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Recruitment and Retention in Social Work


NTU’s Department of Social Work, Care and Community are hosting a seminar on Recruitment and Retention in Social Work on 8th June 1:30-4.  After an introduction from BASW, there will be a panel of Social Work Educators, each sharing their research on staff issues in Social Work. There will be chance for discussion at the end and we will finish by 4pm.

Past event

Event details


  • Joe Hanley – What Recruitment Says About a Profession
    Joe Hanley is a lecturer in social work at The Open University. His research interests include social work education, social work policy, and the use of technology in education. He is currently undertaking a Doctorate in Education at the Open University looking at the use of podcasts for social work CPD.
  • Abstract: Students looking to qualify as social workers in England are increasingly being segregated into different routes. This discussion will explore the impact of these changes, highlighting that while each of the various routes has potential benefits, that ultimately it is the segregation itself that is damaging the profession. As part of this discussion, I will draw on recent research with social work students who describe specifically the impact that these changes have had on them.

  • Dr Yohai Hakak – What Migrant Social Workers Say About Working in the UK
    Dr. Yohai Hakak is a senior lecturer in social work. His practice experience as a social worker is in mental health where he worked with long term service users. Yohai’s research interests are in the sociology of risk-perception, youth, religion, parenting, gender and mental health and the connection of these areas with social work. He recently carried out a large comparative study about the migration of social workers to and from the UK.
  • Abstract: According the several estimations, about 1 in every 10 social workers in the UK was trained abroad. In this paper, Dr. Hakak will share findings from a large study that focused on the place of culture in understanding the experiences of social workers migrating to and from the UK. He will explore these experiences, the cultural challenges these social workers experienced and how they tried to overcome them.

  • Vida Douglas – What Support for Social Workers and Social Work Educators Means for Retention
    Vida is a qualified social worker, with experience in the voluntary and statutory sectors, and is an experienced educator. She is Professional Lead for Social Work at University of Hertfordshire, Senior Fellow of the HEA and doing a PhD at Nottingham Trent University on staff wellbeing in Higher Education.
  • Dr Simon Cauvain – What A Profession Tells Us About Retention
    Dr Simon Cauvain is Head of Department of Social Work, Care and Community at NTU. His research interests include the connection between research and practice and in the role of the university in professional education. His PhD research, 'Recruitment and Retention of Children and Family Social Workers: A Case Study' centred on social worker experience and how this influences 'stay and go' decisions. He has around 20 years’ experience in social work with children and families, adults with physical disabilities, older people and in social work education.
  • Abstract: English social work endures historical problems in recruiting and especially retaining staff.  The inner workings of social work remain little known outside the profession, contributing to a climate of political misunderstanding and public vilification or indifference. Insights will be shared into why retention problems continue to exist, and how they might be resolved.  The case study revealed wide-ranging complexities: the challenges and rewards of being a social worker, high levels of resilience, and emotive nature of practice.  Disparity in senior management and social worker relationships contributed to front-line workers feeling undervalued. Improvements in mutual understanding between politicians, senior managers and front-line workers will help create an environment where problems associated with recruitment and retention can be addressed more constructively.


1:30  Welcome and Introduction to the event (Professor Pam Alldred, Social Work, Care & Community Dept., NTU)

1:35  A welcome from BASW (British Association of Social Workers) and comment on recruitment and retention (Dr Angie Bartoli, NTU’s Social Work, Care & Community Dept., and Vice-Chair BASW England

1:45 Panel of speakers:

- Joe Hanley (Social Work, Open University) – What Recruitment Says About a Profession

- Dr Yohai Hakak (Social Work, Brunel University London) – What Migrant Social Workers Say About Working in the UK

[5 min comfort break]

- Vida Douglas (Social Work, Herts University) – What Support for Social Workers and Social Work Educators Means for Retention

- Dr Simon Cauvain (Social Work, NTU) – What A Profession Tells Us About Retention

3:15 – 3:40 Q&A and Discussion

3:50 Thanks and close.

Virtual Event

Past event

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