Practitioner workshop: How do social workers talk about poverty and how should they?

May 11, 2018

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On 9 May 2018, ExChange hosted a workshop on poverty by Lucy Sheehan.  The morning began with introductions and continued on with some key points focusing on poverty and income inequality. 



It was discussed that income poverty in Wales is higher than other UK countries.  Despite this, there are ongoing challenges in discussing and addressing poverty by social workers. There is a strong feeling that there is a disconnect between the understanding of poverty and how practitioners engage in social work practices. 



The workshop then broke down into smaller groups for the facilitation and discussion of transcripts provided.



Key questions included:

  • Why are functional solutions offered in relation to issues of socio-economic difficulties?

  • Why are parents resistant to such considerations?

  • Why are risks discussed first?

  • What actions do social workers take to reduce poverty?

  • What helps and hinders social workers taking such actions?



After the smaller breakout group work, there was a discussion on the emotional labour of social workers working with impoverished families. 


Additional workshop resources:


PowerPoint slides


Child Poverty Action Group website


Children's Society


Leave Poverty Outside the School Gates


ATD Fourth World