Goldsmiths named social work centre of excellence

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Leading social work figures including Lyn Romeo, the Chief Social Worker for Adults, are to help unveil a pioneering scheme aimed at boosting the quality of teaching and practice of those in the sector.

Goldsmiths will host the launch of the South East London Teaching Partnership on Wednesday 30 September.

The university has been selected as a centre of excellence as part of a nationwide pilot to improve the teaching of social work and improve the standards of qualified practitioners. 

The scheme aims to drive up standards and understanding for those working on the front-line of social work and academics researching the area.

Goldsmiths is working with its partners the Royal Borough of Greenwich, the London Borough of Lewisham and the London Borough of Southwark to create a space where social work practitioners and academics can share their experiences and openly debate best practice.

By creating this centre of excellence Goldsmiths hopes to introduce the benefits of bringing social work practitioners into the university and the university into direct practice.

Head of Social Work Joan Fletcher said: "I am delighted to be part of this initiative aimed at achieving excellence in social work education and training as the bedrock of excellence in social work practice and improved outcomes for children, adults and families."   

Government to fund new approaches to social work education and training

The nine-month pilot is supported by £400,000 government funding to develop and test new and innovative approaches to social work qualifying education, early career training and continuing professional development programmes. 

The South East London Teaching Partnership is one of four such early adopter pilot schemes across the country following a tendering process which began with 24 applicants. It is hoped these schemes will be rolled out across the country.

The event at the end of September will bring together key members across the partnership to officially mark the start of this pioneering new direction in social work education.

Hosting the launch will be Kevin Jones, Head of Department of Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies (STaCS) at Goldsmiths. 

Chief Social Worker for Adults Lyn Romeo will guest speak at the launch. Key messages she is set to deliver include the need for social work to deepen its knowledge and skills if it is to respond to the transformation of health and social care. 

The event will also hear from Andrew O'Sullivan, Director of Children's Services at the Royal Borough of Greenwich, and a narrative from Goldsmiths alumna Jennifer Skirrow who was awarded Newly Qualified Social Worker of the Year and is now a practicing social worker within the partnership.

The event which begins at 1800hrs will be preceded by the first of Goldsmiths' Twilight Seminars for practicing social workers and students. This is being hosted by Amanda Taylor who runs innovative social work book group.