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Upfront About Social Work

Author: Social Personnel

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Welcome to Upfront About Social Work, real life stories on how to survive the world of Social Work. Hosts Chris and Lawrence speak to guests from the social care sector about their experiences, the challenges they've face, and what they'd say to those starting out in their career.
28 Episodes
Our next bonus episode brings you Mark Adams, CEO of Community Integrated Care, one of Britain’s biggest and most successful health and social care charities. Their exceptional colleagues change the lives of those with learning disabilities, autism, mental health concerns and dementia – with the goal of supporting people to live the best lives possible.As part of their recent #UnfairToCare report (which featured independent research conducted by Korn Ferry), Adams elaborates on the impact of underpaying and underappreciating colleagues and its negative impact on services and the people they support. He also talks about what both local and national government could do to turn things around and to reverse years of underfunding, overshadowing and under-caring for social care workers.If you want to get involved in the campaign and show your appreciation for our social care heroes, visit and follow their guidance on how to contact your local MP.Support the show (
In this episode we bring you an exciting conversation with Bradford City Council's Deputy Director of Children's Services, Irfan Alam! Irfan describes what he experienced coming into the role and how the pandemic affected the service dramatically.  Talking about the significant dedication of Bradford's 500 or so Social Workers, Alam elaborates on the importance of trust in leadership through a challenging time of change and uncertainty. Such a brilliant and eye-opening episode. Did you know that listening to our podcasts counts towards your CPD requirements? We have plenty more episodes for you to surf through! Support the show: ( the show (
Another inspiring episode of Upfront About Social Work! This week, hosts Chris and Lawrence sat down with author, trainer and social work advocate Dr Jenny Molloy to discuss her upbringing in care and the importance of #SocialWorkers in our everyday lives. 💙A truly uplifting and heartwarming episode, thanks for joining us, Dr Jenny! If you'd like to hear more about her incredible journey, read The Hackney Child. Support the show (
This week, we spoke to Alasdair Kennedy, more commonly known as the Sociable Social Worker! Alasdair talks about the importance of being a voice for other Social Workers and a platform to share stories about the industry. Using his YouTube channel, he has brought together a tight-knit community of Social Workers who share tips, anecdotes and experiences. It's highly beneficial to connect with people in similar walks of life. Too many Social Workers stay hidden in the shadows, but Alasdair is here to shine light on the importance of connecting with your industry and community, you never know who you could help out! Check out his YouTube channel here:'s Twitter: @SociableSocialWSupport the show (
For this episode we spoke to Ellie Garraway from  Grit: Breakthrough Programmes (@grit_2017 on twitter). We’ve been working alongside Grit for a while now and really support their way of engaging with Young People and Local Authorities. This time we spoke about how Grit have continued to support people throughout Covid19 and how their programmes help Local Authorities change their narrative and embed change. One of the programmes that Grit are running at the moment is mentoring for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. You’ll receive online training before you do anything, and you will be coaching weekly for around three months.  If you are interested in something like this, here is a link to their contact form: Support the show (
In this episode, hosts Chris and Lawrence speak to Transformation Programme Director Peter Featherstone. In this episode we talk about his own career journey, and what it takes to deliver large scale transformation programmes. With his expertise around the formation of Childrens Trust, having support Doncaster, Birmingham and Northamptonshire we touch upon the great work that is being undertaken by Social Workers throughout the pandemic. You do not want to miss this episode!Support the show (
This week we speak to Toni George from “One Stop Social Work” and Bill Say from “Just Say Training” ( join us today to discuss all things #mentalhealth, #resiliance and #coping strategies during #Covid19uk.A must have listen for everyone, not just the social work profession.Support the show (
After the murder of George Floyd in the summer of 2020 there has been an increased focus on language, anti-racist practice and the role of people in colour within social work. To continue the momentum and retain the focus. To guide us through this we spoke to Wayne Reid (Wayne_Ried79), Anti-Racism Visionary for the British Association of Social Workers (@BASW), who speaks to Chris and Lawrence about the importance of people of colour in social work, and his aims to make the sector a more inclusive place to be. Wayne and Siobhan McLean (founder of Kirwin Mclean Associates) are about to release “Outlanders” a collection of creative contributions by social workers of colour. Pre-order your copy here: Support the show (
Today on #upfrontaboutsocialwork we are speaking to Delia and Laura from Oxfordshire County Council. Unbelievably, they have managed to successfully launch a new practice framework at the council in the midst of a national emergency. The initial feedback from practitioners, managers and (more importantly) children and their families has been overwhelmingly positive. This has had a really positive impact so if you want to hear more visit: the show (
In this episode, hosts Chris and Lawrence speak to Social Work Consultant extraordinaire Risthardh Hare.  Talking about his new publication – ‘STAIRS – psychologists and social workers collaborating to create better services for families’ along with an insight into both Early Help, and Domestic Violence its one certainly not to be missed.Support the show (
S3. E1 Steve Stuart

S3. E1 Steve Stuart


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With our Head of Marketing and creator of Upfront About Social Work Laura Baxter leaving us, her and Chris sit down to reflect on the show and introduce new host Lawrence Silvester. Find out what plans Chris and Lawrence have for where to take it in the new year, and what Laura's favourite episodes have been. Thank you to Laura for bringing this idea to the table, and getting the podcast up and off the ground in the first instance.Here's to some fab new stories for 2021If you'd like to appear as a guest, please email Support the show (
We meet the man behind MASH, and the woman who challenged him to make it better and take it further. They have since taken the model all around the globe, run a knowledge based workshop programme and have been able to reach out to thousands through #VOC - Voice of a Child. Nigel and Marisa are a brilliant double act, with a story you won't want to miss. Find out more about their work by visiting - the show (
Last but not least in our Havering Mini series is Kate Dempsey. Kate is rather uniquely the Principal Social Worker for both Adults and Children's - something we'd never come across before. She is the most calm and level headed person and it's easy to see why she's the woman in this role. Here concludes the Mini Series at Havering Council. It was so great to be able to share a whole picture of one authorities children's services and we hoped you enjoyed listening. If you're interested in working at Havering, check out their social work specific website here - again to Dave, Robert, Jane and Kate for giving up your time and taking part in the show. Support the show (
As promised, here is part 2 of Robert South (Director) and Jane Carroll (Assistant Director) episode of the Havering Mini Series. They talk about the big transformation Havering has undergone the past couple of years and how one of the most noticeable positives has been the shift in use of agency staff, having gone from them making up around 50% of the workforce, to now over 80% of staff being permanent. Support the show (
The very dynamic duo that are Robert South (Director) and Jane Carroll (Assistant Director) join us for the second installment of our Havering Mini Series. They talk about the big transformation Havering has undergone the past couple of years and how one of the most noticeable positives has been the shift in use of agency staff, having gone from them making up around 50% of the workforce, to now over 80% of staff being permanent. With so much great info shared in this interview, we decided to split this episode into a 2 parter to ensure you don't miss anything. So enjoy part 1 and tune back in next week for part 2. Support the show (
I'm confident that even through the airwaves, you will feel Dave's energy, warmth and passion for the industry. It's easy to see why all at Havering have brought into Dave, he's fully invested in both the community and the internal staff. Dave's lounge is open for all who wish to enter and we are very much looking forward to being invited back for a cuppa there soon! Support the show (
Nick Pendry, the Director of Children & Safeguarding at Croydon Council speaks to us about journey, and how after just a few years in the job, he left as he didn't feel he was well equipped enough to be a social worker. He sought out those extra skills he needed to be the best he could, and returned to the industry he is still today so passionate about. Support the show (
Matt Clayton and Jess Thompson from the Through Care Team at Coventry City Council talk us through the huge success their Channel 4 documentary "Super Kids" was, and how it saw them rubbing shoulders with the stars on the BAFTA red carpet. We discuss the Lifelong Links pilot they are running with great success, and how the whole city has really come together as a community. An incredibly inspiration episode.Support the show (
Lisa Lamb, social worker turned commissioner talks to us about her extraordinary journey. From human rights law in NYC to Children with learning disabilities social worker in London, to being ready to take the next step as an innovative leader. A breath of fresh air and a great way to kick off season 2. Enjoy! Support the show (
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