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097 Jim Gamble Safeguarding Part 2

Posted by on Aug 3, 2020 in Child Abuse, Children, Children & Social Care, Conference, covid19, crime, education, health, law enforcement, Media, Podcasts, policy, Research, safeguarding, schools, Social Media, Social Work, traffiking, Training, Uncategorized | 0 comments

097 Jim Gamble Safeguarding      Part 2

In which Jim becomes the CEO of the INEQE Safeguarding Group. http://www.ineqe.com 

Initially, like many ex law enforcement officers he focussed on consultancy work but soon realised that they needed to expand to realise the many ideas that they had so created a business and a hub in Belfast–INEQE.

The underlying content was technical solutions to safeguarding problems and the first App was to challenge child traffiking at the 2012 London Olympics.

From there more flowed, including a successful partnership with a major insurance company and many digital initiatives were created.

National conferences were held to aid work with sex offenders.

He has undertaken a number of high profile safeguarding reviews, including the scoping review into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, the Brighton and Sussex University Hospital Trust and most recently the review of Oxfam GB.

All the work raised awareness and improvements in making children safer. The company has developed several Apps —for safeguarding, home learning, teaching and the very successful Safer Schools App.

He is also the Independent Child Safeguarding for the City of London and Hackney Safeguarding Children Partnership the first to be judged outstanding by Ofsted and the Independent Chair  of Bromley (BSCP) where he was part of the leadership team that drove their judgement from ‘inadequate’ to ‘good’, with outstanding leadership in two years.

During the current pandemic Ineqe has made resources available free to schools and organisations to help safeguard children at this very testing time.

We talk about the national picture and get Jim’s critique of the safeguarding landscape

We discuss the value of multi agency work and Jim outlines the critical and under appreciated role of social work.

So much still to be done including further work to aid in the finding of missing children and suicide prevention.

I hope he writes the book he talks about doing as there is so much more to his story.

My thanks as always to http://albadigitalmedia.com for technical support of this podcast.

Please remember to try Voicemail ( on this page ) to give feedback and ideasThank you.


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096 Jim Gamble Safeguarding Part 1

Posted by on Jul 31, 2020 in abuse, Child Abuse, Children, Children & Social Care, crime, government, International, law, law enforcement, Podcasts, schools, Social Work, social work education, traffiking, Uncategorized | 0 comments

096 Jim Gamble Safeguarding Part 1

Jim Gamble is one of the UK’s leading voices on the safeguarding of children. I’ve known Jim for many years and he has always worked passionately to improve the safety of children. This is a great listen and an honest account of times in law enforcement during the troubles in Northen Ireland and the days where he had progressively senior positions in counter terrorism. Then the days when he began to realise the huge work needed in safeguarding children. He is widely recognised as a global authority on safeguarding children and was the founding chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce; a former national policing lead for child protection and the architect and CEO of the UK Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre.

Part one  covers the above as well as the early difficulties of policing online abuse and the politics involved in making progress. We talk of passion for safeguarding and the creative way he pushed forward the online challenges for law enforcement. He also reflects on the political backdrop to his leaving CEOP when he was convinced that there was a better way forward and when he was not listened to. ( Matters that have vindicated him in retrospect )

We could argue that if he hadn’t been forced to resign from CEOP he wouldn’t have created the successful company with all its achievements, that he has.–and which we discuss in the next podcast.

Part two will cover Jim becoming the CEO of the INEQE Safeguarding Group. http://www.ineqe.com 

He is also the Independent Child Safeguarding for the City of London and Hackney Safeguarding Children Partnership the first to be judged outstanding by Ofsted and the Independent Chair  of Bromley (BSCP) where he was part of the leadership team that drove their judgement from ‘inadequate’ to ‘good’, with outstanding leadership in two years.

He has undertaken a number of high profile safeguarding reviews, including the scoping review into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, the Brighton and Sussex University Hospital Trust and most recently the review of Oxfam GB.

The company has developed several Apps —for safeguarding, home learning, teaching and the very successful Safer Schools App.

So much still to be done including further work to aid in the finding of missing children.

Both Jim and I have encountered such a lot of initiatives and experiences over the years, I could have talked to him for much longer. However , in this two part podcast, we focus on past, present and future work.

Part two coming soon ( Monday 3rd August ).

My thanks , as always, to http://albadigitalmedia.com    for technical assistance in making this podcast.

Please remember to try voice recognition ( on this page ) to give feedback and ideasThank you.

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095 Sight Loss and beyond.

Posted by on Jul 20, 2020 in environment, health, Media, Mental Health, Podcasts, Social Work, social work education, Uncategorized, visual impairment | 0 comments

095  Sight Loss and beyond.

This time, I’m pleased to feature Tiggi Trethowan who now has developed almost total sight loss. Her story and thoughts on the traumatic impact is inspirational and she is a welcome addition to the podcasting community.

There are 350,000 people in the UK with significant visual impairment and much could be improved in how we support them and offer emotional as well as practical support.

Tiggi has had an eclectic career in Television and Film Production.  Her credits have included 10 years as the Event Manager for BBC’s Antiques Roadshow.  As a complete contrast she worked with Bear Grylls on the Discovery channel “Man vers Wild” series taking her to some of the remotest jungles and highest mountains in the world.  Often referred to as “Intrepid” by her fellow work colleagues it seemed nothing could stop her enthusiasm for everything challenging.  Then it all changed;

Ten years ago, Tiggi was diagnosed with a rare eye condition.  In 2017 she had to pull away from Television because her perception was “jump before you are pushed” All her work was on a contract basis so she was easily disposable.  She has always wondered about big organisations and their approach to disability.   Living and working with disappearing sight often felt stressful, lonely and unsupported. With a remain but ever diminishing ten percent sight Tiggi has changed direction.  A guide dog called Jackie has entered her life breathing confidence and more mobility to her life.  She has produced a successful Podcast series called Draycott Diaries  https://www.draycottdiaries.com/.  Recording over 20 life stories with members of her community in a gorgeous Somerset village.  She is also an Ambassador for the Guide Dogs charity and begun a new venture recording life stories with other friends challenged with sight loss.

Going forward Tiggi would like to high light the need for easy, accessible and emergency emotional support for those processing their sight loss diagnosis.  And having felt unsupported by some larger organisations in the past, how we change their perceptions and fears of working with blind and visually impaired people.

My thanks, as always , to https://www.albadigitalmedia.com for technical support in the production of this podcast.

Look to SPEAKPIPE on the front page to, with one click, give quick feedback and ideas to the programme.

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094 Black Lives Matter. Wayne Reid. BASW

Posted by on Jul 13, 2020 in black lives matter, education, government, health, International, law, Media, Podcasts, policy, Social Work, social work education | 0 comments

094 Black Lives Matter.  Wayne Reid. BASW

Black Lives Matter has reached huge audiences over the last month or two but how can it be turned into action?

Wayne Reid is a professional officer with the British Association of Social Workers and is my guest. He talks of the BLM impact personally and professionally in social work. He found himself writing and speaking widely and draws attention to his thoughts and the association’s thinking as well. His article in Community Care Magazine sets out the thinking.

Wayne qualified as a social worker in 2010, but the entirety of his social care experience spans nearly 20 years.  He has worked in: private fostering; the Probation Service; youth offending; adult mental health; child protection and with care leavers.

As a black male social worker, Wayne understands some of the challenges that service-users and practitioners from different ethnic minority groups can face.  From his experience, Wayne believes academic and ‘life education’ are essential to improve an individual’s quality of life and life chances.

His article in Community Care Magazine sets out the thinking.  A second follow up article is imminent.

Wayne would welcome contact at wayne.reid@basw.co.uk

He recommends articles and policy documents and would be delighted to share his collection as well as the Association’s policy and practice guidelines. One example is this response to the Windrush report.

http://• https://www.basw.co.uk/media/news/2020/mar/basw-statement-windrush-review

This is a subject I’ll be returning to without doubt as we watch how the world responds.

My thanks, as always, to albadigitalmedia.com for technical support.

Please use Speakpipe ( on this page ) to give feedback and leave ideas for future programmes.







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093 Safeguarding International Schools

Posted by on Jun 29, 2020 in Child Abuse, Children, crime, education, health, International, law, Podcasts, safeguarding, schools, Training, Training Courses | 0 comments

093 Safeguarding International Schools

A new and much needed initiative. SafeguardingInternational Schools. http://www.ChildSafeguarding.com is launching.

This recognises the need to offer child protection training to all staff at international schools, whatever their role and in their own language. The CEO is Matt Harris and he is todays guest on the programme.

For years he has wanted to develop this resource and, at last, it’s come to fruition, offering safeguarding to schools.

His background experience and expertise lie at the nexus of technology, schools, and the global education landscape. Currently, Dr. Harris works as an international educational consultant and as Co-Founder and CEO of ChildSafeguarding.com. In his consulting work, Dr. Harris has helped schools, districts, and educational technology companies with educational technology strategic planning, market penetration, growth, systems design, training, and program development. He has worked with organizations in Europe, Middle East, Africa, North America, Australia, and Asia.  His eLearning company, ChildSafeguarding.com, is bringing child abuse prevention education to all learners regardless of literacy level, geography, or language. The target audience are people who don’t normally participate in CP training: cleaners, canteen workers, security guards, gardeners, etc. Releasing in June 2020, the course has garnered interest from schools and governmental organizations in 30+ countries. Previously, Dr. Harris worked as an educational leader and teacher in schools and universities in North America and Asia. He served as Chair of the Board of Directors for the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). Dr. Harris is an Apple Distinguished Educator, Microsoft Innovative Education Expert, Google Certified Innovator, and Common Sense Education Ambassador.

Matt is committed, once ChildSafeguarding is fully up and running, to putting some profit back into funding

initiatives as they emerge from the work of the company.

There are still spaces at the free webinars on 30th June when Matt and colleague Angelica Nierras will outline both  the background and vision of ChildSafeguarding and answer questions.

Webinar 1: 30 June 2020 – 10am Singapore-Beijing / 12pm Sydney / 7 pm Los Angeles
Register here: https://edtch.co/2zFvXcW

Webinar 2: 30 June 2020 – 6pm Singapore / 2pm Dubai / 11am London
Register here: https://edtch.co/2AF4yZ2

Please give ideas and feedback via Speakpipe.

My thanks, as always to http://albadigitalmedia.com for their help in the technical production of this podcast.

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092 international social work recruitment

Posted by on Jun 22, 2020 in Children, health, International, Podcasts, policy, Social Work, social work education, Training, Uncategorized | 0 comments

092 international social work recruitment


I talk to Lee Emmett  Managing Director of Sanctuary International about recruitment of staff from overseas and

the importance of ethical behaviour in doing so.

Lee heads up Sanctuary’s International division, with a focus on client relationships and developing recruitment solutions for the NHS. It’s been a sharp learning curve and the most rewarding period of his career to date. Lee enjoys having the freedom to grow and to work for a company where its values align with his own. He believes Sanctuary stands out because of its integrity and expects the company to be a clear market leader in the mid-long term due to its technology-led solutions.

During his ten years at Sanctuary Lee has managed and set up several divisions. He’s particularly proud to see that the individuals he’s recruited and supported have developed into high performers. He enjoys working in a team of likeminded and driven colleagues and has made some amazing friends along the way.

The number of agency social workers in English children’s services grew by 10% last year government statistics have revealed. In the 12 months to 30 September 2019, the number of locums employed by local authorities increased from 5,530 to 6,090, figures published by the Department for Education showed.

With 106 thousand social workers in the UK and hundreds of thousands of staff in the health care sector, the dependence on overseas recruitment is going to be key for the forseeable future. Getting the process and the introduction right is vital for the delivery of the service our communities deserve.


On the next podcast I continue the international theme by speaking to Matt Harris CEO of ChildSafeguarding, a new and exiting initiative aimed at providing safeguarding training and support to all staff in international schools and which launches on 30.06.20.

My thanks as always to albadigitalmedia.com who provided technical support on this podcast.

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091 Post Covid19 social work.

Posted by on Jun 15, 2020 in Child Abuse, Children, Children & Social Care, covid19, education, environment, government, health, International, Mental Health, Podcasts, policy, Research, Social Work, social work education, Training Courses, Uncategorized | 0 comments

091  Post Covid19 social work.

What social work can contribute during and following the Covid19 pandemic.


Professor Ngoh Tiong Tan is Chair of Global Institute for Social Work ( www.thegisw.org ) International Advisory Board —– President, Connexions International. —– Professor, Singapore University of Social Sciences.—– Treasurer, International Association of Schools of Social Work.

We talk about the post Covid19 world and the work needed from the social work profession. Increasingly, the focus is on the vulnerable in societies worldwide and the danger they face from the social and economic fallout. The care needed in families. in neighbourhoods and in countries’ policy planning. Social work , in all its forms, is pivotal in delivering this care and in monitoring risk.

Whether it’s the increasing elderly population, the massively under-resourced needs of those with challenging mental health or those at physical or sexual risk from those around them, social work is needed as never before to assess, professionally befriend, access and distribute resources.

Tiong has pulled together areas of future need and development that include:-

  • Drastic social political change and
    measures to protect universal well
    Specific provisions for vulnerable
    groups and support
    Enhance family and Community
    Holistic health and Welfare.

Online training, home based learning, teleconferencing for social intervention,
Social Work training online.

This , in addition to a comprehensive outline of how to help the vulnerable in Singapore.

The GISW will play an important part in collecting and collating training for social workers and partner professionals as the world slowly recovers from the pandemic.

I will continue to reflect developments with the GISW as time goes by.

The next podcast will examine international recruitment of social care staff to fill vacancies in  the UK .

Then, in a further podcast, I want to look at a new initiative to help protect international schools with comprehensive whole school safeguarding training and follow up support.

My thanks to albadigitalmedia for their technical support in producing this podcast.

Please send a Speakpipe message ( voicemail tag on site) or e-mail media@socialworldpodcast.com

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090 Environment & Covid19 & Poetry

Posted by on Jun 9, 2020 in covid19, environment, government, health, International, Podcasts, poetry | 0 comments

090 Environment & Covid19 & Poetry

Covid19 has been a nightmare for all populations. Paradoxically, the planet and the environment have benefited.

Just before lockdown, I was invited with a group of poets in Bath to respond to a short but powerful video produced by two remarkable women by writing and reading poems reflecting their lament on environmental destruction.

Rise: From one island to another is their work. One is from the Marshall Islands in the Pacific and the other is from Greenland.  They are Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner and Aka Niviâna

https://350.org/rise-from-one-island-to-another/ is the link.

In response we produced short poems each and are posting on You Tube soon.

For now, these are the ones I read on today’s podcast.

All land is hallowed

with earth baptised by some god

and seas swum in by angels.

yet we walk in sadness,

watching sisters in two oceans

paint our legacy

in words of despair.

we, the infant stewards,

young with no control,

just blind

to broken rocks and shells.

this is a globe of poisons,

close to oblivion,


by each  generation,

as our sun takes her dead child

back to the beginning.


Pacific child

cannot stop the theft


Some sand can be saved

but not all.

the woman of the sand

sings so sweetly

of love and protection,

speaks a verse

in praise of perfection,

with a golden invitation

to the land of ice

where a soul sister cries

with every melting day.

no faith

a heart left broken

and land has gone

where mammoths stood.


I also read this poem I wrote reflecting the historical  savaging of local land over 2000 years



Blood washed and slate, the sky presided

over one hour’s walk to mark the mines.

the mist formed veils in fading light

as shadows slid from shafts

and a banshee of an owl claimed the night.


long headed shepherds, moor and marsh dreamers,

prehistoric miners of Iberian descent

all colonise the hills and form

a Charterhouse of painted caves and white skulls

then the mist moves as a turning worm.


hard and straight the lines of Rome converge

with convicts for the mining and theatres for the troops

smells of alchemy, arrogance and blood

seep through villas whose owners rattle dice cups

on mosaics where the wolf packs stood.


the bleakest times of iron and mud soaked wars

let a merchant church command the shafts.

between the rage of Forresters, the Royal sword

and the silver greed of Bishops,

the land wept lead without a word.


near Cheddar streams as red as Waterloo soldiers

boys curled up and faded with seven years of life.

in the swamp smell tunnels, through gruffy ground,

lamps in a thousand tents vanished in the wind

and left the owl, in the mist, the only sound.


all quiet now on the desolate hill. no noise

and silent graves, washed away with slurry

but their spirits pray in the heather bed,

near the reeds where snipe prepare for sleep

and the grassland as the rabbits lick the lead.


and finally a short poem from the UK  about Covid19 by Georgina Shuckburgh  a west country poet.



I remember when Corona

Was a fizzy red drink,

Long before we were

Keyed by Lockdown.

Men with yellow floppy hair

Lead us who knows where

And we resort to Zoom,

Our new neighbourhood.

The Queen comes out of hibernation

To evoke another Dunkirk

And ask us to stay at home,

Saving the odd trip to the supermarket,

Where staff with huge lollipops

In strict two metre exclusion zones,

March the aisles.

And march we still in daily exercise

To the beat of virus doom.

Friends remark on guilty secrets

Of peace and quiet and bird song

Of books read and puzzles solved.

The domestic violence of our precious lives

Wielded not at each other

But at another clod of earth.

We few, we precious few,

Give some thought to

Those that risk their lives

Whilst others fight for their’s

And each Thursday proffer claps

In exchange,

Applauding our own survival.



My thanks , as always, to Alba Digital Media for technical assistance on this podcast.

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089 Captain R M Niven Memories

Posted by on May 20, 2020 in International, Podcasts, Uncategorized, WW2 | 0 comments

089 Captain R M Niven Memories


Memories from World War 2

Welcome back to all.  After six years non stop , I took a breather. Now it feels right to restart and expand and I hope you’ll be pleased with the result.

This is the first in the new series of podcasts that will be more of a magazine format than before.

As always , there will be room for social care and safeguarding. I can’t just leave some things that have been so much part of my life. However I want to broaden the scope and include history, culture and stories from some of the hundreds of people I’ve met along the way.

Poetry and literature will play a significant part.

This first one is personal and features stories from my uncle. my father’s youngest brother, who would have been 100 this month if he hadn’t sadly passed away last year aged 99. He was a good man and in his latter years decided to write down some memories from the second world war. As we’ve just remembered the 75th anniversary of VE Day, I thought it right to let you hear some of his experiences. True to the man, he must have seen great suffering and tragedy but he chose only to record, in his words, ” Some of the nicer things I experienced during the second world war “.

He was a Captain in the 2nd Highland Light Infantry ( Glasgow ) and served in the Middle East, Sicely, Italy and Greece.

During this time he met Winston Churchill, F D Roosevelt, Montgomery, Marshall Tito and Pope Pius XII among a host of others.


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088 Safeguarding Impact Conference

Posted by on Mar 1, 2019 in Child Abuse, Children, Children & Social Care, Conference, education, International, Podcasts, safeguarding, Social Work, social work education | 0 comments

14th March 2019  Leeds Town Hall. Safeguarding Impact Conference.

Speakers include: Opposition Shadow Minister for Children and Families  Emma Lewell-Buck MP


Police and Crime Commissioner for W Yorkshire Mark Burns Williamson OBE

Dean Coady OBE highly decorated former detective specialising in safeguarding.

Andy Woodward Football player and whistleblower of abuse in sport.

Colin Radcliffe  founder of DEpressON mental health App.

Head of Development and Impact at the NSPCC  Jon Brown

Senior spokesperson from the Internet Watch Foundation

Senior speakers from the Disclosure and Barring Service

Ann Marie Christian international Safeguarding Consultant

Christina Gabbitas Author and honourary member NSPCC Council

David Niven  Member International Advisory Board Global Institute of Social Work. Independent Chair of Bradford Safeguarding Children’ s Board.

Book now  eliziamevents.com   Some free students’ places still!!!!


Thanks as usual to Alba Digital Media for their technical support. 

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087 Claudia Megele Online Safety

Posted by on Jan 20, 2019 in abuse, Children & Social Care, crime, education, Media, Podcasts, safeguarding, Sexual Abuse & Domestic Violence, Social Media, social work education, Training, Uncategorized, victim | 0 comments

087 Claudia Megele Online Safety

The internet can be a dangerous place and protecting the vulnerable from those who prey on them is becoming more and more important.

Claudia is an expert on digital engagement and online safeguarding. She is co-chair of the Principal Social Workers’ national network. She is a fellow of National Institute of Health Research NIHR and Head of Service within a local authority.

She is the founder of “Social Work and Media” Network (@SWSCmedia) which was the first open access social work community offering weekly open debate about social work and social care topics. She is also the founder of “Mental Health Chat” @MHChat community and was the first social work lecturer to embed social media as a required part of academic curricula in a social work qualifying programmes.

Claudia has advised and led various boards including as: member of the advisory board of the National Children’s Bureau (NCB), Trustee of Mind, and the Chair and Vice-Chair of Tower Hamlets Police and Community Safety Board.

Over the past 14 years she has researched social media technologies and their impact and has published her work ranging from Theorizing Twitter Chat to studying the effect of social media on relationships, identity and empathy, to her book on Safeguarding Children and Young People Online.

Claudia was selected as one of the 50 most influential higher education (HE) professionals using social media by JISC and as one of the top 10 most engaged power women on LinkedIn UK by LinkedIn.

The combination of Claudia’s academic, research, practice, and leadership experience offer her a unique and in-depth expertise in social media technologies and their impact.


There’s another Reach Out Speak Out Safeguarding Conference in Leeds on 14th March. I’m very pleased to be a speaker again. Have a look…  http://tinyurl.com/y99xqy5f

My thanks as always to Alba Digital Media for their technical support.

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086 Jenni Randall & her Looked After children project

Posted by on Nov 16, 2018 in Child Abuse, Children, Children & Social Care, education, health, Podcasts, safeguarding, Social Media, Social Work, social work education | 0 comments

086 Jenni Randall & her Looked After children project


A fantastic folk rock CD to raise funds for Looked After Children.

The project is Jenni’s brainchild  and marries her lifelong love of social work with her passion for folk and folk-rock music. She is an award winning social worker who has retired to live in Cromer and has linked up with the Rees Care Leavers Foundation, a national charity that provides ongoing support for those who have previously been in care. Jenni Randall was awarded a Lifetime Achievement award for her work in social service. Since retirement she has cotinued to pursue projects dear to her heart and the situation of looked after children.

The money raised from the CD and the launch concert will be used to set up new projects in East Anglia and other parts of the country providing specialist counsellors and mentors to assist care experienced young adults with a range of issues including searching for and understanding their own personal story and family history. She realised that there was a need for continuing counselling and advice for those who were leaving care and adults who were care experienced. ‘Many of the issues that took them into care are not addressed and the care experience itself can be damaging emotionally and can be carried on long into adult life.’ Jenni explains; ‘Providing ongoing counselling and support targeted to the new issues and changing needs when they leave care will give them a better chance to succeed in the outside world. One major issue is that they frequently have no sense of belonging, of their place in the world and this might be helped by exploring and completing their own story and history.’

She presents the ‘Vintage Social Worker Blog’ and has gathered together some of the top folk musicians in the UK on the album.

www.kindershores.org. has all the details and how to buy the CD.

As always my thanks to   AlbaDigitalMedia   for their technical support with this Podcast.

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085 Global Institute Social Work (GISW)

Posted by on Oct 25, 2018 in Child Abuse, education, government, International, Podcasts, safeguarding, Social Work, social work education, Training Courses, Uncategorized | 0 comments

085 Global Institute Social Work (GISW)

Professor Ngoh Tiong Tan

Chair, Global Institute for Social Work ( GISW ) International Advisory Board —– President, Connexions International. —– Professor, Singapore University of Social Sciences.—– Treasurer, International Association of Schools of Social Work.

I’m very pleased to have been invited on to the International Advisory Board that Tiong Chairs and , in this interview, he lays out the vision and the opportunities for the GISW at its five year anniversary.

Following that I’ve included two UK radio interviews I did this week on cases of abuse in Wales and the closure of residential homes in Herefordshire.

As always my thanks to Alba Digital Media for their technical support.


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084 Chris Walters and various topics

Posted by on Oct 3, 2018 in Bristol, Children, Children & Social Care, education, government, health, International, Podcasts, safeguarding, Social Work, social work education, Training, Uncategorized | 0 comments

084  Chris Walters and various topics

A magazine edition today!

1  )  Chris Walters ( pictured) , a terrific stain glass artist who gives back to the community, talks about his work and his committment.

If you’re anywhere near the SW of England go and see his work.  (Details below)

Chris has been creating glass art work for nearly 20 years.  He is a member of the Somerset Guild of Craftsmen and Contemporary Glass Society.  Over the years his glass has found it’s way to many countries and he’s taken part in numerous exhibitions and displays  His next exploit is the Chew Valley Arts Trail taking place on 13th and 14th October when visitors will be able to see Chris’s work at his home:


Alternatively take a look at his website (http://www.modaglass.co.uk) or contact Chris through email (chris@modaglass.co.uk).

Of particular interest is the commissioning process where Chris works with potential clients to create work which is particular and special to them.  This can range from making fused glass objects such as jewellery or ornaments for that special gift to stained glass panels for doors or windows as part of one’s home.

A major motivator for Chris is helping others and he has been involved in a number of local and national charities through donating his work and fund raising.  Particular causes where he has been involved are:

Children’s Hospice South West… . https://www.chsw.org.uk/

Send A Cow… https://sendacow.org/


2)  The next item is a personal one as I’ve been asked to join the International Advisory Board of the Global Institute for Social Work ( GISW)

3) The easy access of non prescription analgesics in supermarkets and convenience stores needs addressing and I outline what I’ve done so far as I believe it is an avoidable risk to children and young people.

Thanks as always to www.albadigitalmedia.com for technical support.


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083 Jim Hopkinson. Safeguarding Bradford.

Posted by on Jun 21, 2018 in Child Abuse, Children, Children & Social Care, Media, neglect, Podcasts, policy, safeguarding, Social Media, Social Work, Training, Uncategorized | 0 comments

083 Jim Hopkinson. Safeguarding Bradford.

Welcome again to the podcast. Today it’s safeguarding and the perspective of a senior manager in a large local authority.

Jim Hopkinson qualified as a Social Worker at University of Oxford in 1992. In addition to working as a children’s front line social worker both in the UK and abroad  he  has worked as a Probation Officer, managed alternative education provision, Head of Youth Offending Services, Head of Targeted Early Help and became Deputy Director of Bradford Children’s Social Care in 2016.

As we head towards Bradford’s annual safeguarding week,  25th to 29th June,   http://bradfordscb.org.uk   we talk of the numerous areas of responsibility that Social Care and other agencies have to consider now to keep children and vulnerable adults safe, both the established areas and the emerging ones.

In a wide ranging interview that includes subject such as child sexual exploitation and the radicalisation of young people, Jim outlines his take on now and the future in safeguarding.

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082 Ann Marie Christian- Education Safeguarding

Posted by on Feb 28, 2018 in abuse, Child Abuse, Children, Children & Social Care, education, Podcasts, safeguarding, Social Work, social work education | 0 comments

082 Ann Marie Christian- Education Safeguarding

Safeguarding in education has always been a high priority as young peoplle sometimes spend more waking hours at school than at home. School staff of all disciplines, are part of the ‘front line’ when it comes to safeguarding.

Ann Marie is an Independent social worker. She qualified in 1996 as a social worker and worked in a generic children & families neighbourhood team. She took part in a pilot project in 1999 based in a school as a social worker for four years.  Ann Marie completed her ‘practice teaching’ qualification and went on to manage a team of school based social workers for a local authority. This role evolved and included being the ‘safeguarding advisor’ for schools and providing child protection training and consultancy to colleagues in education. She set up half termly ‘safeguarding network meetings’ for schools and invited colleagues from children social care, health and the voluntary sector. In this role she was the bridge between children social care and education colleagues. This role expanded and Ann Marie supported schools with the ‘Common Assessment Framework’ in 2004 and delivered the training and support. She worked as a LSCB trainer and sub member and supported children & families social workers in working with schools and was the LADO (local authority designated officer) in the education department and supported the Local Authority Head of education and schools with allegations against staff. She took part in strategy meetings focusing on the safeguarding of the child.

In 2010 she became independent and continued social work locum roles in early years, education and youth justice over five years.

Ann Marie was invited to write a chapter in a book ‘Becoming a social worker’, Vivienne. E Cree, 2003, Routledge and wrote about her school based social worker role. She continues to write and contributes regular articles to various journals. Ann Marie is  passionate about safeguarding and promoting the well being of children and speaks regularly at International and National conferences.

She delivers associate work for various organisations including NSPCC, COIS (Council of International Schools), ISI Consultancy (Independent School Inspectorate), Multi Academy Trusts, Church groups, Charities, sports organisations and performing arts.

Thanks as always to www.albadigitalmedia.com  for technical support.

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081 Robert Goodwill MP

Posted by on Dec 20, 2017 in Child Abuse, Children, Children & Social Care, government, law, Media, Podcasts, policy, Research, safeguarding, Social Work, social work education, Uncategorized | 0 comments

081 Robert Goodwill MP

Robert Goodwill MP was appointed Minister of State at the Department for Education on 12 June 2017. He was elected Conservative MP for Scarborough and Whitby in 2005. He is Minister of State for Children and Families.

His responsibilities include:

  • child protection (including protection from child sexual exploitation and safeguarding), local authority children’s social care and family law
  • children in care, care leavers and adoption
  • childcare policy including delivery of the 30 hours free childcare offer, inspection and regulation
  • early years policy including inspection, regulation and literacy and numeracy
  • funding for publicly funded schools in England to raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils of all abilities (pupil premium and pupil premium plus)
  • funding and policy on free school meals
  • special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)
  • school sports and healthy pupils
  • cadets and military ethos in the education system
  • improving social mobility in the 12 opportunity areas

We talk of the changes and new legislation affecting safeguarding boards as well as social work accreditation and assessment issues. The new ‘Working Together’ multi agency guidence document is still being consulted on and provokes several questions. +++++

Robert was elected as a Member of the European Parliament in 1999, serving in Brussels and Strasbourg until the 2004 European election. He was Deputy Leader of the Conservative MEPs during his term. He was elected to the House of Commons at the 2005 general election for Scarborough and Whitby.

After spending 18 months as a member of the transport select committee, he was appointed as a government whip in 2006 and promoted to the post of Shadow Roads Minister in the transport team in 2007. He was re-elected at the 2010 general election and appointed to the government as a whip with responsibility for HM Treasury and Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs business.

Robert Goodwill served as Minister of State at the Department for Transport from December 2015 until July 2016. Robert was previously Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport

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080 Obituary.Those we have lost.

Posted by on Nov 26, 2017 in Bristol, Children, Media, Podcasts, policy, safeguarding, Social Work, social work education | 0 comments

080 Obituary.Those we have lost.


Dr David Colvin and Bill McKitterick both have been lost to us this year. 

David Colvin

David was my friend and mentor. He helped me through many difficult situations with a deep rooted wisdom and a compassionate outlook on life. He was a major figure throughout the Scottish social and care system and was appointed chief social work adviser for Scotland in 1991. He was instrumental in the implementation of the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968 and was in the forefront of modernising the profession, becoming senior adviser of the Social Work Services Group and from 1993 the head of the British Association of Social Workers of Scotland.

His work extended throughout Scotland – notably in such high-profile projects as the Snowdrop Campaign on the ownership of handguns after the Dunblane shooting. He also brought his experience and understanding of community life to organisations such as NCH Action for Children and the Scottish Disability Foundation. He was also a pioneering chairman of SACRO, the community justice organisation, from 1997-2002, St Columba’s Hospice, from 1998 to 2003, and the Church of Scotland’s Crossroads scheme which helps the disabled at the Eric Liddell Centre in Edinburgh.

Dr Colvin was also influential in developing and establishing the Social Work Research Centre at the University of Stirling which reformed the quality of research throughout the profession. Appropriately, in 1998, he was awarded an honorary doctorate at the university.

From his youth Dr Colvin showed a keen interest in the arts and throughout his life had a considerable influence on many aspects of the arts in Scotland. In 1991, when he was awarded the CBE for his work in the social services the citation also mentioned his contribution to the arts. Dr Colvin was chairman of the Exhibiting Societies of Scottish Artists who exhibit the work of young artists from the principal art colleges and those of more established Scottish painters.

I knew David for over 25 years. He worked closely with six Secretary of States and brought much incisive and clear thinking to the services in Scotland. What David said was important and incorporated the very best of new thinking.  He was a great help to me when I started the social policy charity Action On Child Exploitation and, together, we lobbied government and institutions to change the law and combat sex tourism.

Uniquely, his daughter Iona Colvin has not only followed her father into social work but risen to a similar position to the one her father occupied as Chief Social Work Advisor to the Scottish Government. I’m delighted to say that she agreed to record an interview for this podcast.


Bill McKitterick

Another friend,Bill McKitterick,was also lost to us this year and his contribution to social work was significant and lasting as well. A man of great compassion and humanity, he never forgot his identity as a social worker. Strongly against privatisation and the erosion of professionalism, he wrote and spoke passionately in favour of his profession and the importance of continuing development and educational advances in social work. He was a committed member of the British Association of Social Workers, acting in various roles and as their Treasurer for many years. Bill was Director of Social Services for Bristol for ten years and , in my view, was responsible for giving the media one of the most significant opportunities to show the work of frontline practitioners. He allowed the BBC to make three one hour programmes following a team of social workers involved in child protection and the result was sensitive and well received.

Bill died far too early and his loss left a void . He will be remembered with affection and his writing will, I hope, continue to inspire future social workers.


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079 Safeguarding Boards. Prof Nick Frost

Posted by on Oct 27, 2017 in Child Abuse, Children & Social Care, government, Podcasts, safeguarding, Social Work, social work education | 0 comments

079 Safeguarding Boards. Prof Nick Frost

We talk of the future of Safeguarding Boards and what the new guidelines could mean following the Wood Review. These new arrangements will affect so many people and, now there is a defined consultation process,it’s important to consider the implications..

Nick Frost is Professor of Social Work (childhood, children and families), at the School of Health and Community, Leeds Beckett University. He took up this post in Feb., 2007.

Nick is a qualified and registered social worker, and practiced in local authority social work settings for 15 years before commencing his academic career.

Nick has published widely in the fields of child welfare and professional learning: most recently his publications include ‘Understanding Children’s Social Care’ (with Nigel Parton, Sage, 2009), ‘Rethinking Children and Families’ (Continuum, 2011) ‘Children and the Care Experience’ (with Julie Shaw, Routledge, 2013) and ‘Family Support’ (with Abbott and Race, Polity, 2015).

Nick’s primary research interests are in integrated professional working, family support and working with vulnerable children and young people. He has acted an advisor and referee for British government departments and the governments of the Republic of Ireland, Spain and Denmark.

He was appointed as Chair of North Yorkshire Safeguarding Children Board in 2012, and of Calderdale Safeguarding Children Board in 2017.

My thanks as always to AlbaDigitalMedia for their technical support.

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Social Work & the Media

Posted by on Oct 8, 2017 in Child Abuse, Children, Children & Social Care, Media, Media Training, safeguarding, Social Media, Social Work, social work education, Training Courses | 0 comments

Social Work & the Media


All my working life I’ve watched my profession defend itself in the court of media opinion. When you’re starting out there is some strength gained from an excess of idealism and enthusiasm. There were more times when you felt able to dream that your work alone would demonstrate the truth. In helping the vulnerable in our communities we would illustrate inequality and public opinion would slowly change.

Within social work we all know people who are inspirational, who command respect and who can speak with clarity and understanding about what we do and why we are needed. However, over the years I’ve seen only a few who have been recognised outside of the profession on the national stage and given a balanced hearing.

Previously, during the years I was closely involved with the professional association, I saw the different levels of respect and engagement in the media with social work in other industrialised countries. I could never fully understand the reasons why this wasn’t the case in the UK. Was it that we were still in the death throes of having an empire and ruling half the world and so acknowledging mass poverty and deprivation at home was unthinkable? Could it be some residual Victorian construct, sweeping the troubled and vulnerable under the carpet and including those who support them, with vague murmuring about charities being better placed to do the work?

Was it that the evolution of media catered so much to the lowest common denominator, conditioning the public to accept simplistic explanations in comic style outlets? Or was it the seductive atmosphere of blame that sold newspapers? A public stoning was considered far more exciting than a little bit of well earned praise. In forty years I’ve still never seen a headline saying “social worker does good job”.

Communities tend to believe much of what they read in the media. With few outlets that offer true balance it’s understandable that the population, that gets most of its information from some type of media ( written, broadcast or social ), will form their opinions accordingly.

Why do we hear so few voices talking about the success stories emanating from the professionalism of the 100.000 social workers in the UK? All the good work in protecting the vulnerable seems to be hidden from the wider audience. Why so much anonymity about all the social work that’s not child protection? We have let the general media condense our profession to such a degree that the narrowest of material is what seems on display. I also believe that, for a variety of reasons, many employers confuse confidentiality with secrecy.

The voices are there. It’s just that they’re caged.

There is no reason why so much of our work cannot be talked about and explained. On a local level , perhaps the free newspapers, local commercial radio stations and a few journalists could be given interviews about success stories where people’s lives have been changed for the better.

On a national level we need to introduce the media to some of our many credible and well informed spokespeople, taking the stories to the outlets, managing the agenda more and not just playing constant defence. We need to be far more assertive.

How people communicate is changing at a rapid pace and social media has put so much more power in the hands of the people. We need to be strong participants in that changing landscape.

We’re always going to have detractors, whether driven by ideology, ignorance or superficial understanding of the world we work in. However, we also have to support the maintenance of a free press so the target we aim for is balance. This is where the work is needed.

Balance will not be awarded. It has to be earned. We need to offer more by way of education, information, planning for the year ahead and showcasing the wide variety of service that comprises social work.

Of course we have to be smart about this, offering content that will interest media outlets and their audience and challenging contemporary stories who haven’t got social work involvement correctly presented. We have to show social workers up and down the country that a more positive image in the media has a direct effect on how new families, referred to us tomorrow , can be just that bit more trusting because they’ve seen a fuller picture of social work.

It’s no good just complaining about unfairness and waiting to be given permission to be considered capable professional workers. It needs to show social workers making a difference and being proud to do so. The shop window that is represented by all forms of media needs to be full of education, examples of good practice, strong arguments and fewer apologies. There needs to be constant demonstration that the starvation of resources through austerity measures is counter productive to the health of the nation. We know the pressure points such as the rise in child poverty, the social complexities of an aging population and the gross under resourcing of mental health services to name a few. We have a workforce trained to support but with their hands tied, grossly inflated caseloads through lack of national investment and a blame culture that beggars belief there exists a paralysis of hope.

There are ways forward. We can demonstrate that skilled work brings change and improves the quality of life, which is no secret in my profession but still seems largely under some people’s carpets.

Some time ago I gave a lecture to post graduate journalists, at the end of their training, about what social workers can do and, perhaps more to the point, about what they can’t do. Some information and a starter for ten just to offer a little demystification of stories to come. Social work courses could offer reciprocal opportunities to journalists to talk of their world and chip away at some of the mythology.

The British Association of Social Workers ( BASW )is showing a commitment to look at ways of tackling the imbalance and recognises that the media is the arena where much policy and practice will be debated. I hope that they succeed in driving this forward and convincing more and more employers of the cost benefits of these initiatives.

I’ve been determined to pass on the twenty or so years of experience I’ve gained in working with the media which started with no training and almost overwhelming speed when I was elected Chair of BASW. The need for senior staff in the public sector to be prepared to manage the media in a crises is as constant as it is sad. Over the last year or so I’ve been training groups of social workers in working with the media I now plan to build on this as well. There seems no reason why some front line social workers couldn’t talk to local journalists about the thousands of good news stories that emerge from our work every week. Let the senior managers deal with the cases where practice is challenged.

There are many more good, honest journalists than not and the media has a voracious appetite for stories. With that in mind we should look at the vast amount of work we do that has no need to be confidential and let it see the light. If that happens then the court of media opinion will be better illuminated and I’ll cautiously move from hope to optimism.

This is the full version of my article in the Online Guardian 03.10.2017

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