Blogging for World Social Work Day
The Social Work department at Sussex used a specially developed blog to reflect on the significance of World Social Work Day on 20 March.
From then until 26 March, which was United Nations Social Work Day, social work practitioners and educators across the globe were involved in a range of activities to raise awareness of the importance of social work.
Dr Sevasti-Melissa Nolas, one of the newest lecturers within the Sussex department, said: “World Social Work Day is a great opportunity to raise the profile of what social work is about nationally and internationally, to celebrate successes which go largely unnoticed, to contextualise and learn from failures which are often disproportionately visible, and to publicly debate the values that social work as a profession holds dear including social justice, human rights and social development.”
Dr Nolas suggested that there is “something of a quiet revolution going on in terms of the public image of social work”. It is possible this began with the BBC's recent TV series ‘Protecting Our Children’, which, she said, gave viewers “a rare view of what social workers do, the dilemmas they face on a daily basis and the ways in which they work with families”.
So she was keen to take the further opportunity offered by World Social Work Day “to reclaim the terms of the debate and to shape public understanding of social work from the inside out”.
And Dr Nolas argued that blogging has a “huge role” to play in this quiet revolution. “It is a way to quickly and directly engage with the public,” she said, “to make visible social work's everyday practices and to openly debate the many tensions and dilemmas involved in practising social work”.
As the blog develops, academic staff in the Social Work department look forward to receiving contributions from their colleagues in the field, from the extensive network of users and carers who support their work, from current and former students, and - from time to time – from invited guests.