You are warmly invited to take part in a research project that will examine the immigration of foreign-trained social workers into the United Kingdom and the immigration of British social workers to Australia. This research is part of the wider study of labour and immigration.
The UK has for many years relied on social workers trained abroad to meet shortages, especially within child-protection services (Simpson, 2009; Walsh et al., 2009; Welbourne et al, 2007). In 2009 the GSCC had on its lists 7512 international social workers who were trained abroad, and their qualifications were recognized as comparable to the UK demands, and a 2011 study found that about 10 percent of UK social workers qualified abroad (Hussein, Manthrope and Stevens, 2011).
Currently, social workers practicing in Children and Families are still on the UK immigration authorities' list of "shortage occupations" and the reliance on international social workers to meet workforce shortages is expected to continue. But, despite the relatively large number of social workers involved and the impact these have on wider society, there is relatively little research exploring the immigration journeys of this group, their experiences, their unique perspective and training, as well as the obstacles they face and what can be done to help them overcome these.
Especially missing are interpretive studies that are sensitive to the specific national and cultural context in the countries of origin and its interaction with the UK professional and cultural context. As part of our research, we are interested in social workers who, before immigrating to the UK, were trained in one of the following countries: Australia, India, Romania, Canada, South-Africa, Zimbabweand the US. We are also studying British social workers who immigrated to Australia. We invite these social workers to take part in one or more of the following ways:
- an anonymous online questionnaire.
- a semi-structured interview.
- in a small number of cases, we plan to shadow participating social workers.
Here are the links to the questionnaire for each one of these groups:
American social workers in the UK
Australian social workers in the UK
British social workers in Australia
Canadian social workers in the UK
Indian social workers in the UK
South-African social workers in the UK
Romanian social workers in the UK
Zimbabwean social workers in the UK
Further details about this research can be found in the Participant Information Sheet that you can access here.
If you are willing to be interviewed or shadowed, please get in touch with Dr. Yohai Hakak (Yohai.email@example.com) who will connect you with the relevant student-researcher.