School of Education and Social Work

Department of Social Work and Social Care

Welcome to the Department of Social Work and Social Care

Social work at Sussex is currently ranked 15th in the UK by The Guardian University Guide 2019.

Social work is a rapidly changing profession and here at Sussex we are at the forefront of innovation and development. We offer attractive opportunities in a department noted for its strength in professional education and its contribution to professional knowledge and practice.

We are among the leading institutions in the UK for the quality of our research. The Department currently hosts three research centres: The Centre for Innovation and Research in Wellbeing (CIRW), the Centre for Innovation and Research in Social Work (CSWIR), and the Centre for Innovation and Research in Childhood and Youth (CIRCY). We also have a proud tradition of providing rewarding opportunities for study, whether at initial qualifying, post-qualifying or doctoral levels.

We constantly build on our strong track record of interdisciplinarity to develop new approaches to inter-professional learning and research which recognise both the distinctiveness and the interconnected nature of social work as a discipline and a profession.

Welcome to new faculty

Joining the Department of Social Work and Social Care in August and September 2018 are the following two esteemed colleagues:

Lecturer in Social Work, Jeri Damman's, primary child welfare research interests are family involvement strategies, structural barriers to maltreatment prevention, and cross-national practice. She is completing her PhD in Social Welfare at the University of Kansas, USA, and obtained her MSc in Applied Social Studies (CQSW) from the University of Oxford. Jeri is a social worker by training and has over 15 years practice experience in England. She also has significant teaching and research project experience.

Senior Lecturer in Applied Social Science, Dr Laia Becares, has broad academic interests in ethnic inequalities in health, with a focus on life course and neighbourhood effects. She is particularly interested in understanding the pathways by which the racialisation of people and places lead to social and health inequalities. Her research has been funded by an ESRC/MRC Interdisciplinary Postdoctoral Fellowship, an ESRC Future Research Leaders Award, and a Hallsworth Research Fellowship and has resulted in over 45 peer reviewed journal publications. Laia received her PhD from University College London (Epidemiology and Public Health) in 2009, has a Masters of Public Health from Boston University School of Public Health (Social and Behavioral Sciences), and a BA from the University of Massachusetts at Boston (Psychology). 

Gillian RuchPivotal role for University of Sussex in national programme developing careers in social work

The University of Sussex has been selected to play a key role in a nationwide career development programme supporting social workers.

Research in Practice (RiP), together with a group of partners including the University of Sussex, have formed a consortium to develop and deliver a national Practice Supervisor Development Programme (PSDP) funded by the Department for Education.

The programme is a significant investment by the Department for Education (DfE) and aims to provide high-quality continuous professional development (CPD) to up to 700 social workers taking up their first role in which they are responsible for supporting and developing the practice of others.

The wholly not-for-profit consortium led by RiP includes: The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, University of Sussex and Goldsmiths, University of London. 

Read the full article.

My journey as a social work student from placement to recruitment

Check out the Social Work in East Sussex blog which currently features a post by Sophie Stone, former Sussex Social Work BA student entitled 'My journey as a social work student from placement to recruitment'.

Blog editor, Nicola Mcgeown, is Principal Social Worker in Children's Services at East Sussex County Council.

Hiba Nour"I really want to use my own experience to help others": Hiba Nour talks about coming from Sudan and becoming a Social Worker

“If someone tells me how they feel they don’t need to say a lot because I will just understand without embarrassing them or asking questions.”

Hiba Nour, 37, has just finished three years studying for her social work degree, she came to the UK eight years ago after feeling unsafe in her home country of Sudan.

“I know about oppression and discrimination because in my country as a female you can be discriminated against and oppressed just for being a woman. One of the reasons I wanted to become a social worker is because I have been abused before.”

On leaving Sudan, Hiba says all she knew about social workers was from watching films where children were taken away from their parents. However after becoming homeless when she arrived in England and coming across social workers herself, Hiba became inspired by their work. She says: “I got some help when I first arrived here in England. I met with some social workers and I started to understand their work was not about snatching children, it was about advocating on behalf of families in need and referring them to services that would be helpful so they could actually stay together. Until then I had no idea social workers could make such positive changes to people’s lives.”

Read the full piece.