Centre for Social Work Practice

Events: Regional Groups

East Anglia

University of East Anglia

Regional Co-ordinator: Dr Laura Cook
Laura is a lecturer in social work at the University of East Anglia. She teaches on the MA and BA in Social Work as well as across a range of CPD courses. Her research focuses on decision-making and the concept of professional judgement in social work. She is particularly interested in the role of emotion, relationships and intuition in social worker’s assessments of risk.

Anglia Ruskin University

Regional Co-ordinator: Caroline Bald
Caroline is Senior Lecturer and Placement Co-ordinator at ARU with twenty years’ experience in statutory criminal justice social work and mental health social enterprise. She is currently undertaking an Educational Doctorate researching resilience, professional self-care and leadership. Caroline is a Practice Educator and HEA fellow. Qualifying with a Masters in Social Work in 1999 from the University of Glasgow following a degree in Sociology and Social Policy. Social work starts and ends with authentic, quality relationships; first and foremost with service users, also acknowledging the unique network within and between ourselves as social workers and colleagues within an inter-organisational context and communities.

University of Essex (Southend Campus)

Regional Co-ordinator: Dr Stephen Jordan
I am currently a lecturer at University of Essex BA (Hons) Social Work. I worked previously as programme lead in Social Work at South Essex College (from 2004- 2011). Before that I worked as senior practitioner in a range of social work posts, predominantly in children and families services from 1988.

Interest in relationship based practice: I first developed an interest in relationship based social work practice, when I began studying for my Professional Doctorate in social work at the Tavistock and the subject of my doctorate was the use of humour and social work. I am particularly interested in how humour use is an aspect in understanding relationship based practice. I would argue that as humour can convey humanity, is grounded in our earliest attachments and helps us to manage our emotions, so humour can help facilitate relationships with service users, and be a tool to help service users, social workers and their colleagues to maintain relationships.

University of Suffolk

Regional Co-ordinator: Heidi Dix & Aisha Howells
Heidi is the Higher Education Institute Teaching Partnership Lead (job share) a new partnership between the University of Suffolk, the University of East Anglia and Suffolk and Norfolk County Councils which promises a range of innovations including enhanced student placements and greater practitioner involvement in teaching and learning. Heidi qualified in 1997 and has experience of both adults and children’s services. She has worked in both statutory and third sector provision within a range of settings. Heidi works as a manager within Suffolk’s Youth Offending Service. Heidi qualified as a Practice Educator in 2005. Heidi works part time so Aisha Howells who recently joined UoS from practice can also be contacted and has a role as a Regional Coordinator at UoS


UEA: Laura Cook - L.Cook@uea.ac.uk
ARU: Caroline Bald caroline.bald@aru.ac.uk
Essex: Stephen Jordan - sjordan@essex.ac.uk
UoS: Heidi Dix - h.dix@uos.ac.uk
Aisha Howells a.howells@uos.ac.uk

London and home counties

Tavistock & Portman Clinic

Regional co-ordinators: Prof Andrew Cooper & Dr Clare Parkinson
Andrew and Clare work for the Tavistock Clinic Social Work department and both are trustees of the Centre for Social Work Practice. They have considerable experience in working with children and families and in teaching, and have contributed a great deal to the exploration of relationship based practice through their academic and practice papers and presentations. The London region is keen to partner with other London organisations so please get in touch.


Clare Parkinson - CParkinson@tavi-port.nhs.uk
Andrew Cooper - ACooper@tavi-port.nhs.uk

The North

University of Sheffield

Regional Co-ordinator: Dr Jadwiga Leigh
Jadwiga is a Lecturer of Social Work in the Department of Sociological Studies at the University of Sheffield. In 2010 she began her PhD, which focused on professional identity and child protection culture both here in the UK and abroad in Belgium. The method she used was that of a comparative ethnography which included visual methodology. She has just published a monograph from her findings entitled: Blame, culture and child protection. It was through her doctoral research that Jadwiga became interested in how the environment in which social workers are situated affects the relationships that they then develop with the families they work with.

South Yorkshire Teaching Partnership

Regional Co-ordinator: Jessica McEwen
The South Yorkshire Teaching Partnership was formed in April 2015 and is a partnership between 7 organisations: County Councils, City Councils, Metropolitan Borough Councils, a Children’s Services Trust, and the University of Sheffield. Working together we deliver high quality training for social work students and qualified social workers in order to help them to develop the skills they need to work effectively in front line statutory services. Teaching Partnerships are part of the government’s broader strategy to strengthen the quality of practice learning and continuing professional development (CPD) among trainee and practicing social workers. The Teaching Partnership MA in Social Work, is delivered by the University of Sheffield, with a curriculum relevant to and informed by social work practice. We offer a career pathway and lifelong CPD and are working together as a partnership to respond to new Government initiatives such as the approved statuses for child and family practitioner and practice supervisor/leader, and to support our social workers through the new assessment and accreditation processes.


University of Sheffield Dr Jadwiga Leigh - j.t.leigh@sheffield.ac.uk
South Yorkshire Teaching Partnership www.southyorkshireteachingpartnership.co.uk/


University of Dundee

Regional Co-ordinator: Dr Richard Ingram
Richard is Associate Dean Internationalisation at Dundee University and Scottish Regional Coordinator for the CFSWP. Prior to embarking on his career as a lecturer in social work, Richard worked across a range of social work contexts including children and families, disabilities, educational social work and youth work. His key teaching areas are practice skills, relationship based practice, loss and reflective practice. He has published widely on the subject of emotions, reflective practice and relationship based practice. From the beginning of his time in social care work right through to the present day, Richard has maintained a strong belief that the best outcomes from practice and education come through the crucial relationships we form with others. These may be therapeutic or practical; fleeting or sustained; voluntary or compulsory in nature but are at the heart of what marks out the social work profession from others. Richard is supported in his regional coordinator role by Mark Smith, Professor of Social Work at Dundee University.

We remain ever grateful to Ruth Forbes from Edinburgh University who supported Richard before stepping down in autumn 2017.


Dundee: Richard Ingram - R.D.Ingram@dundee.ac.uk

The South Coast

University of Sussex

Regional Co-ordinator: Prof Michelle Lefevre
Michelle is Professor of Social Work at the University of Sussex where she is also the Academic Lead for Impact in the School of Education and Social Work, and Co-Director of CIRCY (the Centre for Innovation and Research in Childhood and Youth). Prior to her academic career, Michelle worked in child protection as a social worker and arts psychotherapist. She received a National Teaching Fellowship in 2015 for her research and pedagogical work on developing practitioners’ engagement and communication with children. She has published this work widely, through journal articles, book chapters, and in her Policy Press book on ‘Communicating with Children and Young People: Making a Difference’ which will shortly be appearing as a 2nd edition.

Michelle’s recent research includes two studies for the Children’ Commissioner for England, one on good practice in child protection in secondary schools and the other on professional responses to child sexual exploitation. She is currently researching social workers’ conversations and interactions with children during home visits and the implementation of a contextual safeguarding system in a local authority. Michelle is the Editor-in-Chief of the international journal Child and Family Social Work, regional co-ordinator for the South-East branch of the Centre for Social Work Practice and a member of the BASW Children and Families Policy, Practice and Education Group.


Sussex: Michelle Lefevre - m.lefevre@sussex.ac.uk

The Midlands

Until recently we have had a regional coordinator based at Nottingham University, hosting and coordinating events. We don’t currently have a local lead but we are keen to re-establish and build on the work undertaken to date, developing networks and promoting relationship based practice in the area.

If you are interested in forming a small group to undertake the regional coordination role or are keen to be the regional lead, please get in contact with Lian to discuss possible ideas further.

The South West

This group spans Bristol, Bath, South East Wales and surrounding areas of north Hampshire and Gloucestershire and events are hosted in Bristol at the UWE. So far the group has held seminars and is developing the audience from across the region for these events.

If you would like to know more about the forthcoming events or contribute in any way, please contact either Caroline Hickman (Bath) or Celia Keeping (Bristol UWE).


Bath: Caroline Hickman - C.L.Hickman@bath.ac.uk
Bristol UWE: Celia Keeping - Celia.Keeping@uwe.ac.uk

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