Blog: 2016

Doing less with less

Published on 21st November 2016

In our latest podcast, Jo Fox and I unpick the idea that we can keep doing More with Less.

As cuts affect more and more people, evidence grows that we cannot maintain quality with less resource. We talk about how social workers can sustain ourselves and work ethically in the midst of cuts. We also consider how we can most effectively lobby for the resource that is needed for people to have good lives.

We argue that we cannot pretend that we can do everything. Instead we need to... Read full article

Not a luxury: new podcasts on support and supervision

Published on 27th October 2016

The latest podcasts from Jo Fox and me are on emotional containment and supervision.

The National Audit Office reported this month that “nationally the quality of help and protection for children is unsatisfactory and inconsistent, suggesting systemic rather than just local failure." The NAO highlighted that:

Social workers work in pressured circumstances that can sometimes lead to low morale, high vacancy and turnover rates, and a reliance on temporary staff. Ofsted has found... Read full article

New podcasts on social work relationships

Published on 28th September 2016

The latest podcasts from Jo Fox  and me are on relationships between social workers. The first is about relationships with colleagues, including group dynamics. The second is about social work as a single profession.

Relationships with colleagues – at work and across the profession – are a crucial source of support. Relationship comes from the Latin relatio meaning a narration or story. We think the story of social work relationships should be a positive and hopeful one. Some current... Read full article

New podcasts on workload and recording

Published on 9th September 2016

I have just posted the latest podcasts from Jo Fox and me on workload and recording.

Parkinson’s law states that work expands to fit the time and space available. Social workers will never finish all the work that there is to do or write down everything that we possibly could. These podcasts aim to help us consider how to work sustainably and effectively.

We look at the evidence around workload management systems and identify the principles that support us to manage our work.... Read full article

New podcasts on the environment: The ethics of hotdesking

Published on 28th July 2016

I have just posted the latest podcasts from Jo Fox and me on the environment, and particularly on hotdesking.

Social workers have an ethical responsibility to care about our context. The International Federation of Social Workers’ Code of Ethics says​:

“Social workers have a duty to take necessary steps to care for themselves professionally and personally in the workplace and in society, in order to ensure that they are able to provide appropriate service.”

We explore... Read full article

New podcasts - critical reflection: a helpful habit

Published on 1st July 2016

The latest podcasts from Jo Fox and me are on critical reflection. This is a really important topic for us; something that is crucial to helpful practice.

We first take a look at the theory and evidence around using critical reflection, and offer a model for doing good critical reflection in practice.

We then share some of our learning about how social workers make critical reflection happen, despite the pressure and busyness of our work.


Habitual... Read full article

No one is an island

Published on 2nd June 2016

As a social worker, what matters to me in the EU referendum

I have been looking at what is likely to happen to social care and to health if we leave the European Union. The British Medical Association have just published a guide to help medics think about the referendum’s implications. It raises some issues that are helpful for social work to consider:

Workforce – Eleven per cent of doctors qualified in another European Economic Area state. (page 3)

In social care 75000 or 5.2... Read full article

New podcasts - being purposeful and telling our story

Published on 16th May 2016

Another month, another two podcasts. Jo Fox and I recorded these following an inspiring day coaching social care managers. We share two topics that are essential to sustainable social work practice: purposefulness and stories.

Social work is tremendously busy. One of the most important questions we face each day is: 'what shall I leave undone?' We talk about the difficulties of remaining purposeful under pressure and the importance of looking after our wellbeing so that we can be... Read full article

New podcasts on values and beliefs, evidence and ideology

Published on 21st April 2016

Jo Fox and I have just posted a new podcast on values and beliefs.

This seemed like an important topic to prioritise. Social work is work with people and so the values and beliefs we hold will inevitably have an impact on what we do and how we go about it.

As we can’t avoid our values and beliefs being part of our work, we do need to be conscious of them, strive to understand where they come from and be prepared to talk about them.

This podcast aims to help us reflect on... Read full article

Social work podcast launched on World Social Work Day 2016

Published on 15th March 2016

Helpful Social Work is a new podcast that aims to help social workers to learn, think and act with integrity so that people who need social work get help that will transform their lives.

These podcasts are created by me and by Jo Fox at Child Centred Practice. We’ve started this podcast and launched it on World Social Work Day because social work matters to us.

Social work matters because it helps those, who would otherwise lack the resources to manage, maintain or restore... Read full article


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