Mark Axon, Consultant Social Worker, West Midlands Teaching Partnership
I’ve now been working for the Teaching Partnership since the end of March 2019 as the Consultant Social Worker for the CPD and Practice Education workstream. We are currently working on producing a CPD brochure for the region so that social workers are aware of the range of post-graduate learning opportunities available to them which will enhance their practice and develop new skills. Also, we are in the process of developing some further CPD courses/modules which reflect the practice frameworks and strengths and relationship-based approaches which are used widely.
Alongside this, we are working with Practice Educators to find ways to ensure that they are supported to continue in their vital role, acting as gatekeepers to our profession. We are supporting a range of Practice Educator conferences across the West Midlands for practitioners to attend. Also, you may have attended some of our Teaching Partnership masterclasses. We hope that you found these useful and are looking to hold some more over the next few months. So watch this space…
As you can see, there is a lot to do! It as been a stimulating and busy time adjusting my social work perspective to such a big project involving a number of HEIs and Local Authorities. Prior to this role, I was working with children and their families in Coventry, initially in referral and assessment service before moving to a neighbourhood social work team. I have also supported students on placement as a Practice Educator. It is a fantastic challenge and privilege to work with so many passionate and dedicated colleagues all working to improve social work in the region. I want to try and ensure that social workers use the knowledge, skills and experience of social work academics, research and people with lived experience to enhance their practice, which will in turn help to improve the outcomes for the adults, children and families we work with.