Category Archives: Uncategorized

Social Work Education Panel: Experts by Experience

Fiona Addison, the SYTP lead for Service User and Carer Engagement, talks about how SWEP’s ‘experts by experience’ are currently involved in Teaching Partnership activities:

With a record number of trained ‘experts’ including foster carers, adult carers, care leavers and young carers we are at the beginning of our busiest and most demanding time of year. Both universities have started their recruitment/assessment sessions for social work students and we represent the voice of children, young people and their carers at every event.  At the University of Sheffield we provide speed interviews and service user representatives on the interview panels; and at Hallam we participate in group observations alongside academics and practitioners and then score the students’ written insights on how they performed in the group activity.

In addition we provide workshops for students on placement, titled ‘It ain’t what you do it’s the way that you do it’ the workshop focuses on messages for social workers from children and young people in care, and uses the award winning film from our children in care council.  Foster carers facilitate the small group discussions throughout the workshop, and to date feedback has been excellent.  We participate in the annual ‘Living Library’ events at UoS, with 5 or 6 carers routinely joining 50+ students to share their ‘expertise’.   We also contribute on an ad hoc basis to individual lectures/seminars as and when invited by the academic lead.

Recruitment/assessment in numbers:

  • 14 trained foster carers
  • 1 trained parent/carer (from Rotherham)
  • 12 trained young people including care leavers, young carers and birth children in foster families (from Sheffield and Doncaster)
  • 19 selection events (7 completed)
  • Over 400 students predicted to be interviewed/observed

We’re looking forward to:

  • Attending lectures to get a feel for the social work curriculum and it’s delivery
  • More structured participation in social work education but with a clear focus on co-production
  • Becoming an ‘Experts by Experience’ resource linked in with individual academics’ areas of knowledge and specialism so we can contribute to the design and delivery of course content

Queries, questions, comments welcome to

Comments from service users and carers who have been involved in SWEP activities:

“Our work improves the jobs of the new social workers coming through, because we can pass on all our experiences, good and not so good, and what we think makes a good SW, and what children and YP expect, that makes them glad they have a good SW. Also what we or /yp/ think is a bad SW!”

 “I feel that the gap between social workers and foster carers is narrowing, both sides giving our own perspectives of the service, the pros and cons, and giving both sides a better understanding of the jobs we have and hold dear.”

Comments from students participating in ‘Service Users are People Too’ workshop, December 2016:

what a fantastic class, I really felt involved and respected”

“very good to hear the perspective of the people who support children for the large periods we are not there. How they deal with the repercussions of our actions/decisions”

“Really puts into perspective how important it is to explain what is happening to service users”



World Social Work Day 2018!

World Social Work Day will be on the 20th March 2018. It is the key day in the year that social workers worldwide stand together to celebrate the achievements of the profession and take the theme message into their communities, workplaces and to their governments to raise awareness of the social work contributions and need for further action.

For further information, please see

Lincolnshire Inclusion Festival

Tuesday 27th June, Belton Woods Hotel, Grantham, NG32 2LN


More than ever before, there is a need in education to recognise the unique and diverse needs of our learners to enable them to be included in the education system.

With a high stakes accountability culture, this agenda could be relegated to the side-lines. Speakers such as Dave Whitaker, Executive Principal of Springwell Learning Community in Barnsley (@davewhitaker246) will bring both moral purpose and authentic experience to share with attendees.

And… because we believe that working in education is the best job in the world, we have laid on lovely food, stalls at break time and great people to talk to. This is a festival of celebration.



For more information, and to book tickets, please see


Masterclass: Failing and Marginal Students

Wednesday 10th May 2017, 9.30 – 12.30, Sheffield Town Hall

This Master class is aimed at current Practice Educators and those working towards being a Practice Educator, and is being delivered by Gurnam Singh, Principal Lecturer in Social Work at Coventry University and Berni Murphy, Placement Manager at the University of Sheffield.


In relation to ‘failing ‘and ‘marginal’ students the workshop therefore aims to offer a space for practice educators and tutors to reflect on their own experiences and to share/develop best practice


By the end of the workshop participants will have:

  • Reflected on some of the difficulties and challenges in assessing and supporting students who are perceived to be weak or failing
  • Reflected on their role and responsibility regarding supporting and assessing failing or marginal students, particularly in relation to the PCF framework
  • Reflected on their commitments to anti-oppressive practice, specifically in relation to failing and marginal students
  • Contributed to develop and inform best practice to ensure fair and rigorous assessment of students on placement.


Places are free and aimed at current Practice Educators and those working towards being a Practice Educator. The seminar will be interactive and will provide opportunities to consider your own practice and learning needs. Please ask your manager for permission to attend.

To book a place, please go to

NSCAP Open Day

The Northern School of Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy (NSCAP) is holding an Open Day on Saturday 25th March 2017 11.00am – 2.00pm.

An opportunity to discover how NSCAP can help develop your practice and your career working with infants, children, adolescents, families and adults.

• Pathways to Training
• Guest Lecture
• Sample Seminars
• Videos
• Clinical and Organizational Consultations
• Research at NSCAP

Please email your name to: or call 0113 8558750

Please see Open Day Flyer for more infomation

Examining touch in practice: Adult-Child Relationships and the use of Touch in Social Care

With Lisa Warwick

7th February 2017

10am – 12.30pm

(registration at 9.30am)

Room 1.050 Howden House, Union Street, Sheffield, S1 2SH

Master class flyer -feb 7th 2017

This masterclass will draw upon Lisa’s doctoral research and will explore intimacy in professional adult-child relationships with a particular focus on the use of touch in practice.  Drawing upon examples from the research, we will discuss some of the myths, misunderstanding and meaningful uses of touch in practice.

Lisa Warwick is a Qualified Social Worker and Research Fellow at the University of Nottingham, currently working on the ESRC funded project: ‘Organisations, staff support and the dynamics and quality of social work practice: A qualitative longitudinal study of child protection work’.  Her PhD research was an ethnographic study of adult-child relationships and the use of touch in residential child care.

Register your place here

Password – teaching

Places are free and aimed at experienced practitioners, with a maximum of 12 places for Sheffield staff. The seminar will be interactive and will provide opportunities to consideryour own practice and learning needs. Please ask your manager for permission to attend.

If you experience any problems in accessing the Eventbrite link please email and we will register you.