Practising in a Cold Climate : Inaugural North-East SWAN Conference, November 17

News of a welcome initiative in the North-East to bring together in critical discussion and practice both social workers and youth and community workers.

SWAN North East inaugural conference, Saturday 17 November 2012

9.30 to 16.30

Practising in a Cold Climate:

Social Work, Youth & Community Work in the North under attack from the new regional policies

Centuria Building, Teesside University, Middlesbrough, TS1 3B

The inaugural Social Work Action Network North East Conference will take place at  the School of Health and Social Care,Teesside University, Middlesbrough on Saturday 17th November 2012. Conference will run from 09:30 to 16:30 and lunch will be provided. Entry fees are £20 for those waged, £10 for students and free for those who are unwaged.
An initial session will consider the Government’s assault on the English Northern regions in particular with a focus on regional vulnerabilities in terms of attacks on the regions with higher proportions of public sector employment. Michael Lavalette (National Convenor, Social Work Action Network), Iain Ferguson (SWAN) and Sarah Banks (In Defence of Youth Work and SWAN) will be speaking.

There will be subsequent parallel sessions on:
– Local Authority social work
– Challenges for trade unionists (including a branch secretaries discussion forum for  UNISON and other unions)
– Youth and community work challenges
– Work with refugees and asylum seekers
– Teaching and learning radical practice

The conference will match academic speakers with trade union, practitioner and service user groups to keep a sense of direct involvement in participants’ lives and/or practice.

A further part of the conference will be a YouTube memorial project – ‘Destroying Big Societies’ – with facilitated input from service users and practitioners. This will involve brief videos which examine the impact of specific projects being affected by government cuts, examining the impact of the changes and the local level fight backs against them.

This conference will have a strong Northern England focus in terms of practice, social policy and politics but all potential presentations of interest will not be excluded.


Bookings online at

For further information email



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