Founding Purposes

This is a free online magazine which was first produced during the first peak of the Covid-19 crisis in the UK from April to July 2020 and is not back for a one off special edition in April 2021 connected to the UK Government calling a Review of the English Children’s Social Care system.

SW2020 focussed on issues that were of interest to those who were using social work or social care services, those who provided them and those who were undertaking teaching or research around them. Some of those issues were related directly to Covid-19 (policy analyses, thought pieces, personal experiences) but there was also space to raise issues related to other things connected to social work and social care that contributors felt needed airing during this period of the Covid-19 crisis. 

SW2021 will be a one-off special edition focussed around the English Children’s Social Care Review, looking for pieces that document hopes, concerns, wishes for or about the English Review findings and process. While focussing on the English Review we would warmly welcome pieces from other jurisdictions or focussed on prior Reviews in the UK or elsewhere which imagine or conceive of different practice and systems; document positive or negative experiences of other Reviews processes; describe positive or negative experiences of alternative practices and systems.

The founding editorial collective was made up of: Brid Featherstone, Anna Gupta, Christian Kerr, Gillian MacIntrye, Abyd Quinn-Aziz & Robin Sen.

The basis for the magazine arose out of a belief that there was much going on of high relevance to social work and social care under Covid-19, and a number of interesting things being written and spoken about them. But there was also a lack of an accessible format to bring some of those discussions together. The content of Social Work 2020-21 under Covid-19 falls somewhere between Twitter threads and detailed blogs : it may be best thought of as a collection of blog-like articles which are collected around social work and social care during the Covid-19 crisis. The content of the magazine will also provide therefore some archive of issues raised in respect of social work and social care during this period and will be, we hope, of some continuing use and interest.

In making our original call for articles we noted that we would particularly like to include: “articles describing and analysing policy, policy applications and practices during the Covid-19 crisis in any of the four countries in the UK – both those raising concerns and asking questions and those highlighting positive practices with transferable lessons; articles which critically analyse the response of big business and private capital in respect of the caring professions, during the Covid-19 crisis; articles which underpin solidarity between those using and providing social work and social care services, and with other allied professionals and workers; articles on personal experiences or reflections about receiving or providing services, or lived daily experience in the Covid-19 crisis; any international contributions with learning for the UK around the social work and social care response to the Covid-19 crisis; creative pieces based on experiences under Covid-19; relevant book and film reviews; and, articles which raise issues in social work and social care that are being forgotten about during the Covid-19 crisis (whether or not directly related to Covid-19).” In this call we did not reckon for the international interest the magazine would garner: by the final edition we had published articles from authors based in Australia, Canada, China, Ireland and Israel, as well as the four UK countries. In addition to this interest we had site visits or messages of support from those based in Egypt, Finland, France, India, Netherlands, New Zealand and the USA.

The editorial collective and peer review team are committed to a constructive, critical engagement around the responses of big business, governments,  governmental and non-governmental agencies. We were also committed to plurality of voice and perspective and were happy to include articles that came from different perspectives, so long as they were consistent with our understanding of core social work values.

Articles will be assessed for inclusion by the editorial collective and a small team of peer reviewers with lived experience. If we have more articles then we can reasonably include for the special edition then the criteria used to select them were : currency and timeliness of the issues raised; insightfulness as judged by the editorial collective members; plurality of issues raised in the article (i.e. did it raise substantively different issues other articles, particularly in the same issue?); plurality of voice (we were keen to see articles from the widest range of people who used, provided, taught and researched around social work and social care); and, consistency with social work values as per the IFSW Global Social Work Statement of Ethical Principles  ( https://www.ifsw.org/global-social-work-statement-of-ethical-principles/ ). Where members of the peer review team or editorial collective themselves submitted articles those pieces were assessed and managed by at least two other members of the collective or peer reviewers, and judged by the same criteria as above.

Articles word length guidelines are between 500 – 2000 words. Authors were encouraged to keep academic references to a minimum. Authors are asked to ensure they respected the confidentiality and anonymity of people using services and colleagues providing direct services. It is up to an author whether or not they name their organisation, or not. We also happy to consider articles written under pseudonyms where writing under an actual name is difficult.

Best wishes, good health and solidarity,

The SW2020-21 Covid-19 Editorial Collective and Peer Review Team.

Version 12/02/21.