Professor Kate Wilson - Chair of the CfSWP
Kate is Emeritus Professor of Social Work at the University of Nottingham, having held the post of Chair in Social Work at the University until her retirement ten years ago. Prior to this in her academic career she held posts at the Universities of York and Hull.
She is a qualified social worker and counsellor and worked as a probation officer in South London and as a social worker and team leader for Humberside Social Services. She was a founder member of the then Hull Family Mediation Service and Age Concern East Riding, and her voluntary work includes acting as a group facilitator for Relate, family mediation, and therapeutic work with children.
She is the author of numerous books and articles, including, with Dr Virginia Ryan, Play Therapy: a Non-Directive Approach for Children and Adolescents (2nd edition 2005) which became the core text for the MA in Non-Directive Play Therapy which she and Dr Ryan ran at the University of York; three books (with Professor Ian Sinclair et al) on foster care, based on a large study of foster care and adoption lead by Professor Sinclair; and a text book entitled Social Work: an Introduction to Contemporary Practice (2nd edition 20011)which she wrote with Professor Andrew Cooper, Professor Gillian Ruch and Mark Lymbery, in part with the aim of setting relationships at the heart of social work practice.
She was one of a small group of like-minded academics and practitioners, including Andrew Cooper, Una McCluskey, Gillian Ruch, Clare Parkinson and Olive Stevenson who in 2001 came together at the instigation of Andrew in order to promote relationship-based social work in education and practice settings at a time when this approach risked becoming marginalized. Kate took over as Chair of what had become the Centre for Social Work Practice when Professor Stevenson retired in 2007 and has held the post ever since.
She is married and lives in Oxford in the house in which she was brought up. She has two surviving sons and six grandchildren.
Jenni Connell - Secretary of the CfSWP
Jenni has considerable experience of Local Authority Social Work having started her career in generic social work in 1975. Jenni specialised in Fostering and Adoption work before moving into social work education both in a Local Authority context and as an associate lecturer and tutor for a number of years.
Until recently Jenni worked as a sessional Training and Education Officer for Derby City Council Children and Young People’s Department. The main focus of this work was mentoring and assessing social workers undertaking Continuing Professional Development Awards in the East Midlands. Jenni continues to have a particular interest in practice and research into direct work and communication with children. Jenni worked for number of years until recently as an honorary lecturer and sessional tutor at the University of Nottingham where she qualified in the late 1970s, and also more recently as a sessional tutor on the Step up to Social Work Programme at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Jenni has always been interested in the dynamic and structural elements of practice and theory, particularly the use of psychodynamic and systemic approaches and family therapy, all of which were an important influence at the start of her career. This early experience profoundly influenced her interest and commitment to relationship based practice and the importance of relationship factors in all aspects of social work practice.
Jenni has been involved with the Centre for Social Work Practice since 2006 (before it became a charity), and continues to maintain close links with practice through the Centre, membership of other professional organisations and related activities.
Robin Solomon - Trustee
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Dr John Simmonds - Trustee
John Simmonds is Director of Policy, Research and Development at CoramBAAF, previously the British Association for Adoption and Fostering. Prior to taking up his position at BAAF, he was head of the social work programmes at Goldsmiths College, University of London.
He is a qualified social worker and has substantial experience in child protection, family placement and residential care settings. He has published widely including in 2009 with Gillian Schofield, The Child Placement Handbook.
He was awarded an O.B.E. in the 2015 New Years Honours list.
He is the adoptive father of two children, now adults.
Ms Clare Parkinson - Trustee
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 0208 938 2476
Clare Parkinson is a Clinical Lecturer and Senior Social Worker at the Tavistock Centre leading the Tavistock side of the Tavistock-UEL qualifying MA in Social Work and teaching/supervising on the Professional Doctorate in Advanced Practice and Research (Social Work and Social Care).
Clare has extensive experience working with social workers at all levels of development. She has a particular interest in the practice and theoretical ideas that underpin supervision and adult learning and in psychoanalytic approaches to the life course with a focus on baby and institutional observation, and to working with families. In the field of social work, Clare’s specialism has been in adult mental health, particularly as it links to mental capacity. Clare is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Social Work Practice and is a member of the Group for the Advancement of Psychodynamics and Psychotherapy in Social Work (GAPS).
Her recent publications are: Hingley-Jones, H., Parkinson, C. and Allain, L. (2016) ‘Back to our roots? Revisiting psychoanalytically informed baby and young child observation in the education of social workers’. Journal of Social Work Practice. 30, 3, 249-267
Hingley-Jones, H., Parkinson, C. and Allain, L. (2017) (eds) Observation in health and social care: Applications for learning, research and practice with children and adults. London/Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Parkinson, C. (2017) ‘How does it feel? Best Interests Assessors observe group care’. Chapter 4 in Hingley-Jones, H., Parkinson, C. and Allain, L. (2017) (eds) Observation in health and social care: Applications for learning, research and practice with children and adults. London/Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Parkinson, C. (2018) ‘Sustaining relationships working with strong feelings: hopelessness, depression and despair’ in Ruch, G. Turney, D. and Ward, A. (2018 2nd edn) Relationship based social work: Getting to the heart of practice. London: Jessica Kingsley.
Professor Andrew Cooper - Trustee
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Laura Able - Trustee
Laura has used mental health and social services in the past. She has previously been a Trustee of three mental health charities. She has worked in service user involvement and health development roles mainly in the voluntary and community sector for over 25 years; co-ordinated health and social networks and partnerships between diverse groups and communities.
Currently Laura works as a peer researcher and is a member of (SCIE) Coproduction, Human Rights and Equalities Steering Group and also works freelance.
Dr Sandra Engstrom - Trustee
I have lived in the UK for 6 years and am now a lecturer in Social Work at the University of Stirling.
I have a background in international social work and working with youth and communities.
One of my research interests is the role of emotions and relationships for child and family social workers.
I’m looking forward to working with the Centre for Social Work Practice to promote and encourage relationship based practice and research.
Stephen Graham - Trustee
Stephen has over 40 years’ experience in Human Resources/Personnel Management, working at strategic and operational levels in both the private and public sector, including 25 years in the NHS. He holds a post graduate Diploma in Personnel Management and in 1995 became a Fellow of The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, a position retained since retiring from permanent employment in 2016.
Stephen has always had a particular interest in helping to develop good and effective relationships at work which he believes are fundamental to business success. He feels this can contribute to an understanding and appreciation of the CFSWP’s focus and aims, and to the contribution that he can make to the organisation as an HR professional.
Richard Crass - Treasurer of the CfSWP
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