We are pleased to receive the attractively produced first Social Work Action Network newsletter, Dispatches from the Frontline Its opening piece is entitled, ‘Building a Social Work of Resistance: Cuts, Crisis and Contradictions’ and resonates intimately with the concerns of our Campaign. Indeed the newsletter carries a report on our activities. Adding to this sense of affinity Dan Morton, a social work student, speaks eloquently of the effect on his consciousness of attending the Radical Social Work conference in Liverpool. He opens his account thus:
What a revelation for a discouraged student in 2010; the heart of what I thought social work was about uncovered, and still pumping at the SWAN
Radical Social Work conference! Only now have I realised how comfortable I had become with being a social worker; secure in the frameworks and processes of modern practice, rather than better understanding the dismal realities of the situations and society within which social work takes place. Dr Terry Murphy of Teesside University, one of the contributors, remarked that social work is a brave profession. I left the conference in awe of this legacy.
This response matches that of a notable number of Youth Work students, who have attended IN DEFENCE meetings across this last year. Certainly we need to explore joint gatherings with SWAN in the regions. As ever all will not be plain sailing. But we need to explore with one another in resisting our incorporation into an agenda of explicit social control, the differing, yet potentially complementary functions of social worker and youth worker in the service of youth and the community. It would be good to see the emergence of joint SWAN/IDYW gatherings in the regions.