Social Work students, staff and members of the Brunel Experts by Experience Group of service users and carers travelled to Liverpool to attend the Social Work Action Network (SWAN) annual conference.
The theme of the conference was Radical Social Work in Tumultuous Times: Fighting for Equality and Social Justice. The conference discussed a number of challenges facing the Social Work profession, including financial restrictions and their impact on services, as well as wider issues affecting social work in the UK and elsewhere, such as the growth of political populism and social inequality.
Brunel Social Work students Glory Alade, Simona Anton, Sophia Bosah and Olutokunboh (Toks) Francis, presented at a workshop on migration, focusing on the experience of Social Work practitioners who migrated to the UK. They are part of a research team lead by Dr. Yohai Hakak that includes eight MA Social Work students. Each of the students is researching and will write their dissertation on the migration of social workers trained in one of following countries: Australia, Canada, India, Romania, South-Africa, the USA and Zimbabwe. Another student-researcher is looking at the migration of UK trained social workers to Australia. The team members are exploring a range of issues, including the push and pull factors, the challenges these social workers faced and how they were able to overcome these, the cultural differences between their home and destination country and much more.
Reflecting on the conference, Sophia commented: "My experience of presenting my research was positive, the feedback, interest and questions received from those who attended the workshop motivated me to improve on the work done on my research so far. I was also able to develop my knowledge and think about various ways to approach my research from another presentation shared at the workshop".
One of the other student presenters, Adey, said: "It was a great opportunity to be part of Brunel team at the 2019 SWAN conference and to present our work. At the time of the presentation, none of us knew how it would be received thus we were nervous but also determined to make success of it. Gladly, the presentation went well with positive feedback from academia, students and social workers, these uplifted our confidence and research interest. We look back on it as a productive experience for us all."
International social workers from the countries mentioned above who are currently based in the UK are invited to take part in an online questionnaire as part of this research. To learn more about the project and to take part in it, please click here.
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