SWAN in the West Midlands

West Midlands SWAN was formed in 2009. We have a small steering committee elected from an annual meeting. SWAN West Midlands is Birmingham based but with members in Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall, Warwickshire and Wolverhampton. Coventry is also part our regional network but now has its own group based at Coventry university – S.W.A.N Coventry University Branch http://on.fb.me/o6KCD3 and on this website here.

Since we have formed we have held several regional meetings, a conference and produced two publications. In April 2011 we hosted the national SWAN conference at the University of Birmingham. Naturally we have been campaigning against cuts in social care as a priority - in alliance with UNISON, ASIRT, and DPAC. In Sandwell we worked alongside UNISON to successfully prevent the formation of a private social work practice pilot. In Solihull we worked with UNISON and ASIRT to expose the racist cuts by the council against migrant children and held a protest outside the UK Border Agency. In Birmingham we helped form ‘Hands Off Brum Services’ alongside the Right to Work Campaign, UNISON, and DPAC that focused on cuts in social care following the councils attempt to cut expenditure on adult care by £164m that would mean 4,100 people in the city with ‘substantial needs’ having their care removed.

 The following publications from West Midlands SWAN are available to download from the bottom of this page:

  • Practice Notes: Challenging Cuts to services for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children
  • Private Social Work Practices: a West Midlands SWAN briefing paper

You can find us on Facebook - Social Work Action Network (SWAN) West Midlands - at: http://on.fb.me/pFuqx8

You can email West Midlands SWAN by clicking here.

Links to organisations we have campaigned with:
Diasabled People Against Cuts: http://www.dpac.uk.net/
Solihull Unison: http://sites.google.com/site/unisonsolihulllocalgovernment/
ASIRT: http://www.asirt.org.uk/index.htm

SWAN West Midlands are hosting an a free workshop for social work students and practitioners at the University of Birmingham on Wednesday 17th October. Entitled 'Doing Radical Social Work Today?', the workshop will attempt to address the questions: What is radical social work today? Where does it exist? What forms does it take in practice?

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For all members and supports of the West Midlands Social Work Action Network

You are invited to attend the next REGIONAL SWAN MEETING 10.30am - 2pm on Saturday 28th January 2012

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At 7am yesterday morning two trade union members turned up to unlock the building at my workplace and the struggle to get all union members out on Strike began. We have to ‘think of the children’ they claimed. Dealing with betrayal at dawn is not easy but by nine o’clock we had 10 pickets, the majority of members on strike including a whole admin team who could least afford to lose a day’s pay whose loyalty to the union was second to none. By 11am we had over two thousands strikers at our city march around town and by 2.30 pm at the regional rally central Birmingham there were 5000. By the end of the day there were over 23,000 on strike in our region.

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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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