Project Description

Matt Smith

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Matt Smith has been qualified as a social worker in 1997 from the University of Plymouth and worked within a local authority in the North West for many years until becoming a senior lecturer in social work at the University of Cumbria in 2012. The focus of his work as a social worker was predominantly working with children and their families and disabled children an area of work he very much enjoyed. His favourite part of being a social worker was working alongside families and other professionals supporting children and young people within their homes, accessing their communities and arranging and providing support to participate in social opportunities. This is also an area he have recently been involved in terms of research with the “Moving Social Work Project”. This is co-produced research with a range of partners and led by colleagues at Durham University to develop training and learning materials for social workers to promote physical activity for disabled people. He is currently the professional practice for social work at the University of Cumbria.

Social Work programmes have been delivered at the University of Cumbria since 2007 and has been successful in the training of social workers for Cumbria and further afield. With greater awareness of the need to decolonise curriculums especially since the death of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matters movement Matt Smith and his team have embarked on a journey to review and revitalise the content of their programmes to ensure that learners place Equality, Diversity and Inclusion principles at the centre of their practice not only as students but when they qualify when working with all members of society.

This presentation describes the journey the team are taking in designing new content, the process by which they seek to achieve this aim, the learning and measures they have undertaken so far and the future work that needs to occur to ensure our students are fit for practise.