Welcome to SWAN

SWAN is a radical, campaigning organisation of social work and social care practitioners, students, service users, carers and academics

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What We Do

Social Work

Social work in Britain today has lost direction. We need to find more effective ways of resisting the dominant trends within social work and map ways forward for a new engaged practice. SWAN encourages an inclusive debate about the future direction of social work, involving social work academics, practitioners, students, service users and representative organisations (both professional and trade union).


SWAN developed from the Social Work Manifesto written in 2004. It launched a popular defence of social work in the aftermath of the Baby Peter tragedy in 2008. It continues to hold hugely successful conferences and campaigns. It supports grassroots campaigns across the globe.


SWAN offers a space to discuss the impact of neoliberalism, marketisation and managerialism on Social Work and Social Pedagogy; the links between social work and social movements; the importance and significance of local social work traditions; alternative interpretations and practices of social work across the globe and how this affects our understandings of “international social work”.

Workers’ Experience Meeting – 23rd July

Book here for the second Workers’ Experience meeting for UK social work practitioners, a closed event accessible to those who have registered via eventbrite. These meetings are safe spaces. We can only challenge the status quo, which forgets the centrality ... Read More

Being a social worker during COVID…

…and where this sits in the broad context of Children and Families social work. Read this interview with a Children and Families practitioner, as they reflect upon how COVID has stressed the inadequacies of modern social work. “I just don’t ... Read More

Support for Imprisoned Hong Kong Social Worker

This is an appeal for Support for a Hong Kong Social Worker Sentenced to one-year Imprisonment in the Anti-extradition Bill Movement.  A registered social worker from Hong Kong, Mr. Lau Ka-tung, has been convicted and sentenced to one-year imprisonment for ... Read More

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We want to develop a network of service users, practicitioners, academics and students to support radical and progressive social work. We need a social work that is ready to challenge oppressive practice, that means working collectively across the country and internationally.