Most students spend their final day before study leave swotting up in the library or farewelling friends. But three innovative social work students from Middlesex University decided to mark the day by inviting a panel of experts onto campus.
The Social Work Question Time, organised by the group of final year masters students, brought an inspirational team of panellists to the Archway campus to discuss some of the most pressing issues in social work today before a student audience.
The student organisers secured appearances from third sector luminaries including Guardian journalist Clare Horton, Caroline Godleman, Liz Hill, Head of Enfield’s Looked After Children service, and Dr Trish Hafford-Letchfield, Director of Programmes for Social Work at Middlesex University.
“Our final year social work students here at Archway have been extremely innovative”, said social work course leader Dr Trish Hafford-Letchfield.
One of the student organisers, James Reid from Chingford, said: “We wanted to organise an event that would inspire students finishing their studies at Middlesex, and who are about to start their careers in social work.”
With topics ranging from adoption and social media to the impact of voluntary sector cuts, the lively discussion presented a unique opportunity for Middlesex students to ask the panel what they thought about the biggest obstacles facing social workers today. The panel mulled over issues such as the personalisation of social services, how to fund care for the elderly, and how an iPhone app might help with learning disabilities.
Also forming the panel were: Caroline Godleman, Head of Adult Social Care for the Borough of Camden; Christine Cocker, Principal Lecturer in Children and Families at Middlesex; 4Children’s Policy Manager Ciaran Osborne; Public Affairs & Campaigns Executive for The Scout Association, and Rossana Trugian, Senior Campaigns and Policy Officer at Mencap. Dr Helen Cosis-Brown, Principal Lecturer, and final year MA student Frances Yates co-chaired the debate.