Salford student appointed to national social work advisory forum

Categories: School of Health and Society

A social work student from the University of Salford has been appointed to the national advisory forum of Social Work England, the new specialist regulator for social workers.

Gemma Linfoot-King

Gemma Linfoot-King (pictured), who is studying to become a social worker on the Step Up to Social Work programme at the university, applied to join the forum after reading about the opportunity and feeling “really impressed that Social Work England were reaching out to such a good mix of people with the opportunity to act as a 'critical friend'.”

The forum will work to provide expert advice, support and challenge to the regulator’s work. It is made up of practising social workers, student social workers, people with lived experience of social work, education and training providers, and other partners.

The group consists of a maximum of 25 people, so Gemma had to take part in a rigorous application and recruitment process to be selected.

She explained: “The original plan had been that we would attend an assessment centre, but this was changed to telephone and video interviews due to the coronavirus pandemic. This was an added challenge and I found I had a few technical difficulties, but I tried to take something away from the experience, regardless of the outcome – that I had done my first telephone interviews in unprecedented times, whilst also trying to home school my children!

“I was really excited and surprised to be offered a place. I’m looking forward to learning from the other people on the panel, both qualified and experienced social workers and those with lived experience of social work. 

“I’m also looking forward to learning more about Social Work England and having a chance to put my views and ideas forward to them, as well as being able to share relevant knowledge and insight with fellow students back at university.”

Dr Allister Butler, Head of Social Work and Integrated Practice at the University of Salford said: “We are incredibly proud of Gemma and wish her all the very best in her new advisory role.”

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