Lyn Romeo: I am delighted to support the launch of a free online training course for social work in disaster situations.
Since the tragedies of Grenfell and the Manchester Arena bombings, so much work has been done by social workers and others in the social care sector to support our profession in this vital area. Maris Stratulis, National Director, BASW England, and Joe Hanley, lecturer and researcher in social work at the Open University, have kindly drafted this week’s blog promoting this excellent course. Please read it and sign up!
New course brings calm to crises
British Association of Social Work (BASW) England are excited to announce the launch of a free online training course for social work in disasters. This training was developed alongside key partners within the BASW England Social Work in Disasters Working Group, including social workers with experience of working in disasters, and those they have supported.
The training is informed by these experiences, and the impetus for starting this project arose from those social workers who had previously responded to disasters and described the lack of training available.
The development of the training course was also informed by a systematic literature review commissioned by BASW England and completed by the University of Stirling, the course materials were designed in collaboration with The Open University.
The training builds upon previous work of the BASW England working group, including the development of guidance and learning outcomes for social work in disasters continuous professional development (CPD.
How the course breaks down
- Introduction to Social Work in Disasters
- Law, policy and best practice
- Person centred, research-informed practice with a multi-agency approach
- Responding, using theory and self-care.
The modules are designed to be worked through by social workers either independently or collaboratively, and each module involves a combination of text, audio and video content, alongside preparation reading and follow up tasks to complete. The training is supplemented by a workbook where participants record notes, reflections and responses to individual tasks throughout the training. Each module is designed to take about four hours to complete, meaning the training totals about 16 hours (or two days).
A pilot study of the training, involving a collaboration between BASW England, The Open University, University of Stirling, Durham University and University of Greenwich, found that it was overwhelmingly positively received by social workers working in a range of contexts. This included positive reporting in relation to enhanced knowledge and self-confidence in working in disasters. Some selected quotes from participants include:
“It was really refreshing to do the training and kind of be reminded these are what our ethics and values are, and this is how we can respond”.
“The CPD course really made me think about attachment and strength-based working and resilience and systems”.
“I think as well there is a real culture around training where we are either sort of passive listeners and then we’re asked to complete a sort of satisfaction questionnaire at the end…”
Free training open to all
More information will be provided at a free to attend official launch event to be held remotely on 8 September 2023 from 12:00-1:30pm. Click the links below for more details, including how to register.
- Launch of Social Workers in Disasters CPD Training, Friday 8 September, 12:00pm to 1:30pm
- Social Work in Disasters CPD Training - Employer Engagement Event, Tuesday 3 October 2023, 12:00pm to 12:45pm
- Social Work in Disasters CPD Training - Practitioner Engagement Event Tuesday, 3 October 2023, 1:00pm to 1:45pm
- Social Work in Disasters Conference, Thursday, 16 November 2023, 1:00pm to 4:30pm
- BASW England Social Work in Disasters Steering Group, Monday 27 November, 2:00pm to 4:00pm: email firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved
Lived experience at heart of practice
This training compliments the key messages from people with lived experience and social workers in ‘Out of the Shadows: The Role of Social Workers in Disasters’ (2022.) It is the first book to be published focusing on the role of UK social workers in disasters. Their involvement goes beyond the initial crisis as the impact of disasters have long term consequences such as displacement, loss, psychological issues and survivor guilt.
This book focuses on the poignant and important personal stories of people with lived experiences of disaster. It also includes voices of social workers and their organisational leaders who have been directly involved in providing support in disasters, their reflections and sharing learning for the future.
The impact of disasters not only affect those directly involved but also individuals, families, groups and local communities, nationally and internationally.
This book provides an important opportunity to share and develop knowledge, skills, best practice and learning from disasters nationally and internationally and from social workers who have been directly involved in emergency responses as well as from the communities they have served.