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Proud to be a Social Worker: University of Hull conference inspires next generation

 

An exceptional mix of pride and passion at the University of Hull’s Proud to be a Social Worker conference provided inspiration for the next generation of social workers.

From homelessness to hoarding, child protection to domestic abuse, more than 200 students, staff and social work partners came together to share their academic knowledge and professional expertise.

 

“Social work is one of the toughest, yet most rewarding jobs." Vicky Burton, Social Work Lecturer, University of Hull

With inspiring personal stories of foster care and rough sleeping, the conference captured the essence of what it means to be a social worker, the career paths available and the importance of their contribution to helping vulnerable people, as well as society as a whole.

Social work lecturer Vicky Burton, organiser of the conference, said:

“Social work is one of the toughest, yet most rewarding jobs. By inviting all our students and local social care partners to join us at the conference, I wanted to bring everyone together to share our collective pride in our commitment to help vulnerable people and their families to overcome their difficulties with care and compassion.”

“There are many different job opportunities for social workers, although we tend to hear mostly about child protection in the media. I wanted to celebrate all the different areas where you will find social workers who are making a difference to peoples’ lives on a daily basis.”

 

"It is often in the news that people are putting blame on social workers so it has been interesting to hear a variety of different perspectives today on this and to know that there is a lot for us to be proud of.”

Lois Farrah, Social Work student

Guest speakers included Dr Sharon Shoesmith, who was the Director of Haringey Children’s Services at the time of the death of Baby P; Luke Rodgers, who shared his experiences of living in care and important messages for social workers, director of the film A Northern Soul Sean McAllister and the film’s star Steve Arnott.

Olivia Murray, a third year student who is undertaking her work placement in an adult care management team, said: 

“Today has been emotional and really inspiring. To hear people like Luke talk about their experiences of being in care first-hand is really helpful to us as social workers. And when I just saw even a brief clip of the film, A Northern Soul, it made me cry.

“The connections that our lecturer, Vicky Burton, has with inspirational people like Sean and Steve are really great and make it a really good experience for us here.”

Lois Farrah, who is also on a work placement year in a fostering team, said: 

“The conference has really brought everyone together including all the students out on placement, current students and different social care agencies. It is often in the news that people are putting blame on social workers so it has been interesting to hear a variety of different perspectives today on this and to know that there is a lot for us to be proud of.”

The conference also featured student success stories and a programme of workshops provided by academics, service users and social care partners in the region.

Find out more about our social work degree and watch our video to hear what current student Chris and graduate Sophie think about studying Social Work at Hull and life after graduation.

 

Social media hashtags: #WSWD19 #MYWSWDpic #proudtobeasocialworker

 

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