I’m a child of Seebohm – I qualified just as those recommendations were being put into practice, so I was ‘generic’, working with the whole community ‘from the cradle to the grave’ in a geographical patch. Apart from spells in Suffolk (where I first found out I wanted to be a social worker), Wigan (head of a day centre) and Philadelphia (a weird, totalitarian regime) all my practice has been in Sheffield, a city I love. Currently I am Emeritus Professor of Social Work at Sheffield Hallam University.
I’ve occupied many spaces – as well as knocking on doors, I’ve supervised students, taught and learned with them in class, been an academic manager (a challenging role made joyous by a wonderful team of people), project manager (again, lots of lovely colleagues) and a researcher. Apart from writing, some of my most fulfilling work is leading training workshops, especially for practice eduactors and groupworkers. I enjoy my international work, particulary in Georgia and eastern Europe and also as Vice President of the International Association of Social Work with Groups (IASWG).
My latest books are Rights and Wrongs in Social Work: Ethical and Practice Dilemmas (Palgrave) and Social Work in 42 Objects (and more). I’m working on a photo-project called Washing Lines of the World with my colleague Jane Ebel; and I enjoy my role as co-Chair of our local annual festival in the Nether Edge district of Sheffield, going ahead this year in the teeth of Covid-19.