Rise in interest in social work brings raft of book launches

Published: 12 October 2007 at 11:41

A rise in interest in social work programmes at Anglia Ruskin University has been accompanied by a flurry of book publishing activity among its academics, who are keen to deliver new ideas, improvements in working practices, and learning materials for students on social work degrees.

Several senior lecturers in the social work team, part of the highly-respected Faculty of Health and Social Care, have been working on new books which have just been released.

These include Courtroom Skills for Social Workers by Clare and Richard Seymour and Janet Warren’s Service User and Carer Participation in Social Work, both recently published by Learning Matters, and Isabel Williams and Ken Johnson’s Managing Uncertainty in Social Work and Social Care for Russell House Publishing.  Also by Learning Matters, and due to be released shortly, is Loss and Social Work, by Caroline Currer. In addition, a second edition of Chris Beckett’s highly successful text on Child Protection has been published by Sage Publishing.

The release of these titles follows news from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) that applications to Anglia Ruskin have increased by 23% on the same figures last year, and that the Faculty of Health and Social Care has seen increases in applications in a number of its subject areas, including social work.

Clare Seymour, Admissions Tutor for Social Work, at Anglia Ruskin University explains one of the reasons behind the increase in interest in social work:

“Traditionally, student social workers have been mature people looking for a change of career.  Since the removal of the minimum age requirement, we have seen an increase in younger applicants, and it is now being seen by sixth formers as an attractive career option. To coincide with this change, the government has run a number of recruitment campaigns, and also funds a bursary scheme to help with training costs.”

“A new Masters Degree in Social Work was introduced by Anglia Ruskin University in 2005, which enables those already holding a degree to train as a social worker in two years. This has created a lot of interest, and our students are thriving on the challenges they encounter during the academic and practical aspects of the programme.”

In 2006, Anglia Ruskin University achieved eleventh place in the Guardian league table of universities offering social work education in England and Wales, to maintain the reputation for excellence achieved in its most recent Higher Education Funding Council Inspection.

Social workers are employed in a variety of statutory or voluntary settings.

They may work with older people, people with mental health problems, physical or learning disabilities, children and families or in specialist areas such as homelessness, asylum seekers, HIV/AIDS, drug and alcohol services, adoption and fostering or youth justice.