social workers to work with carers
  • how unpaid carers are relevant to the Social Work Workforce Plan and wider context.
Tuesday 19 March, 10am to 12pm

Supervision in social work


During this two-hour session we heard from our presenters:

They looked at:

  • how supervision is delivered in social work
  • different theories, models and methods of supervision and how these affect social workers and people who access social work support
  • the potential benefits and challenges of different methods of supervision.

There was an opportunity to ask questions at the end of the session.

Tuesday 19 March, 2pm to 4pm

Strengths-based practice - panel discussion and questions


“Strength based practices in social work”.

“How to have difficult conversations - insights from Motivational Interviewing”.

Professor Donald Forrester talked about Motivational Interviewing and why social work conversations often involve tensions or conflicts. We looked at how Motivational Interviewing might help us understand and work with these better.

This was followed by a panel discussion with experts from the field of strengths-based practice:

There was also an opportunity to ask the panel questions about this area of practice.

Wednesday 20 March, 10am to 12pm

Is this thing on? Technology and social work with adults


Technology can be a useful part of a social work professional’s toolkit, but understanding how and which bits of tech can help us can be tricky.

This session was led by:

  • Aimee Twinberrow, Digital Innovation Lead at Social Care Wales
  • Matt Lloyd, Prevention and Well-Being Programme Manager for the Gwent Regional Partnership Board (RPB)
  • Meilys Heulfryn Smith, Supporting Health and Wellbeing Senior Manager, Gwynedd County Council
  • Paul Mazurek, Flintshire County Council.

The hosts talked about technology enabled care and social work with adults, and explored:

  • how technology can help people achieve positive outcomes with real life examples.
  • some of the challenges social work professionals may face when using technology as part of collaborative social work.
  • information, resources and practical tips to help you confidently discuss technology with people you support.

There was also be an opportunity to ask questions about this area of practice.

Wednesday 20 March, 2pm to 4pm

Valuing Lived Experience Expertise


Hannah Morland-Jones and Paul Whittaker from Recovery College explored the value of lived experience expertise in mental health recovery, using examples from Wales.

They looked at:

  • the Recovery College model
  • peer support and
  • co-production and engagement.

There was also an opportunity to ask questions about this area of practice.

Hannah Morland-Jones is Strategic Programme Manager for Lived Experience (HEIW) and Head of Recovery College and Lived Experience (CAVUHB)

Paul Whittaker is Project Lead for National Recovery (HEIW) and Peer Consultant (Recovery and Wellbeing College CAVUHB)

Thursday 21 March, 10am to 12pm

National Recovery College relationship-centred care workshop


Our trainers Hannah Morland-Jones and Paul Whittaker from Recovery College ran this workshop to explore and learn about relationship-centred care, support and learning in guiding mental health services.

The session took a co-production approach, to bring together participants’ diverse knowledge, experience and insights.

Hannah Morland-Jones is Strategic Programme Manager for Lived Experience (HEIW) and Head of Recovery College and Lived Experience (CAVUHB)

Paul Whittaker is Project Lead for National Recovery (HEIW) and Peer Consultant (Recovery and Wellbeing College CAVUHB)

Thursday 22 March, 1pm to 2pm

What does it mean to be a regulated professional in the United Kingdom?


This session was hosted by Social Work England.

The leaders of Britain’s four social work regulators discussed their common experiences of social work regulation and how regulation contributes to a strong sense of professional identity for social work to attract, train and retain workforce.

The presenters:

  • Social Care Wales: David Pritchard, Director of Regulation
  • Social Work England: Colum Conway, Chief Executive
  • Northern Ireland Social Care Council: Patricia Higgins, Chief Executive
  • Scottish Social Services Council: Laura Lamb, Acting Director of Workforce, Education and Standards
Friday 22 March, 10am to 12pm

Social work and neurodiversity


This interactive session aimed to share knowledge skills and experiences around the topic of neurodiversity. It was hosted by Fiona McDonald and Alice Lewis-Gray, two professionals with lived experience of being neurodiverse and working in the helping profession.

The presenters have a passion for working with neurodivergent people and developing the wider understanding in the workforce.

What we covered:

  • a brief overview of what is neurodiversity, looking at the impact of autism and dyslexia in greater detail
  • the strengths and limitations of these conditions and how to overcome barriers to success at work
  • stories and case examples to aid reflection and deepen learning in this area
  • simple and practical top tips that could aid the whole team
  • assistive technology and the amazing difference they can make in saving time
  • the next steps you could take to support yourself or other neurodiverse people in your workforce.

The views and opinions expressed at these workshops are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organisations they represent, or the views and opinions of Social Care Wales.

First published: 5 February 2024
Last updated: 11 June 2024
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