SWAN North East inaugural conference – November 2012

The conference will run from 09:30 Coffee, 10.00 start to 4:30 finish in the Centuria Building, School of Health & Social Care, University of Teesside, Middlesbrough, TS1 3BA.  Lunch is provided.  There is ample on-site parking and the campus is a 15 minute walk from the station or a £3.00 taxi.

Please see the bottom of this article for a downloadable invitation to practitioners and students, as well as a flyer for the conference.

Please find below the online booking & payment form — fees are £20 Waged, £10 Students

To book online click here.

Conference programme: Almost every week has seen new cutbacks to both social work and using community work services here in the Northeast. From academic articles to journalistic exposes and most importantly the day-to-day practice experience of practitioners and students, we see that the north-east is being particularly focused on for the most damaging and deep financial cuts and reductions in support to the public and the voluntary and charitable sectors.Teesside University are hosting the conference

The Social Work Action Network (North East Region) is a broad grouping of social work and youth & community work practitioners, academics students and service user groups which argues against a defensive and managerialist practice. We put the case in favour of professionals in our area coming together with service users and advocates to argue for a professional practice based on social justice and respect for the practitioners within social work, youth and community work and the people of the north-east with whom they work.

The conference is the first of its kind in the north-east after several years of successful Social Work Action Network conferences in the North West, Scotland and London we are beginning the process of helping social work and youth & community work practitioners and students to network to exchange ideas and in particular to look at how to build a practice engagement with the political realities of poverty, lack of opportunity and the lack of respect with which the service users who may be experiencing poverty and marginalisation are being treated by current social policies.Centauria Building where the conference takes place

Speakers include Dr Michael Lavalette, Prof Iain Ferguson, Prof Sarah Banks (SWAN & In Defence of Youth Work) and leading speakers from service user networks and trade unions, which will examine the effect of budget cuts on social services and how social workers and youth & community workers can respond.

Workshops are coving a wide variety of topics from ‘What is Radical Practice’ to a variety of progressive practice sessions including: working with asylum seekers, youth and other service user groups affected by current cutbacks, dealing with unrealistic caseloads and developing ethical practice at a time of sector cuts.  There will be student led sessions looking at the student experience across the region.

For further information email swannortheast@gmail.com

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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 to advance Social Work.