How we work

The Centre for Social Work Practice was launched at the Tavistock Centre in April 2006 with the aim of promoting relationship-based practice within social work.

The Centre is committed to ensuring that reflective practice, with its focus on relationships, takes its rightful place not only in social work practice, but also in professional development and in the curriculum at all levels of qualifying and post-qualifying training.

The Centre is a collaborative network, and we welcome suggestions about how to develop our activities, and opportunities to expand the range of organisations and individuals involved – so please contact us with your ideas.

The Centre is organised and delivered by a small operational team, associate organisations and volunteers based throughout England and, in time, we hope the whole of the U.K. The Centre is a collaboration among representatives based in:

  • University of Essex
  • University of East London
  • University of Nottingham
  • Derby City Council Children and Young People's Department
  • The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust
  • British Association for Adoption and Fostering
  • University Campus Suffolk
  • University of East Anglia
  • Anglia Ruskin University
  • University of Bath

You can contact us by email at:

Aims and Objectives

The Centre directs its range of activities towards three main levels of influence:

  • Practice
  • Organisations and management
  • Government and policy development

The Centre operates via a network of institutions, groups and individuals engaged in practising, teaching, developing and researching relationship-based and therapeutic social work.

The specific objectives of the centre

  1. To promote and develop relationship-based social work in the UK
  2. To provide and promote forums to enable the development of competence and creativity in relationship-based social work practice
  3. To provide and promote forums for the development of social work research.
  4. To promote a culture of influence on relevant aspects of public and professional policy through conferences, seminars and debates, and engagement with external policy making bodies.
  5. To promote practice based scholarship and publication, through links with professional journals and forums to encourage and develop publication potential among practitioners.
  6. To establish systematic links with key professional bodies, and seek institutional membership or representation where appropriate.

Through its activities, to support the development of a new generation of therapeutically trained and experienced practitioners, teachers and researchers to take forward the task of sustaining social work as a relationship based activity.