22 March 2019

Tuesday, 19 March we celebrated World Social Work Day, with fabulous events in Luton and Hackney.

Dozens of people attended the event organised by the Trust and the University of Bedfordshire in Luton, where there were some inspirational stalls and key notes, in particular the opportunities to learn from the role of social workers in Brazil and India, where the focus is on working with excluded communities living in extreme poverty.

The South Hackney Recovery Team and colleagues welcomed Angela Foster, Psychotherapist and previously a Social Worker, who reflected on her book “Mothers Accused and Abused” and the role and opportunities for Social Workers in building therapeutic relationships.

Social work is, and has for many years been, a core profession in the Trusts' integrated community mental health services, bringing to our teams particular knowledge in the social determinants of mental ill-health and the social interventions that can improve mental health and wellbeing.

Social workers bring knowledge of key legislation and guidance, such as the Mental Health and Mental Capacity Acts, the Care Act, the Human Rights Act, and safeguarding. They bring expertise in approaches to working with service users that are rooted in relational, person-centered, care and social justice. A strengths based social work approach is fundamentally concerned with starting with peoples strengths, rather than deficits, and building from there, addressing what matters to the person, rather than the matter with them.

Increasingly in our community health services, we are working in a more integrated way with social work colleagues, and will continue to build on this through the Trusts new strategy, with its focus on population health, and the NHS Long Term Plan, with its focus on prevention, and building multi-disciplinary teams around primary care networks.

We now have around 220 social workers working in and around the Trust, with around 140 working for the Trust. We have the brilliant Thinkahead programme bringing 8 new people into social work careers in the Trust every year, with schemes in Luton and Tower Hamlets & Newham planned for 2019/20.

World Social Work Day is an opportunity to celebrate the contribution every single social worker makes to improving life and health outcomes for the people and communities we serve.