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What is the best thing about Social Work?

The best thing about Social Work is that it prepares people to help tackle some of the biggest social challenges of our time, including how we take care of people as they face mental distress or face the end of their life, how we support people who have to flee their homes following wars, death and environmental disasters, and how we help and protect people who are abused, exploited or in need of physical support.  

One of the things I love about this job is that there is no such thing as a ‘typical’ day. Some days I teach lectures and seminars at the Warrington Campus. I teach trainee social workers theories from psychology and sociology that explain human behaviour and offer workshops which link these theories to different social work practice settings (e.g. child exploitation protection team, adoption charities, dementia care settings). Other days I undertake research with people who have used social work services and present these findings through conferences or journal articles, I also use this learning to teach students about research skills and using research findings to inform practice. Another part of my job is visiting students out on social work practice placements. 170 days of our course are spent in full time workplace settings, so I visit students to help them plan activities and review progress against goals.

What is your favourite part of your job?

My favourite part of the job is seeing students who lack confidence in their own ability achieve more in practice or academic studies than they thought possible… and seeing them celebrate with families at Chester Cathedral when they graduate.

Do you have an exciting upcoming projects?

An exciting project I am involved with is a research study, which is exploring the emotions of working in the voluntary sector in criminal justice. The study is a partnership between University of Chester, University of Nottingham and Toronto University. We hope that the findings of this research will help better support both workers and recipients of services in this huge field.

What has been your proudest moment while working at the University of Chester? 

My proudest moment while working at the University of Chester was being nominated for an Above and Beyond award for innovative teaching and research support.

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