Updates & News

Practice Week 2021

Updated: May 11, 2021

Reflect, Reset and Innovate - 4-6 May

The West Midlands Social Work Teaching Partnership recently hosted their Practice Week 2021, the theme this year was Reflect, Reset and Innovate. Hosted over three days, sessions and workshops were presented by both members of the Partnership and external members, making it a varied and educational event.

During the week we reflected on how the past year has impacted both social work professionals and those with lived experience. We were presented with new ways of working, research inspired and led by those with experiences of social work and innovative concepts for the future of the social work profession.

Below, please find details of each event and the links for any presentations and videos of the sessions. We hope you enjoyed Practice Week 2021 and look forward to seeing you at CPD opportunities in the future.

All the videos below are also available on our YouTube Channel

Day 1 - Reflect, Tuesday 4 May.

Reflecting on Learning from Virtual Family Time

Delivered by Worcestershire Children's First

This session will look back on 2020 and how as a service we responded to the need of children, young people and their families and how we developed and introduced Virtual Family Time successfully to support sustaining relationships and doing this safely in the face of the pandemic. This will reflect on what we have learnt directly from the experiences of children & young people, parents and foster carers and the session will include direct feedback and their voices/experiences. We will reflect on the successes and what next.


Virtual Family Time
Download PDF • 515KB

Reflecting on Learning from our Back to School Project

Worcestershire Children's First

Our Back to School project was a dedicated Early Help Service to support children and families back to School following the return to schools across September to December 2020, what we learnt and the challenges faced by families. How working at the lowest level of intervention possible, using a strengths and relationship-based approach to support vulnerable children back to school when families faced increased anxiety in response to Covid-19. The session will include our learning, feedback from families and from partner agencies. We will reflect on the successes and what next.


The social work apprenticeship Reflect

Staffordshire University

Looking back at the last 12 months – experiences in practice whilst adapting to remote/blended learning and managing the two demands in a pandemic. What worked well that can be used in future.

Presentation slides

SW Apprenticeship WMTP
Download PDF • 1.12MB

Final Report Participation Research

Albert Moylan

An Introductory Exploration of the Participation of People with Lived Experience of Social Work, within Higher Education Institutions in the West Midlands was carried out by the Social Work Teaching Partnership earlier this year. In this session, Albert Moylan (lead researcher) will present the rationale for and process used in conducting this research, including the main findings and recommendations. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions.


.21 Summary of Participation Reserach
FINAL REPORT Participation Research - 4
Download • 974KB

Reflections from a social worker with lived experience

Ian Thomas

I am a qualified Social Worker with professional experience of working in international childcare reform, supporting NGO’s and Governments with an agenda towards deinstitutionalisation. I have ten years’ experience of working in the UK foster care sector offering training and support to foster carers, children & young people engagement and participation. I am a passionate activist /public speaker presenting my learning on the internal and external factors impacting children, young people and adults affected by alternative care, addiction and marginalisation on international platforms. I am on a personal mission to continue to understand self and inspire understanding and compassion towards human adversity. I am a former looked after child, who lived with around 20 families and several children’s homes. I left care aged 16 and entered into the criminal justice system shortly after, resulting in three years of my life incarcerated through a battle with class A drug addiction. Over the past 12 years my recovery has been one of personal, professional & educational development.


Day 2 - Reset, Wednesday 5 May

The Coronavirus Pandemic Experiences and lessons for the future

Dr Clive Diaz and Rachael Vaughan, Cardiff University

Session overview This webinar shares findings of research undertaken with care leavers about their experiences during COVID-19 and lockdown. The research emerges from a recent study exploring the experiences of young people who were in the process of leaving care in England and Wales during lockdown. The webinar includes contributions by care-experienced young people from Voices From Care Cymru. The study was comprised of qualitative interviews with 21 young people and included creative outputs of art and poem-making. In addition, a survey was undertaken of local authority departments about their own support mechanisms. Findings indicate varied experiences for young people; some felt isolated and uncared about during lockdown, with opportunities for support diminished and inadequate. Yet for others, the challenges of the pandemic had been eased by relationships with key individuals and a variety of local initiatives. Young people’s resilience is noteworthy, and the findings and recommendations are proposed to enhance support responses in the event of a subsequent lockdown, as well as when restrictions are fully lifted.


COVID 19 care leaver presentation 2021
Download P • 321KB

Ensuring Deafblindness is Seen and Heard - the Social Work Contribution

Dr Peter Simcock

Drawing on practice experience, research literature and qualitative inquiry, this workshop explores how social workers can and must meet the needs of the deafblind population, predominantly focused on deafblind adults. It covers definitions of deafblindness, the psychosocial impact of the condition, and the legal framework related to social care for deafblind adults. The overall focus of the workshop is the contribution the social work profession can make in this field. Dr Peter Simcock Bio: Dr. Peter Simcock is Senior Lecturer in Social Work at Birmingham City University. Prior to working in social work education, he worked as a specialist social worker with d/Deaf and deafblind people in two local authorities in the West Midlands. Peter has a long-standing practice and research interest in deafblindness and social work, and his doctoral studies explored the lived experience of vulnerability and ageing amongst older deafblind people. Peter holds academic qualifications in both law and social work, and is the co-author of the 2016 Polity Book Social Work and Disability and chapters on ageing and dual sensory loss in the 2019 Routledge Handbook of Visual Impairment and the 2020 Routledge Handbook of Ageing with Disability. In 2020, Peter became the Chair of the Deafblind International Acquired Deafblindness Network.


Deafblindness - Peter Simcock
Download PDF • 3.97MB

Student led anti racist group - Why we stand

Staffordshire University

Anti-racist action that is led by students. The students would like to present why they stand as a group, what they have achieved, and an invitation to other groups to join them in a movement.


Coaching Skills in Social Work

Sukhvir Kaur Dhillon, Consultant Social Worker,

The West Midlands Social Work Teaching Partnership


Grow Model workshop final
Download PDF • 2.58MB

Action Learning in Social Work

Cheryl Wall, Programme Manager

The West Midlands Social Work Teaching Partnership

Christine Abbott, Centre for Action Learning


Action Learning - PRACTICE WEEK
Download PDF • 1.15MB

Day 3 - Innovate, Thursday 6 May

A regional approach to the development of Social Work Research Practice Week

  • Karen Nixon, Principal Social Worker, Midlands Partnership NHS Trust – An Analysis of Social Care Research Engagement (SCREEN)

  • Dr Paul Campbell, Research Manager, Midlands Partnership NHS Trust – From Practice to Research to Practice

  • Dr Karen Roscoe, Lecturer in Social Work, Keele University – Narrative Enquiry and Linguistics

  • Dr Laura Pritchard-Jones, Lecturer in Law, Keele University – COVID 19 and Adult Safeguarding in Social Care


MPFT and KEELE Teaching Partnership Pres
Download • 6.59MB

Mend the Gap Conference


The Spirit of Practice Education Conference

Dr Mark Doel Presentation

Spirit of Practice Education
Download PDF • 111KB

Shabnam Ahmed Presentation

The Art of Becoming a Practice Educator
Download • 2.57MB

Ani Murr Presentation

How a student Like this reached a final
Download • 1.38MB