I had the pleasure of filming with a crew from Sage Publishers yesterday. I was talking about the Visual Social Work Project which is based upon my doctoral research which focusses upon the transition from practitioner to manager. Image-making is a significant component of the research and a means to communicate the complex emotions associated with becoming a manager.
As social workers, we are expected to understand and use research in our practice in order to make sound recommendations, provide effective help and demonstrate professional leadership. The Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF), the overarching professional standards framework for social workers in England, says that social workers should “develop and apply relevant knowledge” from research.
Yet this knowledge and research can be difficult for social workers to access as it is often published in journals which they or their employers don’t subscribe to. Some practitioners have also told me that they find the language used in some journal articles as too challenging or too ‘dense’ – and so are put off.
Many research funding bodies now ask about the ‘impact’ and ‘public engagement’ of research which has led to an array of activities and methods of sharing research findings. Examples of this include taking the research to the public through exhibitions in museums, websites, and blogs. Infographics are also a visually compelling way of explaining a complex concept in an engaging and digestible way – like, for example, the Social Worker’s Guide to Social Media.
Sharing difficult things in a simple way
I am passionate about sharing stories about difficult things in a simple way. So when I was invited to make a short video based on my research – I jumped at the chance. The video was filmed on Friday, in challenging circumstances as universities are noisy and busy places! The crew was patient, encouraging and so professional that it made the experience enjoyable and fun. The video will be around 10-15 minutes long, it will of course involve both words and pictures and will be about Becoming a social work manager.
Once the link is available I will share it. But for now . . . . that’s a wrap!