SWAN - The Social Work Action Network

Welcome to SWAN's website. Please check out features such as the SWAN regional webpages and previous conference resources. You can join SWAN here. Don't forget to sign up to our newsletter and keep abreast of developments for the 2015 SWAN Conference.

SWAN is a network of social work practitioners, academics, students and social welfare service users united in their concern that social work activity is being undermined by managerialism and marketisation, by the stigmatisation of service users and by welfare cuts and restrictions.

SWAN promotes a model of social work and social care practice which is rooted in the value of social justice. This model seeks to advocate alongside, and on behalf of, service users and carers. It values both individual relationship-based practice and collective approaches.

It works towards these objectives through regular conferences and campaigning activities, and to strengthen the radical voice within social work practice, education and wider social policy debates.

SWAN works alongside existing social care, service user and carer organisations, including UNISON and Unite, to promote strong collective organisation and, wherever possible, to campaign jointly.

SWAN is a membership organisation - please join us by following the instructions here.

Nick Clegg pronounced, in his speech to the LibDem conference, that there was ‘outrageous discrimination’ in how the NHS responded to individuals with mental health problems and promised new funding to breach the gap between physical and psychological treatments. According to the Guardian (8.10.14) ‘mental health campaigners’ welcomed this as ‘a significant advance’.

We might be more cautious. First, we have seen similar promises in the past, like the 2011 Government paper boldly titled ‘No Health Without Mental Health’. Secondly the treatment offered is the ‘one size fits all’, short term CBT (and its variations) rather than longer term support as part of the package. Thirdly, the austerity driven Government policies continue to cut and close the network of community based, service user led organisations that people need and value.

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SWAN has received news that this morning (Wednesday 8th October 2014) our friend and colleague, Rona Woodward (McLeod), lecturer in social work at the University of Stirling, Scotland passed away this morning after a long illness. The following piece is a short tribute by SWAN founding member and close colleague of Rona's, Iain Ferguson.

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SWAN is pleased to announce that the 10th national Social Work Action Network Conference will take place at Glasgow Caledonian University on Saturday 11th April and Sunday 12th April 2015. More news on themes, speakers, sessions and accommodation will follow in due course.

More Articles...

  1. Letter to Sir Albert Bore - underinvestment in Birmingham children’s social care
  2. SWAN Brighton group
  3. SWAN Solidarity Message in support of protests in Hong Kong
  4. Umbrella Movement - Hong Kong students and people fighting for democracy
  5. Public meeting: No to Privatization - the future of children’s services in Birmingham
  6. Food bank research in London Borough of Lewisham
  7. Tax avoidance specialists handed teaching role on social work MA course
  8. Mental Health Charter gathers momentum with London event
  9. Oxford Conference 28th June: The Crisis in Mental Health Services
  10. Barnet struggle for services and Care UK strike
  11. SWAN Mental Health Charter launched
  12. Motions for SWAN Conf 2014
  13. Documents for SWAN Conference 2014
  14. Le Grand review - the marketisation and outsourcing of children’s social care is the aim
  15. Underfunded safeguarding services leaves unidentified children at risk

  

 

SWAN is a democratic, grassroots organisation – policy making and elections take place at the AGM during the annual conference’

Social Work Manifesto.

Social work in Britain today has lost direction. We need to find more effective ways of resisting the dominant trends within social work and map ways forward for a new engaged practice…

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History.

SWAN developed from the Social Work Manifesto written in 2004. It launched a popular defence of social work in the aftermath of the Baby Peter tragedy in 2008. It continues to hold successful conferences and campaigns; the 9th national SWAN conference will be held in Durham in April 2014.

SWAN is a membership organisation and we are dependent on the funds of members, plus what monies we take from our annual conference to run the organisation. You can find out about membership here.

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Change the course of social work

 

The next SWAN national conference is the eighth. It takes place at Durham University on Friday 11th and Saturday 12th April 2014. We will regularly update the SWAN website with information about speakers and booking. You can find these pages in the Conference 2014 section. Please email SWAN North East at ioakimides [at] googlemail.com if you have questions about the conference.

The title of the 2014 SWAN Conference is yet to be confirmed. This is the first time that a national SWAN conference has been held in the North East of England and we hope it will be the biggest ever SWAN event. It will link up social workers (in practice, education, research and training), service users and carers, trade unions, user-led groups, anti-cuts organisations, pressure groups, the disabled people and women's movements to unite to defeat the Coalition Government's social policy direction. Just as importantly we will debate, promote and celebrate alternative models and visions of social care.

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SWAN address & email

Social Work Action Network (SWAN)
c/o Iain Ferguson
School of Social Science
University of the West of Scotland
Paisley
PA1 2BE

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