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”.

Interview: Psyche Publication

Lucy Grainge and Juliette Duffy are setting out to create a new type of magazine…one based on engaging with the therapeutic and transformative nature of storytelling, centred on mental health and politics. The latest issue is titled CONFRONTATIONS. We interviewed ... Read More

Independent Living For All!

SWAN is pleased to publish a short paper that proposes a campaign to make independent living, as defined by the United Nations, the driving force for social care. This is timely. The evidence is making it inarguable that the personalisation ... Read More

Solidarity With West Dunbartonshire

In June, West Dunbartonshire workers took the decision to vote for strike action, should their working conditions fail to immediately improve. SWAN Stands In Solidarity With West Dunbartonshire’s Social Workers As They Vote To Strike The needs and safety of ... Read More

Chinese Social Workers Arrested

Defend Chinese Social Workers! On Wednesday (8 May) Chinese police raided the offices of Hope college, a community centre in the southern city of Guangzhou that helps and supports migrant workers attending vocational schools. They detained social worker Liang Zicun ... 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.