Call for Papers for SWAN UK conference

Call for papers


2017’s conference is the 8th and 9th of April. The key themes for this year will be refugees and racism; welfare reform; anti-privatisation and international perspectives.


The Social Work Action Network (SWAN) is a radical, campaigning organisation of social work and social care practitioners, students, service users, carers and academics, united by our concern that social work practice is being undermined by managerialism and marketisation, by the stigmatisation of service users and by welfare cuts and restrictions.


The SWAN conference is the largest annual radical and critical Social Work conference in Europe with over a decade of bringing together educators, service users, practitioners and all those concerned with social work and social justice. Previous presentations have included leading journalists and campaigners, veterans of struggles such as the miners dispute and service user led organisations, in addition to leading academics and thinkers in this field.


This year’s conference will take place in Middlesbrough in North East England. Over half of Middlesbrough is made up of areas that are the most deprived in England. Additionally Middlesbrough has the highest proportion of resident asylum seekers and refugees in the UK . The challenges of practicing from a social justice perspective, in such areas of multiple deprivations, form a central focus of the conference.


We welcome presentations (20 mins) or more interactive workshops (60 mins) from ALL, including practitioners, service user and social justice organisations, students, educators and trade unionists.


We are honoured this year to work alongside The Other Perspective, a refugee social enterprise, who will share a meal with us on Saturday evening in the student union, and provide the catering. Given the heavy involvement of Swan in anti-racism campaigning and social work in Calais over the past 18 months, this is a fitting partnership.


The conference will be held at the School of Health and Social Care at Teesside University, and there is ample parking on site for cars and coaches. There are lots of hotels and B+B options to suit most budgets in the local area (Travel Lodge/Jurys Inn etc.), and the campus is an approx. 11 minute walk from the train station. Regional airports include Durham Tees valley (20 mins) and Newcastle (60 mins). National rail links are good and Middlesbrough is approximately 3.5 hours from London or Edinburgh by train.


SWAN keep the cost of this conference as low as possible. Tickets can be purchased here and range from £15 to £35 for the full weekend, including Saturday’s meal.  Asylum seekers and refugees attend for FREE.

Address for proposals:

Please send proposals of no more than 300 words to All proposals will be responded to by 12 March 2017 or sooner. See you in Teeside!


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