SWK 40th Anniversary SWK 40th Anniversary

Wednesday 20 April saw a full day of activities at UEA, as part of the celebrations for the 40th anniversary of the School of Social Work and the 20th anniversary of the Centre for Research on Children and Families. 

In the morning, the School of Social Work ran an ‘employability event’ at the UEA Sportspark, with prominent members of its alumni returning to the university to talk to students about their career paths after graduating.  The event was well attended by the School’s current social work students. The visiting speakers included:  Dr Ash Chand (MA Social Work 1994, pictured above), Chief Social Worker, Dudley Children’s Services; Lorna Bright (MA Social Work 1996), Assistant Director, Adult Services, Norfolk County Council; Kevin Hanner, (MA Social Work 2002), Operations Manager, City Reach/The Matrix/TB, Health Services Norwich; Andrea Brown (MA Social Work 2005), Principal Child and Family Social Worker, Norfolk County Council Children’s Services.   During the morning there was an opportunity for students to meet the speakers and talk about possible career options.  These conversations continued over lunch as a number of local and regional employer stalls ensured that students were able to talk to employers about working as a social worker in the statutory and voluntary sectors.

Centre for Research on Children and Families

The CRCF 20th anniversary conference was held in the afternoon, at the Enterprise Centre. It was a huge success with approximately 300 alumni, current staff, students and practitioners attending for a full afternoon of presentations. Prof Marian Brandon as Director of the Centre welcomed attendees to the event and introduced Prof David Howe as keynote speaker. 

David inspired the audience with his presentation about ‘What makes the Compleat Social Worker?’ During the refreshment break delegates took the opportunity to speak to SWK PhD students about their studies and experiences at the UEA and to our researchers about their work within the Centre.

The later session saw the delivery of 2 symposiums. The first contained presentations on CRCF research on child protection.  These were given by Professor Marian Brandon on 'Fathers in Child Protection'; Dr Laura Biggart on 'Social Workers and Emotional Intelligence'; and Dr Jane Dodsworth on 'Child Sexual Exploitation'.  The second symposium contained presentations on child placement, by Dr Mary Beek on 'Supporting Long Term Foster Care'; Dr Jeanette Cossar on 'LGBTQ Young People in Care'; and Christine Cocker on 'Looked After Children's Mental Health'.

The conference was bought to a fitting close by the Centre's founder, Emeritus Professor June Thoburn.  We were thrilled she was able to join us having given evidence at the Parliamentary Select Committee on Social Work Reform in the morning.

Inaugural Lectures

In the evening, Professor Jonathan Dickens, Acting Head of School of Social Work, delivered his inaugural lecture to a packed house on Clement Attlee and the future of social work, followed by Prof Beth Neil’s inaugural lecture on 'Where did I come from Who am I now?  Adoption and Identity'.


Our sincere thanks to all of who were involved in celebrating with us on the day, and to those who continue to be involved in the work of the School and Centre.