Bit of a random, stream of consciousness type post today as I was suffering from severe writers block this morning so apologies in advance!
RiPfa (Research in Practice for Adults) are promoting a contest on Twitter to win an expenses-paid place on their Five Year Focus event. You have to send an them email and tell them in 200 words who you are and why you want to attend. Details are on the link!
It sounds like it might be a great opportunity for someone who might not have the opportunity to attend something like this so I’d heartily recommend just putting some thoughts to paper and sending them off.. it’s only 200 words after all!
While I’m on the subject of RiPfA – for reasons that it would be too boring to relate, I needed to make a presentation on ‘a piece of evidence used in practice’ over the last fortnight.
It was the first place I went just because the name indicated it might be what I was looking for and I found an absolute trove of information to access – from the quarterly research and policy updates , to the outline series which provide research evidence in a variety of areas which is able to be consumed in bite size chunks – and was actually precisely the type of thing I had been looking for – something that could be read, digested and discussed in a period of about an hour- in a busy team with little ‘spare’ time.
As a brief addendum I’m considering adding a series of ‘research-based discussion’ type posts in a weekly series. It will force me to keep my own knowledge up to date and relevant!
SCIE would be my other go-to place for research evidence. It is worth noting that those employed by local authorities can apply for Athens access through SCIE. Athens access allows online access to a wide variety of journals. Definitely worth doing.
Just as an aside, I subscribe to the British Journal of Social Work. I keep my copies in the office although it is a personal subscription. One of our social work students showed some interest in one of the copies and when I showed him an article, he expressed surprise that the journal came in ‘book form’. He’d only ever read it online. Oh, how old I felt!
I’ve been thinking about research and in my fantasy land I’d be designing research projects I’d like to do at some point, when I have time, if I were ever able to get funding for them. I don’t want to give up practice though and there’s the problem. I’ve been looking into research I might be able to do at Birkbeck but it isn’t in exactly the ‘right’ field and anyway, with the full time job and the fostering commitments, and the fact that my employers would not fund me so I’d have to pay for myself, it is slightly unrealistic – but it would be nice to think that one day I might be able to put some of the information, thoughts and ideas about improving services and functions.. out there.
I think there is far too little practitioner and workplace research. It certainly isn’t encouraged in my own organisation and it pains me (in an envious rather than jealous way because I love hearing them talking about what they do) that the people around me who work for the NHS are seconded into research projects in a way that would never happen for social workers.
Anyway, in the meantime I can read my websites and my copies of the British Journal of Social Work and Community Care and ensure that my practice and knowledge base remain strong, up to date and relevant.
On that note, a reminder to register for Community Care Live which will be held on 18 and 19 May in London this year. I really look forward to attending each year and highly recommend it.
SWAN have their national conference in Birmingham on 15th and 16th April. I’m not yet sure if I’ll be able to get to that one but I would like to try.
And SWAN London have an event on 5th March titled
‘Changes in Social Work : Our Response’ – I can’t find the information to link to (I was sent an email about it) but for further information about that, contact firstname.lastname@example.org (this is not free but at £5 waged/£2 unwaged it’s very good value!)
Finally, I’ve mentioned this before but the GSCC have a couple of conferences coming up in Leeds and London in March. I thought they sounded very interesting but maybe that’s just me and I have a dysfunctional ‘interest’ radar but I would recommend looking them up at least.
- UEA has research opportunities in Social Work and Psychology (postgrad.com)