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When the going gets tough

Let's Talk Social Work

19-10-2023 • 48 min

Social work is a demanding role and even under the best of circumstances, as social workers support individuals to improve life opportunities, they will face difficulties and stresses associated with their work. Andy McClenaghan is joined by Dr Jennifer Simpson and Sam Pulman to explore the theme of resilience in social work.


Jennifer is Senior Lecturer in Social Work and Course Leader for MA Advanced Social Work at Nottingham Trent University and Sam previously worked as a frontline social worker with children and families, and as a social work manager before embarking on her doctoral studies. Both are closely involved with the work of the Social Workers’ Educational Trust.


First the conversation considers how social workers can withstand and recover from the pressures and stresses they face. Then the discussion moves on to examine whether a focus on resilience gives an easy out for organisations which overburden and stretch their social workers beyond what is manageable and ask if resilience as an individual quality is really what we should be focused on.


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